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1st Solar

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LAST UPDATED: March 18th, 2021

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina and founded in 2017, 1st Solar is a residential solar PV systems dealer that operates in six states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, California, and Massachusetts. 1st Solar is well-versed in all the tax incentives and credits available in these states, and can help homeowners qualify for these money-saving assets through solar panel ownership.

Readers should note that 1st Solar is a solar PV dealer, not a residential rooftop installer; consequently, customers may need to obtain specific information like workmanship warranty and financing options from the installing company.

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The Good

  • 25-Year Equipment Warranty
  • Quality Solar Inverters
  • Available in Multiple States
  • Solar Panels

25-Year Equipment Warranty

1st Solar advertises a 25-year manufacturer warranty, which means that, should a system component (solar panel, inverter, etc.) be damaged or defective in any way prior to installation, the company will replace the fault part at no cost to the homeowner for the first 25 years of operation. This is essentially a lifetime guarantee on all 1st Solar energy systems.

Quality Solar Inverters

Among other brands, 1st Solar uses solar inverters from SolarEdge, a leading manufacturer in the solar industry. SolarEdge inverters convert solar power at greater than 97 percent efficiency, are easy to navigate for homeowners, and are incredibly cost effective to install. These inverters are also compatible with system upgrades like solar energy storage batteries.

Available in Multiple States

Despite only being in business since 2018, 1st Solar is well represented, and operates in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, California, and Massachusetts. Most new solar companies only serve one or two states; this broad service area indicates 1st Solar has the resources to serve a wide customer base.

Solar Panels

1st Solar uses SunPower equipment for installations. SunPower equipment is some of the best in the industry and has been proven to be very effective. 

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The Bad

  • Specifics Vary by Installer
  • No NABCEP Certification

Specifics Vary by Installer

As mentioned above, 1st Solar is a solar dealer and operates through a network of local installers to help homeowners make the switch to solar energy. As a result, several important factors such as workmanship warranty and specific financing terms, are left to the discretion of the solar installation company.

Although the introduction of third parties into the solar installation process does not imply customers will receive a poorly made solar PV system, the lack of dealing with a fully integrated solar company places greater responsibility on the customer to secure vital information. 

No NABCEP Certification

1st Solar does not appear to have a certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). While the absence of this certification does not imply poor service or installation quality on the part of the company, an NABCEP certification means a solar company has taken additional steps to ensure its technicians are properly training on the latest solar installation techniques. It can sometimes be the difference-maker for customers comparing multiple companies.

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The Bottom Line

If you live in North or South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, California, or Massachusetts, 1st Solar may be a solid choice; however, be advised that 1st Solar will not likely be the company physically installing your solar energy system. Interested customers are encouraged to read up on 1st Solar reviews, obtain a free quote from the company, and compare its network of available installers to other leading companies in the area. 

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