Have you considered investing in solar energy but want a hands-on look at the technology with the guidance of experts at your side? Bellmore’s newest business, PowerBoy, is the first store in the nation offering just that, according to owner and founder Jim Solano.
PowerBoy is a one-stop shop for solar accessories big and small, offering dozens of products in the solar-powered industry, all personally-approved by Solano.
“I test out and approve of everything in the store,” Solano said. “It’s all quality.”
On display are a staggering number of solar products — backpacks that can charge your devices, rechargeable car-jumpers, radios, lamps, generators, flashlights for emergencies and, of course, solar panels. All of the products are noise-free and environmentally friendly, Solano said.
With decades of experience and an engineering degree under his belt, Solano has built his career on spreading solar technology. As the CEO of STF Group, he has spent the past decade working on a massive 2,000-acre solar panel field in Nevada. The field will generate 100 megawatts and eventually expand to be the largest solar panel field in America, Solano said. To put that in perspective, the average home uses about 10-15 kilowatts of power per day.
STF Group also has established solar fields in West Virginia and North Carolina. A bid is currently out to acquire the Oceanside landfill, which Solano plans to convert into another field if approved.
The task of offering easily accessible solar technology could not be done alone, though. Solano teamed up with Built Well Solar, Long Island’s original installers of solar panels on homes. Shoppers can get their hands-on look at the products, and experts from Built Well Solar will check buyers’ houses for structural integrity and install the panels.
“Now, you don’t need outside sources,” said Dan Sabia, the founder of Built Well Solar. “Long Island has everything you’ll need. People can see the panels, Jim will supply them and we’ll install them.”
Starting out in Bellmore in 2001, Built Well Solar has expanded to help provide solar panels to over 75,000 homes. Customers can schedule appointments at PowerBoy to speak with consultants about their options and to get help on finding the right equipment for them.
Solano is also the pioneer of his own alternative energy technology, too. On display in PowerBoy is his self-designed and built wind turbine. Standing about five feet tall, the wind turbine — named the Loop Wing — will soon be available for purchase for upwards of $12,000. It can sit on the rooftops of businesses, helping to lower electric bills with its airplane-engine inspired design.
“The is the first small, well-crafted wind turbine that will be available,” Solano said. “Other wind turbines need parts replaced every couple of years. This will last six to eight years with no damage.”
For both Solano and Sabia, the new store will give solar power access to thousands of more Bellmore and Long Island residents.
“If you’re shy about solar,” Solano said, “you can come take a look and get your feet wet and get educated. And here, you can actually see all of your options.”
PowerBoy can be found just east of Bellmore’s P.C. Richard & Son on Sunrise Highway.