SLO's REC Solar acquires Northern California energy company

REC Solar employees install solar panels at a home in Arroyo Grande in 2010.
REC Solar employees install solar panels at a home in Arroyo Grande in 2010. The Tribune

REC Solar, a San Luis Obispo-based company that installs solar energy systems for commercial customers nationwide, has recently acquired Stellar Energy, a leading solar provider based in Sonoma County, California.

Terms were not disclosed.

The deal will allow REC Solar to grow, solidifying its position as the only fully integrated solar provider that focuses exclusively on the commercial market, the company says.

As a result of the acquisition through an asset purchase agreement, REC Solar will have installed or is currently installing projects generating a total of more than 200 megawatts of power.

Earlier this year, the company said it had completed more than 400 photovoltaic projects. The new acquisition adds 62 more projects to its portfolio.

REC Solar also picked up an additional 28 megawatts of operations and maintenance contracts by purchasing Stellar Energy.

When REC Solar started in San Luis Obispo in 1997, it focused on residential and promotional solar until Sunrun bought the residential sector in February 2014.

REC Solar now focuses exclusively on the commercial market, including agricultural, manufacturing, retail, technology, nonprofit and government sectors.

In February, Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electric company, bought a majority interest in REC Solar, through a $225 million financing partnership.

REC Solar acquired Stellar Energy because of its Northern California location and because the two companies were pursuing very similar types of projects and key customer segments such as agriculture, said Al Bucknam, chief executive officer of REC Solar.

REC Solar retained most of Stellar Energy’s employees (an unspecified number), and Stellar Energy president Ted Walsh joined REC Solar as vice president of business development.

REC Solar will add more jobs to its San Luis Obispo office and is moving to a new facility this summer at Acacia Creek Business Park, 3450 Broad St. in San Luis Obispo.

REC Solar currently does business in 18 states. Bucknam said he hopes to continue the company’s aggressive growth with expansion in the Northeast, as well as continuing to generate business in California — which he describes as the best market in the U.S.

In Hawaii, a large market for REC Solar, the company was ranked by PBN Research as Hawaii’s leading solar firm in terms of 2014 revenue. REC Solar completed 14 commercial projects in 2014, accounting for nearly $55 million in revenue, according to a news release.