Albuquerque 505-792-6359 Las Cruces 575-305-3028 Santa Fe 505-982-9044
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Full-Service Solar

We design, engineer, install and maintain solar systems for home owners, businesses, and utilities.

Why Go Solar?

-Save money on energy costs
-Clean & renewable energy
-Environmental stewardship

Why CST Solar?

Experience–we install the largest solar systems in Albuquerque and perform installations daily.

CST & sonnenBatterie: The Future of Energy Supply

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Storage that Makes Cents

CST is excited to announce that we are now the exclusive New Mexico dealer for sonnenBatterie, a revolutionary technology for solar energy storage and supply. The sonnenBatterie is not just a battery, it’s an intelligent storage system that automatically adjusts the energy usage in your household to help you save even more money with your solar array. Here’s how it works:

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Morning: minimal energy production, high energy need.
At sunrise, your solar panels start to produce energy, though not necessarily enough to fully cover the morning’s needed energy, causing you to draw electricity from the grid. But if you combine solar with a sonnenBatterie system, the battery will bridge the gap with stored energy produced by your solar the day before.

Noon: highest energy production, low energy need.
Your solar array’s energy generation is at its peak in the daytime. But since nobody is home the energy consumption is very low, so most of the generated energy is stored in the sonnenBatterie for future use.

Evening: low energy production, high energy need.
Generally, the highest daily energy consumption is during the evening when solar panel production is low. But just as in the morning, the sonnenBatterie will cover the energy need with the energy produced in the daytime.

Thus, sonnenBatterie allows you to save money every single day by harvesting energy from your solar array or the grid when it’s cheapest, and using energy from the battery when it’s more expensive.

  • Integrated smart electronics detect excess power throughout the day and store it for use at night.
  • Unique power detection system senses power outages in real time and switches to battery power automatically, protecting you and your family from blackouts.
  • Allows you to engage in “rate arbitrage” – storing energy when it is cheap and running your home on your battery when rates go up.
  • Slim and lightweight, the sonnenBatterie is elegantly designed to fit on any wall in your home.
  • Easy to install, and back-up/off-grid ready.

Contact CST today and speak with one of our Solar Specialists to learn more about how you can further capitalize on solar savings with sonnenBatterie.

(Image courtesy of sonnenBatterie)

Electricity Rates are Rising – Learn How to Protect Yourself

It’s been a hot topic in the news: New Mexico’s largest electric utility, PNM, has proposed a new rate hike of 12 – 14% for its residential customers and 9.3% for small power consumers (i.e. local small businesses) in the year 2016. For residential customers, this rate hike “would mean New Mexico customers would pay at least 50% more to turn on the lights, run the swamp cooler, or charge their phone” (ProgressNow NM). The plan will also hurt small businesses. The Albuquerque Journal recently interviewed Steve Paternoster, owner of Scalo’s as well as two other restaurants in Nob Hill. The 9.3% hike would add $600 more per month to his electric bill. “That’s a pretty sizeable increase on my business that amounts to, like, $7,200 more a year,” Paternoster said in the article.

Though PNM contends that the rate increase is necessary to cover capital investments in generating plants and electric infrastructure through 2016, the utility has reported more than $424 million in income over the past four years. It is expected that PNM will add yet another $20 million or more in this quarter alone. These profits make sense: PNM has raised rates on customers by 41% since 2008! (ProgressNow NM)

In addition to the rate hikes, PNM has also proposed a $6 per kilowatt monthly charge on customers with grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) systems – despite the fact that rooftop solar helps PNM to meet the renewable energy portfolio standards imposed by the state. Furthermore, PNM profits from rooftop solar: PNM buys excess energy produced by rooftop solar from homeowners for about 3-cents per kilowatt hour and then sells it to a non-solar next door neighbor for about 9-cents per kilowatt hour.

Fortunately, this solar fee, if approved, won’t take effect until 2016 and would only apply to new solar customers. Anyone who goes solar before then will be exempt from the fee program.

So how can you protect your home and business from rising electric costs? The answer is to go solar now. With a solar energy system from CST, your electric costs will be reduced and leveled – not to mention the fact that you will not be subject to utility rate hikes. Furthermore, by going solar in 2015, you will be exempt from the proposed monthly solar fee.

To find out more and learn how you can save on electric costs, complete the form to the left, or click HERE. Be sure to enter promo code SAVE NOW. One of our Solar Specialists will contact you soon to help you start saving and combat the electric monopoly.

Confronting Solar Myths: Is Solar Here to Stay?

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There has been some question of whether or not solar is a viable long-term alternative to fossil fuels. This is a valid concern, because humanity cannot sustain coal-powered utilities for much longer, and we need an alternative. But solar has more than proven that it’s not a passing fad. The future of solar energy’s success is apparent in its economic growth, and how it continues to snowball.

The numbers are astounding: solar is one of the fastest growing industries in America. Many small solar business owners have admitted to 100% growth, just over one year. The solar industry as a whole jumped 60% in 2013 alone (Source: cnbc.com).

Not only have past trends indicated how solar is an effective source of energy, but projected growth is “stellar” as well. With new alternative energy mandates, each state must generate 20% of their power from an alternative source by 2020. This alone will continue to stimulate growth, but more than that – people are starting to see just how economical it is to take power production into their hands by going solar.

As far as the durability or longevity of solar energy systems, CST salesman Lou Keniley chose to go solar in the early 1980s. Though his panels are more than thirty years old, they continue to supply all of his power needs on a daily basis. He is living proof of the power of solar energy, and the long life it was destined for, even from the very beginning.

It’s safe to say that solar is here to stay, and it’s making its presence known exponentially as the years pass by. If you’d like to join the solar revolution, please feel free to call or contact us via the form at the left TODAY.

 

SunPower Leading the Way in Sustainability

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SunPower is constantly pressing forward as an innovator in green technology. Although PV panels themselves are eco-friendly, there has been some concern about the environmental impact of their manufacturing process. However, with SunPower panels, customers can rest-assured knowing that this company has made every intention to incorporate environmental awareness into their panel manufacturing processes.

It was announced on October 2, 2014 that SunPower has achieved ‘Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver Distinction’ – the first and only solar company to be recognized for its sustainable panel manufacturing processes. The fact that SunPower was chosen as the premiere award-winner only lends to the credibility of the company’s environmental intentions.

What does the Cradle to Cradle award mean, exactly? Being ‘Cradle to Cradle Certified’ is “a comprehensive product quality standard that evaluates product design, manufacturing, corporate citizenship and ethics principles”. With SunPower, they looked specifically at the manufacturing process for their panels, and how it ranked relative to other panel manufacturers. SunPower now holds the title for most eco-friendly panel manufacturer in the world.

CST is proud to partner with SunPower, the industry leader in green technology. If you would like to take the power back into your hands with the most efficient – and sustainably manufactured – panels in the world, call CST today.

CST Customer Spotlight: Mr. McCracken

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Henry and Deanna McCracken live out on a flat, broad plain slightly east of Albuquerque, in Moriarty, NM. Their plot of land is spacious, and they have two peacocks that roam the property, which is situated alongside a stretching dirt road. Although it’s a bit hard to find, you can’t miss the large ground-mount array located just due South of their house. It offsets nearly all of their electricity, and there’s even room for expansion in case they’d like to supplement all of it.

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When asked about his journey with CST, Henry McCracken reported that he “went to the internet for researching the solar companies and products and warranties, CST beat all others hands-down”. CST offers the best workmanship warranty in the entire state of New Mexico: 15 years of protection that no other solar integrator provides. Also, as a SunPower Elite Dealer, we offer the SunPower 25-year combined power guarantee, 25-year product warranty, and system monitoring.

When asked about his experience after the array had been turned on, Henry offered up no complaints. As a Navy veteran, he was able to further capitalize with our VA discount, and he took special notice of the fact that CST solarized the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque. Mr. McCracken was that much prouder to be associated with CST.

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He reported that he and his wife “are very pleased with the system and all employees that [they] have dealt with”. He showed his electric bill physically, pointing out the mere $22 total with glee as his bills without solar cost his family hundreds of dollars each month.

If you would like to be as proud to own your energy as Mr. McCracken, please call CST for your free solar energy estimate today.

NOW is the Time to Capitalize on Solar!

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It has been said that 2013 was a “record-shattering” year for the solar industry; the solar economy grew an astounding 41% from 2012. Although that’s an anomaly in itself, that statistic will probably be outdone by 2014. It seems that, every year, the popularity of photovoltaic (PV) solar grows by leaps and bounds. But why is that? Is it simply because people realize that limited supplies of gas and oil simply won’t cut it anymore? Most likely not.

In 2013, “Solar accounted for 29% of all new electricity generation capacity…up from 10% in 2012.  This made solar the second-largest source of new generating capacity behind natural gas”. Another cause of the snowballing popularity of solar is the fact that it’s becoming cheaper and more attainable than ever. According to SEIA.org, “…PV system prices fell 15% in 2013”. Is it predicted that solar will outdo itself as the number one renewable and overtake all other energy sources to become number one period by the year 2050.

Two variables that are heavily encouraging mass amounts of both commercial and residential PV purchases are 1) tax credits and other rebates and incentives and 2) consistent payments, eventually no payments. The tax credits are a given, because you can receive 30% of your system cost back from Federal rebates. You can also receive an additional 10% solar tax credit in the state of New Mexico.

Now is the time to capitalize. It’s been proven time and time again that utility rate hikes aren’t just a threat – they’re going to keep rising; with solar, you own your power and don’t have to fear utility price increases. Furthermore, the other great thing about solar energy is that we’re now in a very important window when PV’s upfront cost is unusually cost-effective.

Take advantage of all of the savings and own your power instead of renting it. If you’re considering taking advantage of Federal and State tax credits, along with the rapidly falling prices of PV systems, please contact CST today.

Another Happy CST Customer – Read About Orien Newton’s Great Experience with CST

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Just this week, CST visited one of our happy customers on to provide a friendly check-up after their installation was complete. Orien Newton had his installation process come to a close in early August, and received his first electric bill last September, which he was very impressed with due to the immense financial savings.

Orien’s first response upon being asked why he chose solar? Money. He noted that his electric bills before solar averaged around $450. After solar, his two electric bills were $49 and $26 respectively. He also added that his realtor expressed encouragement about installing a solar array on the house, as it increases the home’s value substantially.

Mr. Newton communicated that he called four to five solar companies, including CST. Although CST was originally recommended to him through a friend, he wanted to shop around before committing to such an important purchase. Mr. Newton was impressed by the knowledge of CST’s Solar Specialists; he described the Specialist as comfortable and trustworthy. Orien also said that he heard that CST was first to start the trend of residential solar, and he felt confident in our experience as solar integrators.

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Capitalize on Tax Credits Before It’s Too Late!

 

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One of the biggest economic incentives to go solar – the Federal tax credit for those that are eligible – is coming up on a deadline. If you’d like to capitalize on your 2014 tax return, it’s imperative that you sign up for a solar energy system with CST by October 1st, 2014. In order to claim your solar energy system on your 2014 taxes, the system must be installed by December 31, 2014 – so it’s critical that you get in the queue now to secure your installation – and SAVINGS – by the deadline. If you have a tax burden, now is the time to get in line and switch to solar.

Remember that this Federal incentive knocks almost one-third off of the original system cost – add that to the available 10% New Mexico State solar tax credit for a grand total of 40% off of equipment costs. That’s a huge chunk!

Now is truly the best time to convert to solar with CST. The Federal tax incentive program expires on December 31st, 2016, so seizing this opportunity is a must before time runs out.

Call today to schedule your FREE in-home energy analysis and system estimate, or submit your information via the green contact box to the left and one of our solar specialists will contact you soon. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to save with solar and reduce your tax burden!

SunPower Announces 1 Billionth Cell

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CST has always been proud of being an Elite SunPower Dealer, one of two in the state. But we’re now especially proud to announce that SunPower has officially manufactured 1 billion solar cells since its inception in 1985. CST has made it a point to be part of the cornerstone of modern solar technology, and the number one manufacturer of solar cells in the world.

” ‘SunPower is proud of the role we’ve played to help the global adoption of solar, which, over the past 11 years has experienced a 45 percent annual growth rate resulting in nearly 155 gigawatts of installed power capacity today.  This is enough to offset the electricity needs of over 25 million homes,’ said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO.  ‘The SunPower team has worked continually to improve our manufacturing and cost reduction processes in concert with advancements in research and development, always raising our own innovation bar.  Solar is now more affordable, with demand for the residential, commercial and utility scale power plant markets at historic highs.’” (Source)

SunPower offers one thing that no other solar manufacturer does: Maxeon technology. Maxeon solar cells showcase a premium on solar efficiency and quality. The reason that SunPower has come this far is the exemplary tenacity and the unique engineering that they’ve employed to be the best. It’s evident that they really care about the consumer and have instilled several key caveats to their sales process that make others pale in comparison. Their panels are guaranteed to last 25 years, with an efficiency guarantee of 90% after those 25 years. “In 2003, the company began mass production of its A-300 solar cell with efficiencies of 20 percent; and today commercially manufactures solar cells with efficiencies of up to 24.2 percent, the industry’s highest.” (Source)

It’s obvious that solar is here to stay, and with a company like CST you’re getting the premium product quality and financial stability of SunPower included. Go solar with CST, one of only two dealers in the entire state to carry some of the literally billions of SunPower panels.

Save Yourself from Heinous Utility Hikes By Going Solar with CST!

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PNM’s rates are increasing again, at the end of this year. The company is seeking a 2% rate hike to correspond with “…a drop in electricity usage…”. So, essentially in return for the consumer’s modest awareness of their energy usage, they’re going to see a rate hike in their bill. What kind of reward is that, and where will it end?

PNM has had a history fraught with rate hikes, instituted routinely starting in the early 1970s due to something called “cost-of-service indexing”. This is “[a] controversial method [that] allowed periodic automatic rate adjustments according to company expenditures, providing a guaranteed percentage of return to shareholders”. This process is no doubt servicing the shareholders more than the customer, and also taking any sort of power away from the general populous that are usually forced to pay these rising costs out of no other alternatives. It’s taking hard-earned money out of your pocket, for something beyond your control and all for something that’s a necessity of daily life.

But there is an alternative to the snowballing price-gouging and, if you’re a CST customer, you already know what it is. The rate hikes from PNM don’t affect those with solar because they are working toward owning that source of energy. They reap a reward for extra energy generated, and it’s been proven that solar improves home value significantly.

Contrary to the ever-escalating cost of energy from the utility, a monthly payment on a PV system is always the same, and will eventually end. Aside from that investment in ownership, CST’s PV products are safeguarded by multiple warranties and guarantees.

Don’t subject yourself to the whims of the utility any longer. Stop wasting your money. Gain energy independence, make a return on investment and increase the value of your home. Save the planet while you’re at it! Going solar with CST means taking the power back from the utility and into your hands, where it belongs.

CST Making an Impact in Schools

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The CST Team is passionate about education. We recognize that we have a unique opportunity to teach our local communities about sustainability, and thus, help to secure the environmental health of our state for generations to come. We have designed curricular programs to teach students about sustainable practices, and have created hands-on lessons and activities to keep participants engaged. In addition to giving classroom presentations and working with school science fairs in our communities, we have assembled a solar curriculum for Los Lunas Public Schools. Students at Capital High School and St. Therese Catholic School had the opportunity to be in documentaries reporting the benefits of sustainable practices and the integration of CST solar arrays at their schools.

This year, CST solar specialists have visited several schools in Albuquerque and Santa Fe to teach elementary and middle school students about solar energy. Starting with young people is the best way to generate new ideas and solidify an unquenched thirst for knowledge for the rest of their lives. We’re happy to say that the kids were extremely interested and engaged in the presentation and activites, which is quite a feat for a class full of fifth-to-seveth graders! We concluded the presentations with an activity in which the students themselves assembled solar cars and toys, which was the highlight of our visit and the most fun for everyone.

The more we educate children on the possibilities of renewable energy, the more traction it will gain with future generations, thus making the world both a cleaner and less expensive place to live. At CST, we work to spread the light of solar energy today for the benefit of tomorrow’s youth.

CST: All For Solarizing Schools

On June 30, 2010, the American Reinvestment & Recovery Act provided funding for 15 public schools throughout New Mexico to purchase and install 50 kW solar energy systems. The projects were to be completed by December 31st that year – a short six-month span. CST worked at record speed to fully install and activate systems at six of the 15 schools ahead of the December deadline.

Though it was no small task, we’re very proud to say that it went off without a hitch. CST is invested in the betterment of our community, and solar not only saves the schools money but also the taxpayers funding those public schools.

Each system consists of approximately 230 solar panels. CST is honored to have installed solar arrays at the following school districts:

  • Belen Consolidated School District
  • Dulce School District
  • Hatch Valley Public Schools
  • Los Lunas Public Schools
  • Moriarty/Edgewood Public Schools
  • Rio Rancho Public Schools

Outside of that special funding program, CST has continued our mission to solarize New Mexico’s educational facilities. Other schools that we’ve solarized include Sandia Prep, Albuquerque Academy, Capital High School and the national award-winning Amy Biehl Community School in Santa Fe. At CST, we work to spread the light of solar energy today for the benefit of tomorrow’s youth.

VISIT CST’S ALBUQUERQUE SHOWROOM TO WIN FREE TICKETS!

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Tomorrow, August 7th from 12:00 – 1:00 PM, both 99.5 Magic FM and 92.3 KRST FM will be taking over the parking lot of CST’s Albuquerque showroom to give away free tickets to Zoo Music. Zoo Music is an event that’s held annually every summer, and features a broad range of artists performing at Albuquerque’s local BioPark. These two radio stations will be handing out free tickets to the last concert of the season, which is a performance by Sonny Landreth.

Come down to CST from 12:00 – 1:00 PM to enjoy the summer sun and for your chance to win tickets to the absolute last Zoo Music performance of the summer, starring the electric and bluesy Sonny Landreth.

When: Thursday, August 7th, 2014 from 12:00PM to 1:00PM
Where: CST’s Albuquerque Showroom
5225 Pino Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Why: FREE TICKETS to Zoo Music!

Water Week Continues With Amy Biehl Community School

New Mexican water is steadily depleting, and it’s an issue that’s only become more problematic as time has gone on. Because New Mexico is a desert, water conservation is especially poignant in our climate – something apparent even in the watering laws imposed by the State. Additionally, the Ogallala Aquifer, an underground reservoir that has supplied New Mexican farmers for centuries, is steadily declining. At CST, we recognize that desert living requires special attention to water conservation efforts and are excited by the fact that solar energy production can play an important role.

Coal-fired power plants have significant impacts on water supply in the desert southwest. Conversely, solar PV arrays require no water to produce electricity, and only minimum water for periodic module cleaning. A PV array in New Mexico, generally speaking, will save about 1.25 gallons of water per year for every kilowatt-dc of solar array installed.

To give a hard example of the way that solar can save water, we can look to CST’s solarization of Amy Biehl Community School in Santa Fe, New Mexico. By producing electricity with solar instead of coal, they save 95,000 gallons of water per year! In recognition of their transition to solar and other environmental efforts, the school was recently awarded the “Green Ribbon Award”, an accolade that honors fifty schools around the nation that are making a concentrated effort to be ecologically-friendly. It’s a true win-win, all around.

Water conservation is obviously very important, as water is the lifeblood of our planet. Going solar to save money is a very valid reason but, for the future of our wellbeing, saving water through solar is equally essential. What is your water consumption like, and how do you think that CST could save you on both an economic and ecologic scale?

Las Cruces: Proof That Electric Utility Rates Are on the Rise

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A graph projecting the unsustainable rate hikes in California,
one of the biggest solar hubs in the world, from the Rec Solar blog

It was recently published in the Albuquerque Journal that the Las Cruces utility company El Paso Electric is projecting a rate increase over the next year. Though the details are scant, this is another symbol that utility rates have been and will continue to rise. But what does this mean for all New Mexicans, across the board?

On average, electric utility rate hikes range between 5 – 8% per year, which of course will snowball as rates become more and more expensive. Consider the next three years: if the average bill for a New Mexican home is $900 per year, that means that even at the baseline of 5% the rates will climb fairly steeply:

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Of course, if the rate escalations surge beyond the historical 5 – 8%, this number will increase exponentially.

Renting a necessary resource means that the power is – both literally and figuratively – out of the customer’s hands, and that the one supplying said power has all the control. However, owning a system that generates renewable energy puts the power back in the consumer’s hands, where it should be. With a solar investment, rate hikes are non-existent, and payments are consistent no matter what.

Going solar gives you peace of mind not only ecologically, but economically. If you’re tired of the price of power being out of your hands, call CST today for a free solar estimate and take control of your energy.

The Power of the Sun Continues to Shine With SunPower

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Image courtesy of SunPower White Paper

SunPower was recently involved in a study regarding the effects of blocked sunlight, or shading, on the efficiency of their panels. They set up four systems that were shaded by various objects: pipes, a leaf on one of the panels, and a simulated tree. They then tested two Sunpower models, the SunPower E-series and the SunPower X-series against two different systems utilizing standard efficiency panels. The study was conducted by the elite solar lab testing facility PV Evolution Labs. You can take a more in-depth look at the effects of shade on SunPower panels in the YouTube video below.

One of the most interesting caveats of the study is in its conclusion, where it asserts that “it is particularly noteworthy that the SunPower groups outperformed both [the commodity panel] test groups despite the fact that one [commodity panel] test group used microinverters, which are typically believed to mitigate the impact of shading. “

Due to the overwhelming wattage of SunPower panels, they are unable to use the so-called ‘better’ microinverters, which allegedly compensate for blocked sunlight. However, as this study proves, shading problems are no problem when it comes to a SunPower array with a string inverter (that is, one inverter for the whole array, versus multiple microinverters per panel on an array).

Choosing SunPower gives you as the consumer comfort that your money is being used wisely, and that you’re getting the most out of your investment possible.
CST is proud to be a SunPower elite dealer, and we hope that you think carefully about choosing the reliability and cost-effectiveness that Sunpower has to offer when you make the choice to go solar.

Solar Companies Still Backing Chinese-made Panels

A few months ago, CST posted a news item regarding the tariffs enacted on the myriad of Chinese companies flooding the solar market with cheaply made panels. This continues to be a problem despite the tariffs, and some American companies are standing firmly with these Chinese manufacturers. One the biggest PV suppliers next to SunPower is standing with Chinese manufacturers, citing claims of supporting American jobs. They almost exclusively lease out their panels to consumers, which they import from China on a frequent basis. Leasing gives them the opportunity to reap the rewards of the tax incentives that would normally go to the customer, if they chose to buy the panels over leasing them.

This company claims that eliminating Chinese manufacturers from the buying process would also eliminate many jobs, while many American manufacturers are shutting down due to being unable to compete with such high-volume and low-cost panels. It would seem that, rather than stimulating the U.S. economy, jobs are being eliminated due to Chinese manufacturers. Solar manufacturing is so embedded in the Chinese economy that many factories are government-owned, so it’s perceived that they have the upper hand over American manufacturers.

Consolidated Solar Technologies chose to be an elite SunPower dealer because of their American roots, and because they are a vital stimulant of the American economy, as well as the economic microcosm of solar itself. CST believes that it’s important to keep things local, and we’re proud to invest back in the New Mexican economy through American-made products.

CST’s Las Cruces Branch on the Rise!

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Recently, CST’s very own saleslady Sara Zemler had an opportunity to meet with the mayor of Las Cruces, Ken Miyagishima! Sara Zemler has been an integral part of the Las Cruces team, who on the whole have been very impressive in their community betterment and involvement. Sara has been very active in the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce’s “Conquistadores”, a good-will ambassador group. She’s also worked closely with the Home Builder’s Association and various facets of the Las Cruces Chamber, aside from the Conquistadores.

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Sales manager John Ryan is another asset to the Las Cruces team; he recently founded a ‘Green Drinks’ outfit in the El Paso area, marking the first eco-friendly social chapter ever to exist in El Paso. Congratulations to our Las Cruces team for their recognition, and also for their continued support! We here at CST could not be more proud to call them our employees.

CST to Title-Sponsor Rio Grande Charity Slam!

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CST is excited to announce its position as a title sponsor to JCC Rio Grande Charity Slam! This tournament is a fundraiser for the Notah Begay Foundation (NB3), whose official mission is “prevent[ing] type 2 diabetes and its leading cause childhood obesity, through sports and health and wellness programs that are based on proven best practices”. CST is excited to take part in bettering our community. We believe that through the power of the sun, we have the power to make a difference, and the NB3 Foundation aligns perfectly with our vision of community stewardship, environmental awareness, charity and social betterment.

Notah Begay III has had an infamous history of being a professional golfer. Accolades include being a four-time winner of the PGA, a ‘95 Stanford Graduate, and the only full-blooded Native on the PGA TOUR. Currently he is an analyst for ESPN. Also in attendance will be two highly-respected New Mexican non-profits and various celebrities. Hosting the tournament is the Jewish Community Center, which is a pillar of the Albuquerque community and continuously pursues many philanthropic efforts.

The Rio Grande Charity Slam will be held on June 26th & 27th, 2014 at the Santa Ana Golf Club in Santa Ana, NM. So join CST, The JCC, and the NB3 Foundation for the opportunity to play with amazing celebrities and give back to a great cause!

Two CST Solar Seminars in Colorado

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This Saturday, June 7th, CST is proud to announce that it will be hosting seminars for the first time in both Pagosa Springs and Durango, Colorado. This is an exciting expansion into new territory for CST, and we’re hoping to solarize as much as we can in Colorado! If you live in either of these areas, or if you know of someone that does, don’t forget to let them know about the two free solar seminars we have going in both cities! Further information is below.

 

Durango Seminar
Where: Durango Public Library
1900 E 3rd Ave
Durango, CO 81301
When: 10am & 1pm

Pagosa Springs Seminar
Where: Ross Aragon Community Center
451 Hot Springs Blvd
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
When: 10am & 1pm

Bringing Solar to the Streets: Solar Roads May Be on the Horizon!

What if we could offset the cost of utilities not just by putting solar paneling on our roofs, but on our streets? It’s a radical, futuristic idea – until you discover that it’s on the horizon, and that the future of solar is here. Scott and Julie Brusaw, a married couple from Sagle, Idaho came up with the brilliant idea: why not pave roads with extra-strength solar panels? Instead of just solarizing homes, the United States could embed solar into the inherent infrastructure of cities themselves. If every road in the U.S. were solarized, the energy generated would triple the national average of consumption in our country.

Not only would an extensive PV roadway completely supplement the cost of our energy consumption, the roads would also contain LED lights for greater visibility and mechanisms to heat up ice that may be unsafe for drivers. Their multipurpose use is another perk of the proposed PV panels. These roadway panels would be installed behind thick, “impact-resistant casing, similar to bulletproof glass…strong enough to support up to 250,000 pounds”. This durability would eliminate things like potholes and other structural cracks in asphalt. The lack of the darkness that asphalt brings would be another pro; there has often been contention in the scientific community about whether or not black roads bring undue heat to the earth and modify its natural balance.

The husband-and-wife-team claims that what they’ve created so far is just a prototype of their ambitious and visionary end-result. There are still many kinks to be worked out and, more importantly, money to be found. The entire project, from production to implementation, is estimated to cost 52 trillion dollars – not something that the United States has now or even in the near future. But perhaps this is just the start of a gradual crossover to this sort of technology.

Regardless of how slowly this may be implemented, or on what scale, it’s still a tremendous step in the right direction in terms of the future of solar. Solar panels could possibly become an integral part of daily human life, and that is something that CST has envisioned since the beginning. Join the revolution and become a part of the future of solar!

When Solar Goes Wrong: Why You Should Go With CST

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Selecting the right solar integrator is an extremely important task, because not only are you as the customer inviting someone to permanently modify your home, you also trust that the company you’ve chosen is implicitly knowledgeable about what they’re doing. A simple slip-up can cause disastrous results that range from superficial to structural damage. CST received a letter describing one such instance of negligence: a young woman experienced a faulty solar energy installation from an unknown company, a mistake that culminated in the destruction of her roof. She knowingly came to CST – out of trust in our reputation – to redesign and install an entirely new system. Her follow-up letter reads:

To Whom It May Concern:

We purchased a solar PV system from a contractor in Albuquerque who is no longer in business. In dealing with this company, we had nothing but problems. The biggest problem was that this company used penetrating mounts on our flat roof. Initially, we thought nothing of the penetrations in the roof; we just assumed it was common practice. Then it rained which caused our roof to leak and eventually the ceiling collapsed into the house.

After discovering the company was no longer in business, we contacted Consolidated Solar Technologies to see if they could help us. CST immediately scheduled a site visit and completed a full analysis of our PV system. The power ratio was inadequate and many of the panels were in the shade inhibiting power production. It was also discovered that the weight of the system was too heavy for the structure.

CST redesigned the system to adjust the power ratio, moved the panels out from under the shade, and removed approximately 2,600 lbs in extra weight from the mounting system. CST replaced the non-warranted inverter with two 7000 SMA inverters that carry 5-year warranties. CST has also set up the system for monitoring, which the other company promised but was unable to provide.

I would highly recommend CST to anyone interested in install solar PV at their home or business. CST provided great customer service; they have the extensive knowledge and experience that is needed.

This customer was very accurate; CST is part of sister company Mosher Electric, so an experienced commercial journeyman electrician oversees every job. Mosher has had countless design-build electrical contracts with landmarks around Albuquerque, including The Pit and ABQ Uptown. Our relationship with Mosher provides CST with a wealth of previous expertise and solidifies the fact that our integrity is of the utmost importance.

Going with a company like CST is a wise decision that can save a lot of headache; we have yet to find a project challenge that couldn’t be conquered, from the smallest residence to the largest commercial-scale installation. CST never uses penetrative roof mounts on flat roofs, and would never cause the damage detailed in the letter above. We believe in our consumers, and value their experience very much; that along with the combined knowledge and experience of our team means that we eclipse every other solar company in New Mexico, in terms of quality.

And isn’t choosing a company that you trust truly the bottom line, especially when your home is involved? Choosing CST for solar installation means peace of mind that you just can’t get anywhere else, a fact supported not only by a superior installation process, but also by our stellar customer relations and the unmatched warranties that we offer. Our aim is to protect you as the liable client . If you’re considering solar for your home or business, make the safe choice with CST and see why we have the power to make a difference!

Join CST at the Santa Fe Green Festival!

This Saturday, The New Mexico Green Chamber is hosting the Santa Fe Green Festival, and CST is proud to be an attendee. This event will give green businesses and organizations based in northern New Mexico a chance to showcase their green products and services in an effort to help improve our environment. CST will have a booth at the event to promote solar energy as a major step in the green direction.

Green Festival is held in conjunction with the Santa Fe Farmers Market, and festivalgoers can experience various forms of renewable energy, organic grocers, electric vehicles, and interactive displays! There will be loads of things to do, for all ages and members of the family. This event is a great networking and branding opportunity for all of those involved in the green industry, and a way to get the word out about the impending and important future of green endeavors. It’s also a fantastic way to learn more about solar, and how its impact will aid in cleaning up our environment.

Come visit CST at the Santa Fe Green Festival this Saturday!

Santa Fe Green Festival
Where: El Museo, @ the Santa Fe Farmers Market, 1607 Paseo De Peralta #1, Santa Fe, NM 87501
When: Saturday, May 17th, 2014 from 8:00AM – 4:00PM
Why: To learn more about solar energy, and various ways to keep our environment clean!

Government Agencies Increasingly Legitimizing Solar

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It was announced recently that the White House has completed a solar installation, solidifying a big governmental push for alternative and renewable forms of energy. Though the White House solarization is a big deal, government entities investing in solar is nothing new. In the late 1970s, a small solar water-heating system– different from the PV panels more commonly used that generate electricity – was first installed in the White House, to heat water in its West Wing.

Jump ahead forty years, and times have obviously changed. The legitimacy of solar is increasing daily, and more government institutions than just the White House are backing the low-cost, independent and efficient nature of solar power. SunPower, the #1 PV manufacturer in the world, has a list of government agencies that it has worked with throughout its history; that list includes a partnership with fourteen distinct and important Federal entities.

One of the biggest partnerships that SunPower facilitated was its solarization of the Department of Energy, an entity that justifies the gravity of solarizing merely by its name. If even the DOE is backing solar power as a viable and innovative source of energy, and has invested billions into its installation, there is perhaps no bigger testament to the growing future of solar.

Other Federal institutions that have installed SunPower PV panels include the U.S. Navy, the USPS, Air Force, Coast Guard, and the Department of Defense. You can read more about SunPower’s history with Federal agencies here. CST is excited about the integration of solar into the infrastructure of the United States, and the big changes that will transpire with the governmental support of solar energy systems.

Walmart Goes Greener

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Trailing hot on the heels of our last blog post, it’s been announced that Wal-Mart has decided to make some big and eco-friendly changes. In an effort to cut costs on the rising price of utilities, Wal-Mart has started an aggressive campaign to solarize many of its stores, all across the country. The corporation aims to double its solar energy usage by the year 2020, and ultimately cut its energy usage by 20%. This could not be a bigger case for the fact that solar is the wave of the future; Wal-Mart is one of the largest and most successful commercial chains in America, as well as the biggest commercial user of solar. The fact that solar energy is a priority for such a popular retail outfit is yet more evidence that solar is not only the most efficient, but lowest-cost form of renewable energy.

Though eco-consciousness is a factor, Wal-Mart ultimately admits that cutting costs is their bottom line, as a business. They recognize that increasing utility costs are cutting into profits, and as such have decided to install solar energy systems to offset the escalating cost of energy usage. Along with solar energy, Wal-Mart also has several recycling programs that avoid wasteful spending on materials that ultimately become garbage. Their goal is to get to a point where they produce absolutely no waste whatsoever.

In another effort to reap the benefits of a solar energy system, “Walmart’s [system] is tied to the power grid, which means that if it generates more power than the store can use, it will be put back into the grid and the store will get credit for that extra energy”. So in addition to cutting out the rental of electricity, they also directly benefit from their solar energy production like many of CST’s customers have in the past. Consolidated Solar Technologies is proud that one of America’s staple retailers is taking both their money and energy production into their own hands, and recognizing the importance of doing so. It’s only a matter of time until the rest of America follows suit.

The Costly Nature of Renting Electricity: Rates are on the Rise!

It’s no secret that utility costs have been on the rise, especially recently! An article titled Electric rate shock predicted across U.S. was recently published in the Albuquerque Journal regarding predicted continuous and severe rate hikes from utility companies. According to the article, “the price of electricity has already been rising over the past decade…”. It goes on to explain that EPA emissions regulations are making it harder for coal-powered energy to be used as a viable method of energy production.

Renewable energy competition (including solar) is also marked as a contributing factor for such hikes, but it’s important to view the situation with perspective. The future of solar energy – and renewable energy in general – is undeniable. The utility companies know that their time is limited; more and more people these days are ditching fossil fuels in favor of cleaner and renewable sources, like solar The rate hikes are not causal, but correlational to the fact that humans are becoming more aware of non-renewable energy.

On a related note, another article by the Sierra Club, titled Throwing Shade, details the story of a cancer patient in Hawaii who was going broke paying ever-increasing utility bills until she made the decision to go solar, to cut rising costs. After installation, the Hawaiian Electric Company refused to approve the solar energy system, and as such it was never completed. Her utility bills – upwards of $500.00 a month – were stacked upon her cancer treatment, car payment, mortgage and her loan payment for a solar energy system that was doing her no good.

Apparently there have been several instances of utility companies trying to set up roadblocks for solar energy installations, sometimes masking it as an oversaturation of the grid that could cause energy problems for neighborhoods and communities. The utilities are threatened by renewable energy’s effect both on their livelihood and the economy surrounding fossil fuels as an energy source. Fossil fuels like oil and coal are in limited supply, and renting usage from a power company will eventually be obsolete.

The bottom line here is that utility companies are only going to continue to hike prices for the mere rental of an ever-depleting energy resource – unlike solar energy which is a solid, clean source that generates a return on investment. It’s ultimately an achievement in energy independence. CST is confident that solar energy will soon be an accessible and low-cost decision for most homes in the future, leaving dated and expensive energy production methods by the wayside.

Celebrate Earth Day & Take Advantage of Special Promotional Pricing

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As you’ve probably guessed, Earth Day is one of our favorite holidays here at Consolidated Solar Technologies. Solar power is at the forefront of technology, and utilizes a renewable resource to create clean, sustainable energy.

The history of Earth Day comes with increased awareness of how humanity has affected – and will continue to affect – its environment. Starting in 1970, Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson felt especially disturbed by an oil spill in Santa Barbara, and wanted to create awareness surrounding the treatment of our only home. Nelson, then a senator, felt it was his political and civic duty to start a grassroots campaign to raise such awareness.

What resulted were twenty million Americans banding together to spread the news about ecofriendly options, as well as shocking transgressions against the environment. Since then, eco-consciousness has only snowballed, coming to a head with the advent of solar energy systems. Solar has the ability to provide a natural source of energy without sapping the Earth of its resources. You can read more about the history of Earth Day here.

In honor of increasing awareness about the need to utilize renewable resources for energy, such as the sun, CST is offering a special promotional price of $0.30 off per watt, up to $1,000.00 when you sign with us now through April 30th, 2014. Please fill out the contact form to the left and mention this promotion to get this limited-time offer. We believe that it’s in your best interest to go green, for the good of us all!

Solar Tax Savings Extravaganza

October 6th & 7th 9:00 am. – 5:00 pm.

We are hosting our last big sale of the year. Time is running out, come in this weekend to take advantage of this years’ 2012 tax credits.

Register to win an iPad or a chance to win one of 4 Gift Card give-aways. Enjoy great food and beverages, reduce your 2012 tax liability, plus enjoy Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta.

As always, make sure to tell your family and friends about our last big sales event of the year. Remember, you can earn an easy $250.00 for referrals on any sold residential system.

Consolidated Solar Tech. at 5225 Pino Ave NE, just south of Ashley Furniture on the I-25 frontage road.
See you there,

The CST Family

Authorized Dealer

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