SolarCitizen Q2 2010 Issue
Sun Protection

Energy is the lifeblood of American industry, and if solar is to become a mainstream source of electricity in the next decade, every voice must be heard. Solar power advocates like Solar Energy Industries Association and Vote Solar have recently penned a Solar Bill of Rights to protect the ability of American businesses and homeowners to produce their own clean power reliably and affordably. Make your voice heard - please click on this link and sign the Bill:

As solar continues to gain momentum, so does SolarCity:

We moved into a new operations facility in Portland, Oregon, conducted our first community program in the state as part of the city’s Solarize program, and more recently launched Solar Beaverton, a solar pilot program in the city of the same name.

We also opened a 12,000-square-foot office and warehouse in the Inland Empire in Southern California, to better service the San Gabriel Valley and foothill communities as far west as Pasadena.

We’ve expanded our Arizona operations with a new office in the Deer Valley area of Phoenix.

Last month we began offering residential solar installation services to customers of The Home Depot in 92 stores in Northern California, and are currently conducting a series of seminars at Home Depot stores to answer questions about solar technology, rebates, financing and other topics.

SolarCity events and our Solar Seminar Series will be taking place in cities throughout our service territory. Stop by to say hello and learn more about solar power. Tell your friends, and find out more at

SolarCity Means Business

Did you know that SolarCity offers many businesses and nonprofit organizations the ability to install solar power with no upfront cost, and immediately begin paying less for solar than they previously paid for electricity? While solar financing has traditionally only been available for large scale commercial projects, SolarCity’s commercial leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs) and solar service agreements can finance projects from 20 kilowatts to many megawatts. SolarCity commercial customers include everyone from big corporations to small business, local schools, churches, and even sustainable farms:

What does this mean to you? As a SolarCity customer, you receive a $1,000 thank you bonus for every commercial or nonprofit organization you refer who installs a SolarCity solar system! The best candidates typically own their buildings and have 4,000 square feet or more of unshaded roof space. Help the organizations you care about go green, and make a little green for yourself! Learn more at


Places of Worship Embrace Clean Power

Places of worship are increasingly looking to produce their own clean power. Livermore, Calif.’s Cornerstone Fellowship, one of the largest churches in the San Francisco Bay Area, hired SolarCity to convert its 24,000 square foot roof to solar power. Cornerstone flipped the switch in December 2008, and has already produced more than a half million kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity, enough to power between 40-50 area homes for a year. Across town at Our Savior Lutheran Ministries, SolarCity installed a 204-kW system sufficient to offset approximately two-thirds of the organization’s electricity use with renewable power.

Another Bay Area native, San Francisco’s famed Grace Cathedral, worked with SolarCity to install an unobtrusive solar system on the city’s landmark. The next time you’re on Nob Hill, see if you can spot it (We bet you can’t).

In Southern California, SolarCity teamed with the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Board of Rabbis of Southern California to help eleven synagogues install solar for the Jewish Birkat HaHammah (Blessing of the Sun) holiday observance in April 2009. SolarCity custom-designed and installed a solar array and battery storage system to power each ner tamid (eternal light) re-fitted with a new LED lamp. Beginning with this celebration, the sun will power the ner tamid to stress sustainability.

Other places of worship that have adopted solar in California include Campbell United Church of Christ; Congregation Beth David in Saratoga; Fair Oaks Church in Concord; First Congregational Church of San Jose; Grace Lutheran Church in Culver City; St. Cross Episcopal Church in Hermosa Beach; Temple Isaiah in Lafayette; the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno (in Clovis); and the monastery at Woodside Priory.

Solar Citizens: The Syltebos; Portland, Oregon

The Syltebos heard opportunity knocking on their roof. The couple recognized that the west-facing roof space on their Portland, Oregon home could generate enough electricity for their appliances and air conditioning. At the Portland home show they became convinced to go solar sooner than later. The Syltebos were focused on selecting a full service solar provider in their area and were excited to find SolarCity.

Like many homeowners, the Syltebos had their worries, but when the SolarCity crew showed up and their solar system began producing power, worry turned to relief and then to excitement. “All in all, it turned out to be a pretty darned painless process; in fact, we had some very nice workers around for a few days,” says Tom.

The couple’s system generated more than 3,200 kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2009. That translates to a savings of about a quarter of their energy costs.

Now, except for a meter that lets them see how much power they’re generating, the Syltebos don’t have to think about the little solar power plant on their roof, quietly generating solar savings. “It’s just part of the house,” says Tom.