Time for a Solar Scavenger Hunt

With gigawatts of commercial and residential solar electric systems now online, solar is sprouting all over the U.S. This is a fantastic phenomenon – not only because record amounts of clean, solar energy are being used to power homes and businesses across the state, but also because the best solar marketers are happy solar customers.

These front-lawn conversations are vital for spreading the facts about the economic benefits of solar and can be mutually beneficial, as satisfied REC Solar customers are rewarded for referring friends and neighbors.

But I digress. Solar’s increasing affordability and accessibility – including zero-down options – are fueling unprecedented solar uptake. In fact, solar is likely being installed around you right now. To illustrate these points, I went on a “solar scavenger hunt” during one 25-minute drive from REC Solar’s headquarters in San Luis Obispo, CA, along Highway 101 north to the sleepy community of Templeton (which also happens to be my daily commute). All solar systems had to be immediately visible. No exiting the freeway allowed. Here we go:

  1. Mid-Sized Residential System


After driving through the rural and sparsely-habited area surrounding 101’s Cuesta Grade, here’s the first one – a mid-sized residential system just south of Atascadero, CA.

  1. Small Commercial System


Here’s the next one – a small system on the local health-food store. Not big consumers of electricity apparently, as a shortage of roof space certainly didn’t constrain the size of this system.

  1. Mid-Sized Residential System


If you look carefully there’s a residential solar system poking between the trees to the right of the streetlight. Can’t escape my eagle eyes.

  1. Medium Commercial System


Here’s a decent-sized commercial system on the roof of the local Rabobank building. Rabobank, coincidentally, has provided financing for a number of commercial solar systems constructed by REC Solar.

We’ve now seen four systems in about a three-mile stretch.

  1. Small Commercial System


This one is also somewhat difficult to see, but there’s another decent-sized commercial system on the roof of this wine-storage facility. Refrigeration and cooling facilities gobble electricity, and can benefit hugely from going solar. Additionally, Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery (take a look at the billboard) is an REC Solar customer.Yes, I did have to exit the freeway to allow my co-pilot to get this picture. Call it a concession for safety’s sake

  1. Small Ground Mount System


Here’s the last one – number six – a residential ground-mount system behind this billboard on the west side of the 101.

That’s pretty good, even for the number-one solar state in the nation. No telling how many additional systems aren’t immediately visible or not far from the freeway.

Keep your eyes peeled for solar sprouting in your neighborhood. The owners of these homes and businesses have realized – along with Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. Department of Defense – that there’s no better time to go solar than right now. The combination of increasingly-affordable solar equipment, state and utility incentives, the 30% federal investment tax credit (and other tax benefits), ever-increasing electric rates and highly-experienced solar providers make commercial solar a sound investment with a solid economic return.

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