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Support Solar in Florida: Vote NO in NOvember on Amendment 1

Vote NO in NOvember

Don’t let utilities block the sun, vote ‘no’ on Amendment 1 Vote ‘no’ on Amendment 1Amendment 1 is funded by Florida’s big utilities to protect their monopoly markets and limit customer-owned solar. It paves the way for barriers that would penalize solar customers. Worse, it misleads Florida voters by promising rights and protections that Florida citizens already have. Florida has the most solar energy potential east of the Mississippi, yet isn’t a leader on solar power. Vote YES on Amendment 4 to lower bills and allow solar energy to flourish in Florida.

Climate: Eight Convenient Truths

Group of  Wind Turbines on the green hill Source:  Rocky Mountain Institute By Amory B. Lovins (Editor’s note: this piece originally appeared in Roll Call on Nov. 9, 2009, in a slightly different form.) “In his remarks at the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen in December, President Obama did say (to my delight) that climate solutions advance both prosperity and security, but he hadn’t time to rebut in detail the “sign error”—the widespread fallacy that climate solutions are intrinsically an economic burden. Now that the post-Copenhagen dust has settled and it’s time to refocus on what we should be doing and get back to work, here are eight convenient truths to consider and share about climate and energy.”  Read the Eight Convenient Truths >>>

Interactive Solar Exhibit at LEGOLAND Teaches Children STEM Skills

July 14, 2014 For Immediate Release Contact: Rick Gilbert, [email protected], (727) 572-4247 x 125 Interactive Solar Exhibit at LEGOLAND Teaches Children Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Skills Solar Source installs 30-kW solar array at LEGOLAND with funding from Tampa Electric’s Renewable Energy Program. Largo, FL Solar Source installed a 30-kW solar panel array at LEGOLAND Florida’s Imagination Zone with funding from Tampa Electric’s Renewable Energy program. LEGOLAND took the array to the next level, opening a solar power exhibit featuring an interactive 6-foot LEGO Earth model. Solar Source mounted multi-crystalline panels to the roof of the Imagination Zone: a hands-on learning & activity center in the theme park. The new LEGO Earth exhibit demonstrates how solar technology works and allows visitors to manipulate the panels to understand how they generate solar electricity. The solar energy generated on the rooftop powers an interactive exhibit inside of the Imagination Zone where guests can interact with model communities made out of LEGOs. “We are proud to put our technology on display to increase exposure and provide educational opportunities for children and their parents,” said Rick Gilbert, Vice President of Solar Source. LEGOLAND is not the first theme park that Solar Source has worked with; for instance they installed a solar water heating system for Disney Parks.  Solar Source has a history of working with public and private partners, such as the City of St. Petersburg, Lowry Park Zoo, and Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) to provide solar power installations that not only produce electricity, but also educate the public on the benefits of clean, renewable energy. “It’s fitting that some of TECO’s renewable energy “blocks” were built with LEGO bricks,” said Gilbert. “They serve two purposes: producing electricity, and enhancing awareness.” Tampa Electric funded the LEGOLAND project as a part of their Renewable Energy program that gives customers the option to purchase “blocks” of renewable energy. Located in Lakeland, LEGOLAND Florida is the largest LEGOLAND Park in the world. The iconic “LEGO” bricks encourage children to explore their imagination and challenge their creativity. According to the American Solar Energy Industry, U.S. solar capacity has quadrupled in the last four years – growing 418 percent from 2010-2014. The U.S. installed 1,330 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) in the first quarter of 2014, up 79 percent over Q1 2013. About Solar Source Headquartered in Largo, Florida Solar Source (Constructive Resource, Inc. dba Solar Source) is licensed solar electrical, and general contracting firm with additional locations in Ontario, Canada and New Jersey.  Solar Source specializes in industrial, commercial, and residential projects including photovoltaic (PV), solar water heating and pool heating.  Projects include the first rooftop megawatt (MW) PV system in Florida, the largest PV system in Cuba at Guantanamo Naval Base, the largest solar pool heater in the world, in Mexico and solar heating systems for the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia and Athens, Greece. Solar Source is also the founding entity of Solar Source Institute, a licensed, accredited educational facility that provides solar training for the construction industry. – # # # –

Solar Source Institute featured on “Science Rocks in Pinellas”

rick-gilbert-solar-sourceScience 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 Source Ranks High on Solar Power World Magazine’s Top Contractors List

Solar Power World's 2013 Top 250 Solar Contractors List 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 Power World's Top 100 Residential Solar ContractorsSolar Source is the  #1 residential solar contractor in the entire Southeast!

 

 

Solar Source Leads the South

SPW - South - Solar Source Institute Education Goes a Long Way 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 >>>

The State Of Solar Power Construction And Installation

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 >>>

The truth about solar power in the marketplace

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.

Paradise News of St. Pete Features Solar Source Article

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… Paradise News Gilbert Article A few highlights:
  • 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.

Rick Gilbert on Florida Energy Policy

Rick Gilbert, Vice President of Solar Source

Rick Gilbert explains why the Sunshine State isn’t so solar friendly in this Solar Speaks podcast.

Solar Source Vice President Rick Gilbert is this week’s featured speaker in the Solar Power World podcast series known as Solar Speaks.  In his podcast, “Why the Sunshine State Isn’t So Solar Friendly”  Rick explains the complicated history of Florida solar energy policy and what you can do about it. Among the points he makes:
  • Florida lacks a comprehensive renewable energy policy
  • In Florida, third party purchases (known as PPAs) are prohibited.
  • Florida Investor Owned Utilities are guaranteed a profit of 10 percent.
  • The Florida Public Service Commission states that it is in the “public interest” to limit competition and grant electric power monopolies.
The essential rationale behind this argument is that IF customers generate their own power, THEN the utilities will have to charge other users more money so that they can keep up their 10 percent profit.  We all know this is ridiculous, and in fact, 22 other states agree, and allow some form of solar leasing, or third party power purchases. Solar Source is working to change these policies, and you can help by joining an advocacy organization, such as the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy.
DSIRE Solar map of USA

DSIRE Solar map of states allowing 3rd party solar PV power purchase agreements.

Solar Source

Founded in 1984 and based in Largo, Solar Source has led the solar charge for over 30 years. We have installed over 30,000 solar systems in that time and continue to grow rapidly. These installations range in size and complexity from small residential systems to large-scale commercial projects. As the leading solar contractor in the state of Florida, we have also established Solar Source Institute, an accredited school with which we conduct training for our own staff as well as other licensed contractors (including solar, electrical, and roofing) to teach best practices and issue certifications of competency. When you choose Solar Source to perform your solar installation you’re hiring a company with unrivaled experience that is able to deliver a solution that suits your specific needs, has a maximum return on investment, with trouble-free performance for many years. We maintain a consistent A rating Angie’s List, BBB and many other consumer ratings sites, and we encourage you to check our reputation. Providing you with the absolute best in solar energy is our constant goal.
Solar Source
Solar Source in Largo, Florida.Saturday, May 20th, 2017 at 6:13am
That awesome feeling of creating your own kilowatts and not solely relying on Duke Energy anymore!

Congratulations to the Carter family on their brand new solar system. We can't wait to see Carter Power & Lighting's first official solar power bill! #gosolar #savemoney

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