The way to renewable solar power

By Kyle Galdeira Posted in: Green
July 14, 2013

As a locally owned and operated business invested in Hawaii’s people and communities, Sunetric plays a vital role in lessening the dependence on foreign oil and other costly imported energy sources.

The one-stop solar power operation is present through a customer’s initial photovoltaic system consultation, engages clients during the sales and design phases and follows through with the installation and service processes. Sunetric has enjoyed steady growth over its nine-plus years as it continues to take responsibility for Hawaii’s renewable energy future, with average sales increases of 20 to 50 percent each year.

While it takes pride in being “born and raised in Hawaii,” Sunetric has expanded to the mainland with offices in California, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania and Colorado. The growth allows the company to bring more revenue back into the local economy while its customers also benefit from renewable solar power.

“On average, a homeowner here in Hawaii is paying between $300 and $400 per month for their electricity right now,” said Aaron Kirk, Sunetric’s Chief Operating Officer. “If you put solar on your home, the goal is to eliminate that electric bill.”

Kirk explained that homeowners typically will finance their solar systems, and that the cost per month of that financing process can be structured to mimic or improve upon regular electric bill payments. Over an average three- to five-year span, the owner will pay off the solar system, and enjoy the resulting energy without the burdensome payments.

Clean Energy Production Gets the “Green” Light

Since opening for business, Sunetric has generated more than 57 megawatts of installed solar power encompassing a wide range of jobs and projects. To put that figure in perspective, the solar power generated by Sunetric’s installations save close to 90,000 pounds of carbon dioxide — the leading greenhouse gas — each year, and offsets the use of nearly 95 barrels of oil annually.

The company installs hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of solar panels every week, thereby eliminating a portion of the “carbon footprint” created by fossil fuels burned in Hawaii to make electricity.

The community also benefits from Sunetric’s efforts, as the business has installed PV systems in dozens of local schools and churches with zero upfront costs.

For example, Sunetric designed and installed a 160 kW PV system at Hongwanji Mission School, where it also planned and hosted an innovative Green Fair. Additionally, the company installed a 169 kW system at St. Francis School. Employees also help to educate the next generation by speaking to Castle High School student about renewable energy, entrepreneurship, community and the environment in addition to partnering with Kupu to provide training for young adults looking to join the green workforce Sunetric provides Hawaii residents and businesses with the opportunity to eliminate or reduce their electric bills while also initiating a long-term vision of sustainability for each project it installs.

“We focus on ensuring the highest standards in quality of equipment and workmanship,” Kirk said. “Our goal is to provide clean energy for the long haul, so we always make sure that the work is done the best way possible.”

Sunetric Remains on Cutting Edge of Solar Industry

Sunetric features an expert staff, including more than 140 local employees. The local business empowers the community by creating career opportunities and enhancing its staff’s knowledge through continual training. Sunetric’s team includes a fully licensed electrical engineer who custom designs each project, and the company utilizes special project managers who are tasked with researching and testing the best PV related equipment and materials on the market to determine which products meet its high standards. The business features certification by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, and holds a C-13 electrical contractor’s license. According to Kirk, Sunetric has introduced much of the innovative technology prevalent in the state today. It brought En-phase to Hawaii, becoming the first company to install micro-inverter technology in the market. He explained that Sunetric is also the first company to utilize hybrid power optimization technology from Tigo, which helps mitigate PV production loss due to shading.

Additionally, Sunetric introduced technologies of top-efficiency solar panel manufacturers SunPower and Suniva, which were ranked the highest, and second-highest in efficiency according to the 2013 Photon Magazine’s Module Efficiency Awards. Sunetric is established as the first SunPower Elite dealer in Hawaii and remains the state’s exclusive authorized dealer of Suniva panels.