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Mount Shasta-based business Wholesale Solar is now Unbound Solar

Mount Shasta Herald
As of Jan. 1, 2020, all newly constructed buildings under three stories be equipped with solar panels. Formerly called Wholesale Solar, Unbound Solar provides do-it-yourselfers the materials they need to make the switch.

With its roots as a solar electric systems solutions provider for the do-it-yourself, off-grid homeowner, Mount Shasta-based Wholesale Solar changed its name on Oct. 26 to Unbound Solar, part of Unbound Renewable Energy, Inc.

One of the main reasons for the name change, according to a press release from the company, is to “reflect the broadening of the company’s offers to a wider customer base.” 

Unbound Solar continues to work with off-grid do-it-yourself customers; the company also has in depth experience working with homeowners who want their solar electric system connected to the electric utility grid, battery storage solutions and home builders and contractors who are integrating solar into new construction and responding to increased requests for solar improvements to current properties.

“Unbound Solar is redefining the way people buy, install and benefit from renewable energy,” said Unbound Solar’s CEO Wil VandeWiel. “With access to equipment from all the leading manufacturers, we don’t have the limitations that other solar providers, distributors or installers may have.”

“Established nearly 30 years ago, Unbound Solar continues to pioneer the energy revolution by helping customers live life on their terms whether they are off-grid or connected to the utility grid, with battery storage solutions or not,” VandeWiel continued. “This gives customers more control, more choice, lifelong service and, ultimately, unbound freedom.”

Solar electric power continues to be in demand, even in 2020 when many other industries have been adversely affected by COVID-19. 

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According to Wood Mackenzie/SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight, from September 2020 the annual growth of residential and non-residential solar installations this year is 37%.

Currently, there is a U.S. government solar investment tax credit which allows individuals to deduct 26% of the cost of solar installation from federal taxes. 

Incentives such as these have spurred demand with solar comprising 37% of all new electricity generating capacity added in the U.S. the first half of this year, according to Wood Mackenzie. They project the U.S. solar market will install nearly 100 gigawatts of solar between 2021 – 2025 or 42% more than was installed over the past five years. Texas, Florida, California, South Carolina, New York, Oregon, Arizona, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Illinois round out Wood Mackenzie’s top 10 state solar PV rankings for the second quarter of 2020.

On Jan. 1, 2020, California implemented additional building standards which require that newly constructed buildings under three stories be equipped with solar panels. This new mandate is increasing solar electric generation in California. In 2019, the Solar Energy Industries Association reported that California produced enough solar energy to power 7.7 million homes with a total of 27,400 megawatts of solar capacity. 

According to Unbound Solar, over the past three years they have sold systems to customers in all 50 states, U.S. territories including Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Mexico and Canada. In business since 1992, Unbound Solar has helped over 20,000 owners around the world produce more than 100 Megawatts of energy per hour on their own.

“We are finding that people are looking to become more self-sufficient, and we know that solar helps customers achieve a new level of independence by reducing or outright eliminating reliance on the utility grid,” said VandeWiel. “At Unbound Solar, we have the flexibility to design and deliver made-to-fit renewable energy solutions. This ‘do it your way’ approach distinguishes us from more expensive, full-service providers who only install equipment from a small subset of manufacturers.”

VandeWiel continued, “Our commitment is to support this “do it your way” approach by providing the right equipment, designs, expertise and service, including lifelong system support, to meet every customer’s unique needs with the fastest return on investment in the industry.”

While solar installations have been challenged by COVID-19, Unbound Solar has its foundation as an internet-based company, so it was relatively seamless to transition employees from working out of its Mount Shasta and Ashland, Oregon offices to working from home, according to the press release. Customers work with solar technicians and electrical diagram professionals via phone and email to design their solar electric systems and gather all the necessary information to secure permits and applications to interconnect solar to the utility grid. 

Because customers either install themselves or hire local contractors to help with installations, the total cost of an Unbound Solar-provided solution is significantly lower when compared to full service, turnkey installers according to the company.  

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“Once the state restrictions were put in place, we quickly adapted our sales and administrative staff to 100% work at home. As we are considered an essential service, our Mount Shasta warehouse remained, and continues to remain, fully operational with all health measures immediately implemented to ensure a safe work environment,” said VandeWiel. “As a result of the increased interest of our employees to work from home, we decided to sell our building on N. Mt. Shasta Boulevard.”

Unbound Solar is a 100% employee-owned, the company said. Find them at their website: unboundsolar.com.