Solar energy has grown in popularity in recent years. Yet despite its popularity, we are not new to using solar energy. In fact, people have been using the power of the sun for generations, whether hanging clothes outside for the sun to dry and sanitize them or planting a garden to use the sun’s rays to grow food. But, solar energy has been used in other ways long before modern solar panels were invented.

Spring green garden in a wooden box under the sun’s rays

As early as 7th century B.C. humans used sunlight to light fires with magnifying glass materials. In 3rd century B.C., the Greeks and Romans used mirrors to harness solar power to light torches for religious ceremonies. In the late 1700s and 1800s, sunlight was sometimes used to power ovens for long voyages.

While we have used solar for generations, the power of the sun was mostly ignored in recent centuries with other forms of energy: coal, oil, nuclear, predominating. But the future is in clean energy so A1A Solar was founded in 2010 to provide highly qualified services in the design and installation of solar power plants for homes and businesses.

Historians claim that Archimedes, a Greek inventor, put solar energy to use already in the 3rd Century BC. He destroyed enemy ships with fire during the Siege of Syracuse with a “heat ray”, which supposedly was a collection of mirrors that concentrated sunlight onto the ships. Whether or not Archimedes’ invention has any root in reality is uncertain. 

WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?

The “what” is easy: A1A Solar makes happy customers  by delivering solar plus storage solutions to our clients.

The “why?” Is more complicated. Owner Pete Wilking founded this company after serving as a Naval officer. He worked for another solar company in Jacksonville in operations and sales, before deciding he could do it better himself.

Power plant using renewable solar energy with sun

Filling a need
Pete believes first and foremost in a business model that makes customers happy. By delivering quality workmanship, the best materials, and excellent customer service, Pete believed that he could establish a company in Jacksonville that met a need. For over ten years, A1A Solar has steadily built a stellar reputation for quality and service.

Stewardship
We believe in the future of renewable energy, and that solar plus storage is an important step toward preserving the planet. The more companies and individuals take steps to reduce their carbon imprint, the less fossil fuel is burned. Our local utility companies all use a mix of coal and natural gas. Florida Power and Light also uses nuclear energy. The less fossil fuel is burned, the better our environment will be.

The concept of stewardship is integral to the “why.” At A1A Solar, we believe in leaving the world a better place. Our ability to impact the world entire is limited, but we’re working to save it one rooftop at a time.

Pete Wilking

Independence
The ideas of liberty and freedom are wrapped into solar. In Florida, homeowners have no choice in utility companies. This means that depending on where you live, you will pay what the utility company tells you to pay. If the company pushes a rate hike on you, you have no recourse, no freedom to choose another company. The utilities act as monopolies.

The only way to have control over your electric bill is to go solar. We believe that this is a fundamental choice, and an innately American choice to make. We are a nation founded upon the ideals of personal liberty, and self-reliance. Going solar is as American as apple pie, sweet tea, and hot-dogs.

Solar Power = Freedom from Utility Electric

Security
We enjoy providing back-up power for customers who worry what will happen when the grid goes down. We believe that security is important to happiness, and that having solar plus storage is a great way to make people happy.

Community
A1A Solar is very much a part of the Northeast Florida community, creating good jobs for over twenty employees, donating to local charities, and actively engaging with other businesses through the Chamber of Commerce and many other local organizations.

As a small business, we have changed the lives of many for the better, and this, too, is a reason we exist as a company.