Biz Buzz: Solar company wins big Arizona job

San Luis Obispo-based REC Solar has scored what it claims is the largest solar installation on a carport in Arizona.

According to REC, it has been awarded a contract to design and install a solar electric carport-mounted system at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System in Tucson. The installation, which will cover six different parking structures, will be REC Solar’s second installation for the site in Arizona.

New company President Kam Mofid, who was brought on in June to handle REC’s growth, complexity and logistics, said the two systems in total will generate more than 3.2 megawatts; a typical home installation generates about .005 megawatts a year.

He declined to say how much the sale was worth, although he said the deal “was a big win.”

The Arizona transaction also shows the transformation of the company from supplying solar panels to homes to becoming “a very significant player in the commercial market,” Mofid said.

Before coming to REC, Mofid was president of the green technology arm of Teleflex Inc., a Pennsylvania-based company focusing on alternative fuels, emissions reduction, power management, and climate control products and technologies. Prior to Teleflex, Mofid was director of global materials and logistics at Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies company in Hartford, Conn., and held engineering and management positions at General Motors in Detroit.

REC, which installs both residential and commercial solar panels, employs about 200 people in San Luis Obispo and about 600 nationwide. It has completed more than 5,000 solar systems since it was founded in 1997 by two Cal Poly engineering students, Fred Sisson and Judy Ledford.

The company closed 2009 with about $150 million in sales, and projects it will end 2010 “comfortably north of $200 million,” Mofid said.

— Melanie Cleveland