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Meet Mohamed Hauter of Elements Solar

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mohamed Hauter.

Mohamed, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Timeline of Major Events in my Life:
2002 – Arrived in America
2003 – Graduated High School
2005 – Graduated Fresno City College
2007 – Graduated California State University Fresno
2008 – Lockheed Martin Co.
2011 – Master’s Degree from Santa Cruz
2013 – Venator Solutions
2016 – Elements Solar

The story begins with a son of an immigrant dreaming big and having little. A dream of a Yemeni kid filled with thrust for knowledge, the necessity to become a person of positive influence, making a difference and helping others. I was infatuated with stories of the great leaders and scientists, such as Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Ibn Sina, Khwarizmi, and many others. I was obsessed with their stories because of what they achieved given the difficulties and obstacles they faced.

The first war I lived through was the Yemeni civil of 1994 when the south tried to succeed from the Republic of Yemen. In the early morning hours on May 4th, 1994 whilst asleep, a very loud and earth-shattering explosion is heard and felt, our parents rush from one room to another gathering everyone and led us to the basement for a lack of a better plan. No one knew what was happening at the time. Within the hour, the radio stations began announcing the beginning of the war that lasted until July 7th, 1994. The war left a kid wondering of how he can make a difference and the journey continues.

I grew up in Yemen until the age of 17 years old when my father decided to migrate to the US seeking a better life, education, and opportunities for his family. When I arrived in the US in 2002, in Fresno, CA, I faced great difficulties acclimating to the new culture. Being that it was shortly after 9/11, a large sector of the community was not very welcoming of a middle easterner, especially with the first name like Mohamed. Another challenge was the language barrier. Even though I finished High School in Yemen, I enrolled in High School as a junior as the adviser suggested that since I didn’t know English. I caught up quickly and finished eleventh and twelfth grades in one year graduating in the summer of 2003.

Shortly after, I went to Fresno City College and finished my general education enrolled in California State University Fresno and earned with honors a bachelor’s degree of science in computer engineering in the summer of 2007. While being a full-time student taking between 18 to 24 units every semester, I was working with my father 32 hours a week making my college days some of the hardest and most stressful. It was a tough time for everyone in 2007 to find a job, especially in the Californian valley so I started looking for a job elsewhere. While attending a job fair in San Diego, California, I was offered a job by Lockheed Martin Co.

I started working for Lockheed on January of 2008 as an Associate Software Engineer, then got a promotion as a Software Engineer and a Senior Software Engineer thereafter. I worked for Lockheed Martin for exactly 5 years. During that time, I enrolled in the University of California, Santa Cruz’s Engineering Program and earned a Master’s Degree in Network Engineering in 2011. I resigned from Lockheed Martin Co. when they decided to close the San Diego facility and got a job with a startup company called Venator Solutions LLC. Venator Solutions was formed by my ex-managers from Lockheed Martin Co. Recently, Venator Solutions celebrated its fifth anniversary.

I started at Venator as a Principal Engineer and later got promoted as a Software Manager. My journey in the solar arena started in 2011 after I finished my Master’s Degree. I started looking for a noble cause to which I can volunteer my time and I narrowed my search to the green energy field. I am a believer that there is much that we can do to sustain the health of our planet and preserve a better environment for future generation. To better prepare myself, I started taking online and classroom courses in clean energy technologies. Early 2014, I came across Grid Alternatives advertisement and I enrolled immediately.

The registration process took some time, but I started volunteering within a month. I enrolled in Grid’s Team Leader program and earned a Team Leader Certification with a six months period. I fell in love with Grid Alternatives’ mission, staff, and core values. I learned a lot from them and to them a tremendous gratitude is due. I continued to (and still) volunteer with Grid Alternatives. During my volunteering, I challenged the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) entry-level and Professional Installer exams and passed both to earn a certificate as a Professional Photovoltaic (PV) Installer. While volunteering with Grid Alternatives, I realized that the funding is limited, and a certain number of Grid applicants don’t qualify because they make few more dollars than the qualification charts.

Due to the previous reason and rising trend of corporate takeover in the solar field, I decided to take an action. I put a plan together to open a solar company and presented it to a successful businessman, Yasir Khanshali, who agreed to be my partner. With financial backing secured and internal drive running high, I pursued the California License needed to open a solar company designated by CSLB as C-46 License. After having met the requirements and passing the Law and Trade exams, I was granted the C-46 License and make Elements Solar LLC (which was established in February 26th, 2016) a licensed solar contractor.

Our mission is to provide a competitive yet affordable solar option to the residents of San Diego County and soon after residents of adjacent cities as we grow. Our team of installers are highly talented and trainees who are certified by Grid Alternatives. We define our core values to be led by respect, honesty, knowledge, innovation, determination, efficiency, reliability, affordability, and environmentalism. We are honored to serve the citizens of the Greater area of San Diego County and beyond.

Has it been a smooth road?
No, but nothing in life is easy and if it was easy, then it would be tasteless. Some of the struggles I (we) faced are Language barrier, racism, and financial hardships. However, I don’t feel like I missed much in life because what I lacked in resources, I made up for in a wonderful family and group of friends.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Elements Solar LLC story. Tell us more about the business.
This is our Mission and What We Do:
Elements Solar is a small company that excels in high-quality solar services, professionalism and customer service to homeowners throughout the greater San Diego area. We offer Free Estimates to help you get a better understanding on how Solar Energy can benefit you and your lifestyle. We customize individual Solar Photovoltaic System to homeowners needs. Our goal is to help homeowners reduce the cost of utility bills and save money while promoting the benefits of a renewable resource. Our team is highly knowledgeable and will be able to help answer any questions or concerns you may have about Solar Energy.

We also care about the environment and we believe in clean energy and helping our local communities. I would say that our Team comprises of people who truly want to help change the environment. We believe that San Diego is one of the greatest cities in the nation. It is a city that is full of beauty and sunshine. It is also a great place of energy, diversity and a place that give us a great opportunity to make great strides in Solar technological advancement. We want San Diegans to be able to not only afford Solar Energy, but also afford the newer technologies that are creating a more efficient way to help the environment and save money, and not have it be such a financial burden.

Our team holds a lot of integrity and will always be able to give people the best price because our sole purpose is not a monetary one. It comes from our Core Values: respect, honesty, knowledge, innovation, determination, efficiency, reliability, affordability, and environmentalism.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The solar industry is exponentially growing and that’s a great thing. The components are becoming more efficient, smaller, and cheaper, which means that solar is becoming increasingly affordable.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Grid Alternatives

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