KidsQuest-Ext-Cam1a-fr0000_2014-02-07
August 14, 2015 | Jen Olson

A&R Solar has done more than 600 installations over the last eight years, but the one we will do in Bellevue at the beginning of September will truly be unique.

Two words: Spandex. Capes.

Solar Hero LogoThat’s right. Our installers will don superhero costumes to install a 16-panel solar energy system on the future home of the KidsQuest Children’s Museum in downtown Bellevue. With a steep metal roof and our guys in bright yellow body suits, the installation should be quite the sight to behold.

The installation is a donation from A&R to KidsQuest as part of the Solarize Bellevue campaign. It’s our way of saying thanks to the community for selecting us as the installer for the Solarize program.

The public is welcome to drop by, take photos, and learn more about the museum, solar energy, and the City of Bellevue’s clean energy initiatives. The installation is set to begin around 11am.

KidsQuest is an educational facility dedicated to engaging children and families in science, technology, engineering, art and math through play. The 4.5 kW solar energy system will serve as a powerful environmental teaching tool and help offset the museum’s overall energy costs.

KidsQuest is moving from its Factoria location to downtown Bellevue in the fall of 2016 to the former location of the Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art on 108th Avenue NE and NE 12th Street. KidsQuest’s new home will provide more exhibit space, more classrooms, an outdoor space, and brand new hands-on exhibits.

The solar system is being installed while the building’s interior is being renovated for the museum opening.
KidsQuest Children’s Museum

panel hoist
August 13, 2015 | Jen Olson

Solar panels weigh about 45 pounds each and measure just over three feet wide by five feet long.

For the average home, we install 16-24 panels on the roof, depending on the size of the roof and electrical consumption. There are a couple of ways we get all of these panels on top of your house: a construction lift and a panel hoist.

Construction lifts are a pretty common sight—you see some variety of them at major construction sites or when utility workers are maintaining the electrical lines.

Panel hoists are like a vertical conveyer belt. An installer places the panel on the hoist at the bottom and another installer retrieves it when it reaches the top of the roof.

Here’s a video our team shot with a GoPro of a panel making its way to the top of a three story home. Lead installer, Will MacArthur, is on top to make sure it arrives safely.

Solar Power World
August 11, 2015 | Jen Olson

We’re really proud that Solar Power World, a leading industry publication, has named A&R Solar the top solar contractor in Washington.

Wow.

A 24-contractor advisory board verified the number of installations each contractor completed, along with the total number of megawatts. The committee also received feedback SolarReviews, which maintains a performance-based quality accreditation for solar installers.

A&R ranked first out of 13 solar contractors in Washington and 242nd in the country.

utility meter
August 10, 2015 | Jen Olson

If you have an old-school analog meter, it really will.

When your PV system makes more power than your home uses, your electrical service meter reverses — you can watch it go backward.

However, utilities have moved to digital metering. These will not give you the satisfaction of watching the meter spin backward, although the backward-pointing arrow on the digital display elicits some joy. If you do have an old analog meter, the utility will replace it with a new digital one a few days to a month after your system is installed.

We captured this meter spin backward after an installation…pretty cool.

July 16, 2015 | Jen Olson
Walla Walla Raindrops 3x4

As a member of our electrical crew, you will be helping us install solar energy systems for residential and commercial applications. We are looking for someone who is dedicated to their work and has a strong sense of pride in the quality of their craft.

PLEASE DO NOT APPLY IF YOU ARE NOT:
-Excellent at bending conduit.
-Comfortable with heights, working on roof tops, and tight spaces.
-A licensed 01 or 02 Electrician in the state of Washington.
-Able to email a resume and personalized cover letter.
-Have a good understanding of the NEC.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
-DC and AC electrical runs, including work on roof tops, tall ladders, and tight spaces.
-Mounting inverters and laying out other electrical components in a clean, organized manner.
-Bending and routing conduit.
-Replacing service panels, adding subpanels, and tying systems in to the utility grid.
-Training our technicians as electrical trainees to guarantee that our commitment to quality is upheld throughout all installations.
-Interpreting PV line drawings, product literature, and referencing the NEC.
-Communicating with utility companies and inspectors.
-Having a working knowledge of OSHA standards, company safety programs, and policies relative to the installation of these systems, and enforcing these safety standards with all personnel under your supervision.
-Representing A&R Solar in the field and being a point of contact for our customers.
-Maintaining a professional appearance and attitude at all times.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:
-Knowledge of electrical, building, and roofing systems.
-Basic blueprint/schematic reading.
-Basic computer skills.

REQUIRED/DESIRED SKILLS:
-Ability to take a Supervisory role on projects
-Customer service/communication skills
-Scheduling/planning skills.

REQUIRED LICENSES AND CERTIFICATIONS:
-Must have WA 01 or 02 Journeyman Tradesman License.
-Must have current driver’s license.
-NABCEP PV certification desired.
-Must have own hand tools and an operating vehicle.

We’re a close knit team and do what we do because we’re passionate about sustainability. We hope you would be too.

This is a full time position; compensation depends on experience. Health, dental, vision insurance, paid time off; retirement benefits; and other company perks are available after 90 days.

Please e-mail your RESUME and COVER LETTER to jobs at a-rsolar dot com and one of us will get back to you. Applicants without both of these requirements will not be considered.

Please NO PHONE CALLS.

A&R Solar is a Seattle-based, employee-owned solar installation company seeking licensed Journeyman Electrician to join our team. We have been installing solar since 2007, and have been recognized as one of Washington’s Fastest Growing Companies the last two years. We are also finalists as one of the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 2015 Best Workplaces.

​A&R Solar is committed to building a culturally diverse workplace and strongly encourages applications from military veterans and female and minority candidates.​

July 9, 2015 | Jen Olson
Palenchar-Header-Image

It takes about minute to send an email to your Senators to tell them to extend the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The tax credit for solar investment is set to shrink after 2016 and extending the credit can help sustain the growth in solar energy.

The ITC is one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to support the deployment of solar energy in the United States. It is a 30 percent federal tax credit that covers solar systems for both residential and commercial properties. Homeowners apply the credit to their income taxes for the year their systems were installed.

Click here to send email to your Senator!

July 1, 2015 | Jen Olson
reeves

A&R Solar is a Seattle-based, employee-owned solar installation company seeking a solar designer to join our team. We have been installing solar for eight years and continue to grow quickly. As a part of the design team, you will be helping us design and estimate solar energy systems for residential and commercial applications. We are looking for someone who is dedicated to their work and has a strong sense of pride in the quality of their craft.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to jobs@a-rsolar.com.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Custom solar designs using aerial imagery, blue prints, 3D modeling, and proprietary estimating software.
  • Conduct preliminary online rooftop property site evaluation to develop an initial system design.
  • Design and produce mechanical, electrical drawings, and permit plans, ready to submit.
  • Prepare formal proposals and quotes for prospective customers.
  • Occasionally perform site-visits.
  • Work closely with sales, project management, and installation teams to ensure client’s needs and internal deadlines are met.
  • Work with building departments, utilities, or other AHJ to insure compliance with local and national codes.
  • Log workflow and communications in company CRM.
  • Maintain current knowledge of the NEC and all building codes applicable for proper solar system design.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Knowledge of basic electrical design theory and concepts.
  • Knowledge of residential and commercial construction.
  • Knowledge of current electrical and building codes.

REQUIRED/DESIRED SKILLS:

  • Experience in architectural, engineering, and/or solar design.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Excel and Word, Google Docs, Gmail, and SketchUp.
  • Excellent organization and attention to detail.
  • Analytic and creative problem solver.
  • Great communicator and team player.
  • Adept at 3D spatial visualization.
  • Reliable self-starter with an ability to balance, prioritize, and deliver results under tight deadlines.
  • NABCEP certification a plus.

COMPENSATION:

  • Starting salary: $40,000+ DOE
  • Comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, vision and dental coverage, an employer-matched 401(k) plan, flexible work hours, employee ownership opportunities and a fridge that usually has beer in it.

We’re a close knit team and do what we do because we’re passionate about sustainability. We hope you would be too. 

ABOUT OUR COMPANY

A&R Solar is a leading Washington solar energy installation and design firm. Employee-owned and based in Seattle, A&R Solar specializes in residential and commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Whether you see solar as the future for your home or business, A&R Solar understands that it’s about more than power. It’s a legacy for future generations.

A&R Solar has installed over 600 systems since they started business in March of 2007. We’ve worked with governments, schools, businesses, and home owners alike, with clients that include King County Housing Authority, Western Washington University, True Value Hardware, and hundreds of residences from Sequim to Spokane. 

With a strong belief that solar energy should be accessible to all, A&R Solar leads in developing community solar programs throughout the state. We’ve partnered with Seattle City Light, Clark Public Utilities, and Benton County PUD to bring large-scale community solar to their customers.

In addition, A&R Solar invests in its community, donating thousands of dollars each year in funding and solar energy to support non-profit organizations that align with their vision of environmental and social sustainability.

A&R Solar provides turnkey solar installations with an unyielding commitment to high-quality craftsmanship and excellent customer service.

We are currently a finalist for Puget Sound Business Journal’s Best Places to Work award.

June 18, 2015 | Jen Olson
A&R Solar - Puget Sound Business Journal Best Workplaces

The Puget Sound Business Journal has confirmed what we already knew—A&R Solar is a great place to work.

Our company was named as a finalist for the newspaper’s 2015 Puget Sound Best Workplaces. Employees filled out an online survey, and our team scored us among the highest based on questions related to job satisfaction, relationships with their bosses, camaraderie with fellow employees, opportunity for advancement and more.

We are proud that our staff take pride in our company and the work we do. Every day is truly a team effort.

Employee owned and operated, A&R Solar has been business since 2007 and is one of Washington’s fastest-growing companies. We strive to create a culture that values and respects diversity and inclusion in the traditional contractor field. We have grown the number of women and ethnic minorities in our company. We give each employee a yearly educational stipend to grow their careers and passions, while providing paternity & maternity leaves, 401k matching, generous vacation, employee ownership, and regular pizza and beer. We do construction a little differently around here.

The top workplaces will be announced during an awards ceremony at Safeco Field in August.

June 18, 2015 | Jen Olson
Clark County PUD Community Solar - A&R Solar

Two community solar projects in Washington State will soon be up and running, offering residents in Clark and Benton counties an affordable green investment that will save them money on their power bills.

A&R Solar is in the process of installing ground-mounted solar arrays in Kennewick and should be done soon. Work on the arrays in Vancouver began on June 1st and is expected to be complete by August. Both are the first of their kind in the counties.

Community solar allows people to own a small stake in a large solar array, and the production is credited on their utility bills. It lets people participate in renewable energy who don’t have homes suitable for solar panels (including renters), those looking for an alternative to investing in a home system, or homeowners who can’t afford the investment

The programs are voluntary. Utilities are required under Initiative 937 to obtain 15 percent of their electricity from new renewable resources such as solar and wind (but excluding hydro). There are currently 40 community solar projects in Washington State, totaling 1.03 MW, according to Washington State University.

Not only will participating customers receive credits on their utility bills but also state production incentives of $1.08 per kilowatt hour.

Both projects use panels and inverters made in Washington, which qualify them for additional savings from state incentives. Overall, new renewable energy resource development in Washington has led to more than $8 billion of investment in the state, creating more than 3,800 jobs and generating more than $145 million in public tax revenue. Results from a 2014 Solar Washington study show that for every one dollar of the Washington State solar incentive redirected to PV system owners, the state sees $2.46 injected back into the local economy. In the case of 2013 installations, $48.2M will be injected in to the economy as a result of the $19.6M that the state will pay out in solar incentives.

Benton County Public Utility District

The Benton PUD project broke ground in April. It has 272 solar panels in an array in Kennewick with a capacity of generating just under 75 kilowatts, enough to power around six homes a year.

PUD customers who signed up for community solar paid $250 per unit, with a cap of 40 units per customer. The utility sold a total of 1,500 units, holding a lottery to accommodate demand. Both residential and commercial customers were eligible.

The money generated from the sale of shares will pay for the project. Customers are expected to recoup their investment within three to four years. They will continue to earn energy generation credits through the life of the project.

Clark County Public Utility District

Clark County PUD sold out its shares in its first planned community solar project so fast that it decided to build more arrays.

The project is made up of five separate arrays. Three of them are 74.8 kW, one is 59.4 kW, and another is 35.2 kW. The panels will produce enough energy to power 30 homes.

Participating customers will pay $100 a share and can buy up to 100 shares. The PUD estimates that customers will recoup their costs within four years. The utility sold a total of around 2,700 shares.

The project uses Washington-made equipment, including panels and inverters from Itek Energy and racking equipment from SunModo.

The PUD gets most of its power from the hydroelectric dams of the Bonneville Power Association. The rest comes from natural gas.

June 17, 2015 | Jen Olson

A&R Solar Installation Washington This post was originally published by A&R Solar customer Nick Strauss on the Northwest Edible Life website. Read the full post here.

We just passed the one year anniversary of our solar power system going live. How do things look after a full year? Pretty good.

First some numbers, then let’s talk about how we got there.

When A&R Solar installed our system, they estimated it would produce 5,200 kWh of electricity per year. Based on past usage, that should have offset 39% of our consumption.

When we went forward with the installation, we also set ourselves the goal of reducing our ridiculous electrical use as much as possible, hoping that we could even live entirely within what we produced.

Overall, we did okay. Over a full year, we ended up producing enough electricity to offset 74% of our consumption, about twice what was forecast. solar system production washington Some of that came from cutting our consumption and some from our system producing better than 25% more electricity than estimated.

Continue reading on the Northwest Edible Life website.