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Solar Currents (As originally published in The Danville/Alamo/Lafayette Today Newspaper, Dec 2012)

By Mark Becker
| May 11, 2014

Read Original Newspaper Article PDF here

Recently I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the Blue Star Moms ( in downtown Danville during their Veterans Day food drive event. I have a warm spot in my heart for these moms who are very proud of their children who serve in our Military. As a young man in the Marine Corps ,  I was somewhat oblivious to my mother’s concerns (sorry,Mom). Now that I’m a parent, I’m able to better imagine the depth of the Blue Star Moms’ emotions when their son or daughter is deployed in harms way.

One year ago, November 18th , Danville native LCplJoshua “Chachi” Corral was killed in action in Afghanistan. When a Blue Star Mom loses their child, they become a Gold Star Mom. The Semper Fi Foundation has been founded in Chachi’s honor. ( God Speed to Chachi and his Family.

Solar industry growth is 13.2% this year. Solar professions are expected to generate 20,000 more jobs next year, outpacing our economy’s 2% growth. Many returning veterans have found jobs in this growing sector of our economy. With over 150,000 solar projects in California, solar customers are having a positive impact on our economy. Contrary to popular belief, USA made products are very price competitive. A recent decision by the International Trade Commission and Department of Commerce penalizes Chinese solar manufacturers for illegal dumping and subsidies. Tariffs averaging 32% have been levied on their products.

Solar Milestone : Recently in California over one megawatt of electricity was generated by solar power in a day. The electricity generated by the solar panels replaced the output of two natural gas power plants.

For most properties, the roof is a liability. A solar system can turn ones roof into an asset. One should not wait until a roof replacement is necessary before going solar; in most cases, a solar system installed today will pay for itself and a new roof in less than ten years. No matter what kind of home improvements you may be contracting, a professional should manage the project, especially if there are multiple trades involved. Managing as an “Owner-Builder” is highly discouraged by the California Contractor’s State License Board ( Before entering into any construction contract, spend some time educating yourself on the CSLB website.

By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar

Mark Becker is the President of GoSimpleSolar , by Semper Fidelis Construction, a Danville based Solar Installation Firm. Mark can be reached at 925.915.9252. Come visit GoSimpleSolar’s new showroom at 114 West Prospect Ave. in Danville to see, touch, and discuss solar and energy efficiency products. For more details, see or email