Renewable Solar Energy: Harnessing the power of the sun
Roland Stack, owner of Renewable Solar Energy (far right), and his staff fabricate and design solar projects that work for the specific needs of their customers.
by Amy D. Fienen
At Renewable Solar Energy, going solar is not about the trendy quest of “going green.” It’s about putting the customer in control by allowing them to reduce their dependence on utility companies for their home or business.
“I’m not in this to be green and save the world,” said Roland Stack, owner of Renewable Solar Energy. “I’m in it because it makes sense.”
And what doesn’t make sense about an investment that can pay for itself in five to eight years and save money every month over the long-term?
“The benefit is never having an electric bill again,” Stack said. “That adds up to be a lot of money.”
When he first got into the solar business, it was not an investment most people could afford.
“Ten years ago, this was a hard project to sell, but over the past four years, it’s really changed,” Stack said. “The cost of solar panels has dropped by about 50 percent.”
After 12 years in the business, four as the owner of Renewable Solar Energy, Stack said he thinks the start-up costs are about as low as they can go. The initial investment to install solar panels at a residence runs between $12,000 to $20,000, which includes a rebate and 30 percent federal tax credit. An option for those who don’t have that kind of up-front money is to lease the solar panels. While leasing doesn’t include the tax incentives, Stack said that this option will still produce a savings of 30 percent.
Ninety percent of the work done by Renewable Solar Energy is residential, but they do commercial projects as well, including installations at the Hanford Fox Theatre, the International Agri-Center in Tulare, and a dehydrator at Taos Farms.
Renewable Solar Energy produces their own solar trackers, which, by tracking the sun east to west, improves energy efficiency by 20 percent more than a standard mounted system. They also design and build shade structures and patios on which to mount panels.
One way for farmers to benefit from solar is by converting their ag pumps, Stack said. With the cost of diesel projected to be at $5 per gallon by summer, he suggests converting diesel pumps to electric. The Air Pollution Control District offers incentives for this conversion, and Stack said that by installing one of his trackers, solar power can offset the electricity costs.
“Once you’ve bought a solar system, you’ve turned a variable cost into a fixed cost for the next 30 years,” he said.
The solar business is becoming more competitive, Stack said, but what sets his company apart is that he is with customers from the initial consultation through the installation, while other companies may pass customers off from sales consultants to designers to installers.
“Customers deal with me throughout the process,” Stack said. “I’ll be the one standing on your roof. I think that’s important.”
Renewable Solar Energy
211 E. 7th St.
Hanford, CA 93230