December 8, 2014
By Rick Gilbert, Special to Solar Power World
Throughout recorded history humans used either fire or the sun to heat water. Some communities now have solar water in over 90% of their homes. SHW is often the “forgotten solar” among many professionals nowadays, as PV prices continue to fall and more people are drawn toward the appeal of generating their own electricity. Nonetheless, SHW represents the largest solar market on Earth, and is an affordable alternative to PV that is reliable, environmentally friendly and saves people money. Full Article at http://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2014/12/tips-successful-solar-hot-water-installations/
April 22, 2014 |
LEGOLAND Florida and Tampa Electric partner to make the 150-acre theme park run completely on renewable energy for the day in celebration of Earth Day – the first theme park to do so in the United States. The celebration is part of existing and new conservation initiatives, including installations that will educate park guests about solar energy. As part of the partnership, LEGOLAND Florida will also permanently power a section of the park, Imagination Zone, on renewable energy. Full Story >>>
Science Rocks is a new concept science television program designed to showcase Pinellas students, teachers and educational trends in the science community.
The program is hosted by Elementary Science Specialist Julie Poth, Middle School Science Specialist Tom Doughty, High School Science Specialist Andy Oyer and STEM Coordinator Laura Spence.
Science Rocks airs Monday and Friday evening at 7pm on WPDS-TV Channel 14. Watch Now >>>
Solar Power World’s Top 250 Solar Contractors for 2013
We’re On The List!
Solar Power World magazine recently ranked Solar Source among the top solar contractors in North America.
Solar Power World, the industry’s leading source for technology, development and installation news, recently unveiled the 2013 Top 250 Solar Contractors list. The list ranks applicants according to influence in the residential, commercial and utility solar-installation markets.
Solar Source is the #1 residential solar contractor in the entire Southeast!
Education Goes A Long Way
Solar Power World | Sept. 2013
Largo, Fla. – A few years back, as the solar industry started to bloom, Solar Source (No. 103) was getting a lot of calls. “We were getting inquiries from electricians, plumbers, residential contractors and others,” says Rick Gilbert, Solar Source’s vice president. “We decided we should just put everyone into one classroom.”
The response to the company’s one-day classes was so overwhelming, Solar Source started its own institute in 2007. Since then, it has stayed true to its mission to educate and train architects, engineers, builders-developers, electrical and solar contractors — and ultimately all contractors that touch the solar industry. In the classroom, online and with hands-on labs, the Solar Source Institute’s training course covers everything from solar photovoltaic and solar-installer training to renewable-energy education, sales- and-marketing and grid-tied installation with battery back-up. Full Article >>>
By: Rick Gilbert, Vice President at Solar Source
Solar installation companies and contractors build solar electric systems, solar pool heating systems and solar hot water systems at every scale – residential, commercial and utility.
Many types of companies install solar systems. The primary industry begins with solar contractors, and then branches out to electrical contractors and plumbing contractors. General contractors and roofing contractors are also involved in solar installations. Because solar PV is electrical and solar hot water is plumbing-related, the industry sees a lot of participation from plumbing and electrical contractors. Full Article >>>
By WAYNE WALLACE | Special To The Tampa Tribune Published: October 10, 2012
As a solar contractor, I was dismayed to hear disparaging comments about green energy during the Denver debate. I’d like to set the record straight.
Let’s be honest: We are not dealing with a level playing field. Oil companies have enjoyed rich subsidies for more than 100 years. The first coal subsidy dates back to the late 1700s.
Mitt Romney’s statement, “In one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world… that’s about 50 years’ worth of what oil and gas receives,” is false. Actually, the clean energy investment took place over several years. The tax breaks that oil companies receive are different from the loan guarantees, grants and R&D provided through the stimulus. Only a portion of the money went to solar and wind; it was also used for energy efficiency, environmental cleanup and improvements to our power lines. Unlike tax breaks for oil companies, the loan guarantees are repaid with interest. In fact, Tesla just announced they would be making their payment early.
This months issue of Paradise News features an article by our very own VP Rick Gilbert! Check out “Florida Needs to Get Solar Serious!” starting on page 20…
A few highlights:
I attended the Solar Power International conference in Orlando a couple of weeks ago and learned something interesting about the roof of the building where the conference occurred.
The Orange County Convention Center in Orlando is the second largest such facility in the US. My sore feet will attest to that fact after walking many miles through the exhibits. The roof of the Center is the surface for a big solar panel array. The capacity of this solar farm in downtown Orlando is almost 1.1 Megawatts.
James Doyle is a senior project manager for Solar Source, the Largo, Florida based company that designed and installed that solar power system in 2009. According to Mr. Doyle, the Orange County Convention Center’s average power bill is about $1 million a month. That’s a lot of electrons.
The solar panels on the roof save the Center between 10% – 12% of that power bill, month in, month out. It’s an impressive savings. But even more impressive is how much the economics for solar systems have improved since that system was installed.
04/23/12 Olivia Kabat
Some homes that are being built in Clearwater for Habitat for Humanity will be getting solar hot water systems. The installations are provided for families in need.
The solar contractor, Solar Source, is installing 15 solar hot water systems to Habitat for Humanity in Pinellas County. Jeremiah Rohr, lead instructor for Solar Source says the installations are an energy-efficient way to reduce 85% of water heating costs.
“Basically Habitat for Humanity was looking for a way to reduce…well they’re big on energy efficiency in their homes which allows a lower monthly cost for the residents after they move in. A lot of the stuff is being donated by other people who are being subsidized in some way. So on there monthly bills through different installation and building techniques and these hot water heaters. They have a much smaller utility bill.”
Technicians from Solar Source are in charge of the installation process. Rohr says more solar installations are set for the future.
“For these people, they’re being picked up by a grant from the utility company. So the utility company is actually paying for that. Normally, a system like this is about $4,000.” Full Story…
- Florida passed net metering laws in 2008, but since then, the energy policy picture has been grim.
- Investor Owned Utilities dominate the energy market through regulated monopolies.
- Florida does not allow “leasing” or rent-to-own solar concepts, as does over 20 other states.
- Florida does not have a target for renewable energy, as does over 30 other states.
- Floridians need to speak up and let their lawmakers know they want stronger incentives for solar energy in Florida.