Tesla Powerwall+

Did you or a loved one experience a power outage during Hurricane Ian? With A1A Solar battery backup systems, you can be assured that you will have power when the grid goes down. A1A Solar has a range of solar battery backup systems to choose from, Tesla Powerwall+ being our most recommended.

What is Telsa Powerwall+

Tesla Powerwall+ is an integrated battery system that stores your solar energy for backup protection, so your power stays on when the grid goes down. Equipped with a Gateway management system and a built-in inverter, Tesla Powerwall+ allows you to monitor your solar energy in real time.

Why Choose Powerwall+

The Tesla Powerwall+ offers the highest standard of residential solar batteries available on the market. With easy installation and minimalist construction, Powerwall+ complements an assortment of home architecture and solar systems. With a compact design, Powerwall+ allows for versatile mounting options for indoor or outdoor spaces.

A1A Solar is an Official Distributor

We are an official distributor of Tesla Powerwall+. With Tesla Powerwall+ you can rest easy that your home will have power. A1A Solar is available to answer any questions on Tesla Powerwall+ plus installation or pricing.

Electric Vehicles

We have some good news to share!

Electric Vehicle sales have been growing strongly and now with many lower priced EVs on the market, driving on electrons is just about mainstream. The economics now surpass conventional fuel vehicles and require very little maintenance.

A1A Solar is currently focused on the residential and small commercial solar market. For residential customers we are offering the Tesla products, including our best-selling Tesla Powerwall 2.0 home energy storage system. We also offer the Enphase suite of products including the Enphase IQ Battery system.

A1A Solar is phasing out our fossil fuel vehicles with the new Ford all electric e-Transit 3500 Vans that will be charged by the solar PV system at our headquarters. 100% of our office/warehouse consumption and about 30% of our vehicle miles will be fueled by domestic American sunshine harvested on our roof. This has been a dream and expectation of mine since A1A Solar was formed in 2010 and we are here now! The way I see it, since EVs are normally charged at the home, solar panels and EVs go together like peanut butter and jelly!

The great news is the latest generation solar with storage systems have the sophistication and reliability only dreamed of in previous generations with pricing that is surprisingly low given the capability. Many of our customers want the security of longer-term grid-down capability without the limitations, noise, and inconvenience of a typical generator. If you have not explored the newest battery-based systems, you will certainly be impressed.

Will Solar Damage My Roof?

Some of our customers have asked: “Can installing solar panels damage my roof?” The answer to that question is “For most homeowners, as long as your solar panels are properly installed, they shouldn’t do damage to the exterior or the infrastructure of your  roof.”

A1A Solar understands this and that is why before we sell a solar contract, we look at the condition of the roof and determine two things 1) whether your roof is in sufficient condition to support solar panels and 2) the best location for installing the panels.As a result, as a potential customer, you can feel confident that A1A Solar has the experience and technical knowledge to install your panels without damaging your roof. 

But that is not all. A1A Solar wants to be sure that its customers are fully protected and that is why A1A Solar is a SolarInsure authorized dealer which means that all the panel we install are protected by the SolarInsure Warranty, the best protection available.

So what is SolarInsure?

SolarInsure is a company with a passion for renewable energies which can transform the world by slowing down climate change and fostering energy independence. Their mission has been to protect consumer investment in solar and accelerate the transition of the world’s population to renewable energies. A1A Solar is proud to off the SolarInsure Warranty to its customers

What is Solar Insure Warranty cover?

SolarInsure offers comprehensive warranty coverage for your solar products which includes remote monitoring, the solar panels themselves and inverters (back up battery systems). They also cover roof penetrations such as the case where the installation is faulty and a leak is attributed to your solar installs attachment or flashing to the roof.

In addition to parts, SolarInsure also covers labor. Plus, the SolarInsure Warranty transfers from homeowner to homeowner, should you decide to move. Lastly, there are zero deductibles to homeowners for covered warranty claims. The warranty is a one-time payment included with your solar installation, eliminating the risk of hidden fees.

Welcome to peace of mind… 

Many solar companies in the market offer warranty plans that limit the coverage which can leave homeowners in the lurch if issues arrive, but with A1A Solar partnered with SolarInsure we can give you the peace of mind to protect your long-term investment. 

So next time someone warns that if you’re “going solar” could damage your roof, tell them you aren’t worried because you are contracting with A1A Solar, an authorized SolarInsure dealer.

Nocatee Farmers Market

A1A Solar will be participating in the June 17th Farmers Market in Nocatee, Ponte Vedra. See details below and stop by!

Come See Us at the Jacksonville Home Show!

Visit us at booth #310 at the show.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Hurricane Hero: A Short Story

Huge hurricane near Florida in America. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

This time, the hurricane did not turn north.

Hurricane Hanna smashed into Northeast Florida packing 140 mph sustained winds, with the eye raking the coast from Ponte Vedra to Fernandina Beach.

Tina watched the news closely all week, as the storm bloomed from a category 1 to a category 4 in the warm waters of the Caribbean. The spaghetti models could not agree where landfall would be, even until the last day. She’d stocked up on food and water, and she knew that she’d be able to ride out the storm and the aftermath because she would have electricity, even if nobody else in her neighborhood did.

The wind howled and moaned like an enraged banshee and her house shook and groaned. Through the small window in her door, she watched the palm trees bend and twist in the pale light of the street lamp. Debris smacked and thudded into her house, as tree limbs, street signs, and yard furniture hurtled through the air. Transformers exploded down the street.

At 3:00 AM the street light went dark, along with the entire neighborhood.

Tina cheeked the Tesla App on her phone. The pair of Tesla Powerwalls were delivering power to her home, exactly as it was designed to do. If the lights even flickered, she did not notice. The Storm Watch software had automatically ensured that the battery would be charged to full capacity before the hurricane landed.

She watched the Weather Channel and fell back to sleep to the sound of wind and rain and thunder.

The next day, the feeder bands passed by and the scale of destruction began to emerge across the city. More than a million people without power. Storm surge flooding miles inland. Some areas would be without electricity for up to a month, as utility companies struggled to fix downed power lines and remove fallen trees.

Tina made herself a cup of coffee and scrambled some eggs, feeling grateful. She checked her Tesla app again, noticing that her solar array was powering her home and recharging her batteries. She had to smile.

The following day was blistering hot, temperatures in the mid nineties, and humid. Tina went for a walk in her neighborhood, picking her way carefully through streets choked with tree limbs and downed power lines. She made a point of checking on many of her friends and neighbors down the street.

Mrs. Wilson, who lived across the street, was a sweet, elderly lady with diabetes who kept an immaculate garden and made the best pecan pie in Florida. Tina stored her insulin for her so that it would not go bad, and put some of Mrs. Wilson’s food in her refrigerator, and she also invited her over for to sit in the air conditioning for a much needed respite from the heat.

Her neighbors on either side were parents with young children. Tina ran an extension cord to both houses so that her neighbors could run their fans to stay cool and so they could let their children play video games. She let people come over to charge their cell phones and tablets.

Tina made her freezer available to neighbors, and stored steaks, roasts, and an assortment of frozen foods for them, glad that she herself would not face the task of throwing out rotting meat and cleaning out her refrigerator.

A few of her neighbors had gas generators, but as the outage dragged on, their noisy generators fell silent because there was no gas to be had. These folks, too, came by Tina’s house for help, and she gladly gave it.

After three weeks, the power in the neighborhood finally came back on, but Tina only noticed because her neighbors came by to thank her and collect their food.

“God bless you,” Mrs. Wilson said, bringing over a fresh pie. “You may have saved my life.”

“I’m just glad I was able to help,” Tina replied.

From that day forward, whenever she walked her dog, people would smile and wave. They started calling her “The Hurricane Hero,” and Tina would just laugh, thinking that she hadn’t done anything anybody wouldn’t do.

“Well, that’s not entirely true,” Mrs. Wilson said. “You were the only one around here who was prepared; there wasn’t anybody else who could do what you did.”

That’s when Tina decided to leave a good review for A1A Solar, the team that had installed her solar + battery system.

A1A Solar has installed Florida’s largest rooftop solar array on IKEA

Leading solar company A1A Solar Contracting has installed 5,472 solar panels on the new IKEA store in Jacksonville, making it the largest rooftop solar array in Florida.

The project provides up to 50 percent of the building’s power consumption with 1.89 MW system, making it Florida’s largest non-utility private solar array. IKEA contracts with REC Solar who will design the system.

Pete Wilking, president and founder of A1A Solar, is confident his team will successfully finish the installation ahead of schedule. To work with IKEA, A1A Solar took part in a highly competitive bid process and went through multiple interviews and a vetting process to install the system.

“REC Solar has made a smart choice in selecting A1A Solar as the solar installer for the Jacksonville IKEA project,” Wilking said.“Choosing a local company means supporting Jacksonville’s economy and keeping jobs local.”

The rooftop will operate under a power purchase agreement with the Jacksonville Electric Authority. The 1.89 MW system will produce approximately 2,753,070 kWh of electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 2,133 tons yearly. JEA will add this array to its total solar energy portfolio, bringing it to a projected 50 MW by the end of 2017.

“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment and contributing to a low-carbon society with solar atop our future Jacksonville store,” said Lars Petersson, IKEA U.S. president, in a written statement. “We have a mission to create a better everyday life for the many, and IKEA Jacksonville can add to this goal and keep us Florida’s largest non-utility private solar owner.”

A1A Solar, already a solar record-setter, installed the then-largest commercial solar rooftop in Jacksonville – 340 panels – for Champion brands, a local beverage distributor.

Commercial solar panel systems help business owners save on utility costs, reduce their carbon footprints, increase power independence and highlight their dedication to the environment. Keeping abreast of the growing solar industry and myriad technological advancements, A1A Solar offers custom options for solar panel systems.

Veteran-owned A1A Solar Contracting provides residential and commercial solar electric photovoltaic design and system installations for homes, businesses and governmental agencies in Florida and Georgia. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners has certified four of A1A Solar’s employees. Learn more about solar options at www.a1asolar.com.

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A1A Solar helps Champion Brands GO GREEN and save $763,000 in utility costs

Champion Brands and A1A Solar

Champion Brands commissioned a large-scale custom solar photovoltaic system from A1A Solar that will save it $763,000 in utility costs over the system’s lifetime.

Champion Brands and A1A Solar
Jacksonville businessmen Earl Benton and Pete Wilking in front of Champion Brand’s solar array.

A1A Solar Contracting, with local offices at 10418 New Berlin Road, installed the solar panel system at Champion Brands’ headquarters facilities. Champion Brands is a premier beverage distributor serving Florida and Georgia customers and suppliers. This is one of its most recent among many environmentally friendly initiatives and investments.

The custom-made solar photovoltaic system includes 340 USA-made modules, which can produce a total of 115.8 kW, mounted onto the roof of the headquarters building. By contrast, the average solar-powered home has about 20 panels. Each of Champion Brands’ 340 solar panels have SolarEdge Inverters with Power Optimizers that increase energy output by tracking the maximum power point and reporting real-time performance.

“Practicing sustainability is one of our core values, and adding a solar panel system to our headquarters is one way to do it,” said Champion Brands CEO Earl Benton. “By reducing our carbon footprint and even our overall corporate utility cost, we can better serve our customers and give back to the communities in which we have facilities. This is something we’re looking at for our other locations as well.”

There will be an invitation-only ribbon cutting ceremony on May 30 to officially “flip the switch” at Champion Brands headquarters at 5571 Florida Mining Blvd. S. in Jacksonville.

By going solar, Champion Brands offsets its energy usage by 169,081 kilowatt-hours per year. To put that in perspective, the company has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions equivalent by 13,371 gallons of gasoline consumed per year. The environmental impact estimates are the equivalent of switching from 4,212 incandescent lights to LED bulbs.

“If 100 additional companies in greater Jacksonville area followed suit, we could reduce the ecological footprint of Jacksonville by 1,260 tons of CO2 emissions per year,” said Pete Wilking, president and founder of A1A Solar. “Champion Brands enlisted A1A Solar to assist in its corporate green initiatives and positively impact our community.”

Commercial solar panel systems help business owners save on utility costs, reduce their carbon footprints, increase power independence and highlight their dedication to the environment. Keeping abreast of the growing solar industry and myriad technological advancements, A1A Solar offers custom options for solar panel systems.

What’s the big deal with having an EC license anyway?

We’ve had an amazing year this year, and would like to take a moment to tout our latest accomplishment! The latest in a string of victories, A1A is now a certified electrical contractor. This means that we are able to perform 100% of the work required to install your new solar array without sub-contracting any of the work. Unlike the vast majority of solar installers in our area, A1A Solar Contracting is both a certified electrical contractor and NABCEP certified!

Why this is important to you

Because we don’t have to use subcontractors, everyone who touches your home during your install will be an A1A Solar Contracting employee.  We hear horror stories from clients who elected to use other companies, and who later turn to us when the project goes sideways and they have issues that need fixing. We hear about faulty electrical work, leaking roofs, prolonged installs, and job-sites littered with cigarette-butts and profanity.

With A1A Solar Contracting, you will have a positive experience with our friendly, highly trained crews during your installation. Our employees are all rigorously vetted and adhere to the high standards of professional responsibility that owner Pete Wilking expects from everyone who wears the A1A shirt.

We are the only solar contactor in the region that’s able to boast an electrical contractor’s license. Not only does this elevate the level of professionalism we provide to our clients, it also eliminates the risk posed by sub-contractors when issues arise. We hear about companies that go out of business, and clients are left without recourse. With A1A Solar Contracting, that has never been, nor will ever be an issue. This means peace of mind for our clients. Solar is a long-term investment, and in many ways a partnership between the homeowner and the contractor. It’s vital to know that the company you are doing business with subscribes to the highest ethics and delivers excellence both during your install and in the ensuing years.

A Company on the Move!

  • Jacksonville Business Journal’s 50 fastest growing businesses
  • 2016 Veteran-Owned Small Business Person of the Year for the state of Florida (Small Business Development Center)
  • AIFBY Chamber of Commerce Green Business of the Year 2013 & 2015
  • 2016 Best Places to Work, Jacksonville Business Journal
  • 78 out of 5 stars on Solar Reviews (www.solarreviews.com)
  • 2016 New office open in Orlando
  • Better Business Bureau Acredited Business (A+ Rating)
  • Region’s only certified solar company and electrical contractor
  • Serving large-scale commercial, government, and residential clients

Our happy clients are our best resource!

Solar Wars Jacksonville

The Battle So Far…

As rooftop solar has grown in popularity throughout the JEA service area, the utility has grown increasingly adversarial to the solar industry. There is no sound reasoning behind this stance, and the arguments the utility makes to support its case are essentially smoke and mirrors. The bottom line is, they feel threatened by rooftop solar, and are fighting to maintain their monopoly on power in Jacksonville.

It shouldn’t be this way.

This month, the JEA board of directors will either approve or deny a proposal to crush the rooftop solar industry.  Their idea is to reduce the buy-back rate for grid-tied solar, wrecking the economics of solar for homeowners.  This would mean that rather than paying a fair rate for the electricity residents generate and sell back to the utility, homeowners will receive credit for only a fraction of what that power is worth.

David versus Goliath

JEA is a huge business, with 2015 revenues of 1.7 billion dollars. The coal-fired plant looms just off 295, and the smokestacks are visible from almost anywhere in Jacksonville. The fossil-fuel industry and public utilities are bedfellows; JEA uses coal for 50% of its energy production.

The utilities, JEA included, are waging a statewide war on solar power in the state of Florida. Their resources are vast and tactics underhanded.

A striking example is the recent Florida Supreme Court decision to place a ballot initiative which the utilities advocated. The utilities employed canvassers statewide to get people to sign a misleading petition in order to get an amendment onto the November ballot. What this will do is place regulatory authority for solar with the utilities, which is like giving the fox the keys to the henhouse.  The language of the amendment is deliberately misleading, making voters think they are supporting rooftop solar, when the truth is the opposite.

JEA is using its size and muscle to stomp on the solar industry in Jacksonville, hurting homeowners and the city itself.  They are behaving this way because they thought they could get away with it, sliding this current proposal in without the public at large being aware of it. Now, amidst public outcry and a flood of negative press, JEA is at least allowing for public input.  They have the opportunity to redeem themselves as a public-owned utility, and partner with, rather than fight the solar industry and consumers who would like the option to generate their own power.

What can I do? It’s easy!

  1. Attend the JEA workshop on solar Thursday, April 7 at 1pm at the JEA offices downtown. These proceedings will be open to the public.
  2. Vote NO on the amendment in November!
  3. Contact JEA and let them know how you feel at solar@Jea.com.
  4. Fill out this form and we’ll get you in touch with the board of directors at JEA