The vital role that the sun plays in life on earth has been recognized and celebrated by virtually every culture in human history. All over the world, ancient peoples from the Egyptians in Africa and the Aztecs and Mayans in the Americas, all the way up through the Greeks and Romans in Europe revered the sun, and even sometimes personified and worshipped our star as a deity. Given the immense abundance and usefulness of its energy, it was only a matter of time before our interest in the sun moved from the metaphysical to the practical. And while nowadays we tend to think of solar power as being a relatively new field of study, the truth is that human beings have been harnessing the power of the sun for not just hundreds, but thousands of years.
The first people known to have implemented the use of solar energy on a large scale were the Ancient Egyptians, who used it to heat their homes. They designed and built their houses so that the buildings stored up the sun’s heat during the day and then released it at night. Their building techniques not only kept their homes warmer at night, but also helped regulate a cooler temperature indoors on hot days. Romans and Native Americans both used similar technologies to heat their homes, as well as other types of buildings like Roman bathhouses.
In the 3rd century B.C. the Greeks made history not for using solar energy for domestic comfort, but—allegedly—as a weapon of mass destruction! The story (which to this day is a hot topic of dissention among scientists and historians) goes that a Roman naval force was sailing to sack the Greek citadel of Syracuse. With the help of the inventor Archimedes, the Greeks are reported to have used highly polished metal shields as mirrors to amplify and focus the rays of the sun—and set fire to the advancing ships!
For more stories of how people have studied and made use of solar energy over time, stay tuned to this blog and our continuing series on the History of Solar Power!
As of this fall, Riverside celebrated a major milestone in its goal to become a green leader: the city is now producing 5,000,000 watts of solar energy per day, or enough to power 3000 homes! Having hit this threshold mark of 5 megawatts, Riverside takes its place next to San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles as a key producer of solar power in CA.
City officials, who number the count of operational solar systems at 450, cite steady growth in the development of local energy resources over the past three years for the achievement, as well as the leadership and commitment shown by the Department of Public Utilities in their efforts to make Riverside “an emerald city.”
“A key component in our plan to create a clean and green city was to increase our use of renewable energy resources and to make those technologies available to our residents,” Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge recently told the Southwest Riverside News Network. “The continued growth in Riverside’s solar portfolio is proof that the path we have paved is leading us to become the model solar city that we envisioned.”
As we begin the renovation of our new 165,000 sq. foot office and warehouse—including installation of a sprawling rooftop solar system—in preparation for our move to the heart of Riverside, SolarMax is proud to partner with local government and the greater community to ensure that the future of solar in Riverside is brighter than ever!
Did you know that during the recent summer heatwaves, the state of California generated a record-breaking 1000+ megawatts of solar power? That’s the same amount of power produced by not one, but two large gas-fired power plants—except with solar, that energy is clean, green, and produced from an abundant renewable resource.
These sky-high levels of power generation were hit not just once, but several times over the past few months according to officials who operate the state’s power grid. And with new solar installations cropping up all over, this extraordinary milestone is only the beginning!
And it’s not just companies who are reaping the benefits of all that California sunshine—homeowners are catching on quick to the smart savings of clean, affordable solar power too. Over the summer, SolarMax Technology Inc. installed and sold over 600 residential solar power systems.
“The high cost of cooling and powering a home in Southern California really grabs the attention of homeowners when they see their electric bills double and triple in the summer,” said Guillermo Santomauro, SolarMax Technology sales manager. “We’ve installed a significant amount of solar panels in the Inland Empire this past summer, notably in Temecula, San Bernardino County, Palm Springs, City of Riverside and in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.”
In addition to being affordable, solar power systems are reliable. And with city, state and federal solar rebates, more and more homeowners are turning to solar power as a way to immediately lower or eliminate their high cost electric bills. Ready to get a leg up on next summer’s energy bills, and start seeing household savings all year long? Call SolarMax for a free quote to install a solar system for your home!
We’re excited to announce that the groundbreaking ceremony for SolarMax’s new headquarters in Riverside, CA is set for Monday, November 5th! Our company plans to begin occupying the new 165,000-square-foot office and warehouse by the end of the year, in a move that is expected to bring 1,600 new jobs to Riverside.
Accordingly, our hiring frenzy is expected to continue. Soon we’ll be looking to hire marketing, sales, office, and warehouse workers. All parties interested in applying for these jobs are encouraged to contact our HR department.
Over the next two months, we’ll begin renovating our new space, including adding a state-of-the-art solar rooftop. When finished, the building will also house other green businesses and services. We couldn’t be more excited and proud to continue our work with UC Riverside and the greater business community in our new home.
Attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony is by invitation-only. Over 100 invited guests are expected to attend!
It wasn’t long ago that large retailers began featuring green-branded products on their shelves and promising to implement “going green” into their day-to-day operations, but these days? “Green” has graduated far beyond buzzword territory. All around the country, policies that reduce our carbon footprint and dependency on fossil fuels, and that make use of local, renewable resources are becoming business as usual. And at the forefront of this movement? Yep, it’s no surprise to us either: clean, affordable and naturally abundant solar power.
According to a report released jointly in September by the Solar Energy Industries Association and advocacy group, the Vote Solar Initiative, large chain stores are turning their roofs into money-makers by using solar panels to cut their energy costs. Walmart, CostCo and Kohl’s are among the companies who have made great strides in 2012 to increase the number of stores they operate with solar installations on their rooftops; Kohl’s alone expects to have 150 locations operating on solar power by the end of this year. IKEA plans to have solar panels installed on all of its U.S. locations by the end of the year, and retail titan Walmart already has 150 solar locations—and expects to increase that number to an astounding 1000 by 2020!
One reason for the retail solar boom is that technological advances over the past few years have drastically brought down the price of solar panels. But like many homeowners, large chain retailers are also taking advantage of new financing options like leasing solar panels from companies like SolarMax Technology.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Rhone Resch, chief executive of the Solar Energy Industries Association said of the retail solar boom, “Five or six years ago, you probably would have read about a pledge in an annual report about what they’re doing for the environment. Now what you’re seeing is it’s a smart investment that they’re making for their shareholders, and this is a standard business practice.”
If you’re interested in more information about putting your roof to work for you at your place of business or at home, contact SolarMax Technology today!
SolarMax Technology Cools Heat for 600 Homeowners!
October 03, 2012 12:03 PM Eastern Daylight Time
CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Homeowners are turning to solar power – amid the heat waves and rising energy costs – to cool down and save money on their electric bills. Over the summer, SolarMax Technology Inc. installed and sold over 600 residential solar power systems. Read more…
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Thought to be the first of its kind, an exhibition of about 20 solar-powered artworks created by international artists debuted last month in Broken Hill, a historic mining city situated in the Australian outback. As per the Broken Hill Art Exchange, the group responsible for curating this exciting project, each piece was designed to be viewed at night and is meant to “utilize and expose solar technology” and thereby to “awaken public interest” in solar power.
Effectively turning the entire city of Broken Hill into a giant, outdoor art gallery, the installations have been arranged so that viewers are given a map to be used to explore the city and its natural surroundings in order seek out all of the artwork—sort of an art- and solar-powered treasure hunt. Additionally, in developing each of their pieces, each artist also worked closely with a local business or organization in Broken Hill, making the greater community not just the location, but an intrinsic part of the process of creating the art. Lighting up the desert skyline with the power of its daytime sunlight, some of the pieces also incorporated audio, video and/or performance aspects.
Notable inclusions? A series of light boxes set up in a grove of trees to make it appear from a distance that there is a house there, emitting light from its “windows.” A starry patch of “sky” showing the stars as seen this month… over Canada. A patch of primordial “ooze” meant to represent the origins of life on earth. And a pack of luminescent dingoes made of empty milk cartons!
As the Art Exchange’s website puts it, “Practicality and poetry… converge to highlight one another… Solar power in this context will offer the artists autonomy for their installations, freeing them from the national grid.” What a creative and innovative way to highlight the benefits of solar power!
Did you know that between 2000 and 2006, the price of electricity went up by 2.5% per year? Unfortunately, that upward trend has continued, resulting in higher bills for utilities customers. Energy costs are projected to climb steadily for the foreseeable future.
To offset these rising costs, many homeowners are choosing to install solar panels, but that’s not the only reason go solar. In addition to the natural advantages of using solar power (a naturally abundant, clean, green, and renewable energy source) the U.S. government provides substantial tax incentives to homeowners who decide to take advantage of solar technology to power their homes. Good through the end of 2016, The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit offers a 30% tax credit off the price of residential solar installation! That’s a savings of nearly a third the price!
In addition to that sweet deal, there may be further savings to be had depending on where you live. In the sunny southwestern states (CA, NM and AZ), for instance, state and local incentives for residential solar installation can include fee waivers, expedited permits and other money- and time-saving benefits. To begin researching local incentives for installing solar-powered technologies at home in your region, you can start here.
And for a free quote for residential solar panel installation in your home, visit our website.
Most people know that harnessing the power of the sun with solar panels is a clean, renewable source of energy, but did you know that people who have solar panels installed on the roofs of their homes and businesses can see a drastic reduction in their monthly energy bills?
Using solar panels allows you to generate your own electricity, which means you draw and use less power from your utility company’s power grid. This directly results in saving money on your electricity bill, but the savings don’t stop there! Incredibly, having your solar system tied in directly to the power grid means that you are actually getting money back from the power company. Here’s how that works:
During the daytime while the sun is shining, your solar panels will sometimes produce more energy than your home or business is actually using. With a tied-in system, this excess energy is fed from your solar panels back into the power grid and stored there for later use. When you feed power back into the grid like this, the dial on your electricity-usage meter actually spins backwards, reducing your monthly bill even further! Depending on how this is measured, some power companies will even allow you to sell the excess electricity from your solar panels to them at a higher rate than that which you’re buying their electricity.
It’s not uncommon for solar-users with this type of tied-in system to see monthly savings on energy of over 80%. In fact, if it weren’t for the standard fees charged by power companies just for being connected to the power grid, some solar users would be able to reduce their power bill to $0 per month! Still, we’re talking about potentially reducing your residential power bill from $150 or so per month to more like $8, a savings of 94%!
For more information about how to reduce your monthly bills using solar power, contact SolarMax today!
We’re excited to announce that SolarMax Technology is moving its headquarters to sunny Riverside, CA at the end of this year! With this move, we expect to create as many as 1,600 new jobs in the area as we continue to expand our business.
“It was the next step in our growth,” says David Hsu, SolarMax Technology CEO. “We were looking at our expansion plans and realized that going to Riverside made sense because not only is it sunny most of the year, but the city is focused on green technology and development and the area is growing.”
Currently, we’re hard at work remodeling our new building, a 165,000 sq. ft. facility near the Riverside Metrolink station, which will house our full sales and office staff, finance department, and distribution workers. Installation crews will also work out of the new headquarters. The historic building, where amphibious tanks were made during World War II, will be getting a solar rooftop during the course of its renovation!
SolarMax Technology plans to make the new building a hub for green technology products and services. “We will also be looking for renewable technology partners specializing in geo thermal, LED lighting, wind, and water treatment,” Hsu added. “We will create a one stop solution for all green related technology, and truly develop Riverside as a Green City.”
We couldn’t be more excited to share this news with you, and look forward to bringing you future updates on this big step for SolarMax Technology and the Inland Empire. Stay tuned for more!