Click here for the original article by the Troy Record.

 

A nearly seven decade old Collar City company has always been ahead of the curve in the energy industry.

 Since 1945, when George Bejian initially founded his heating and cooling business, to its new identity as a solar pioneer, the Bejians have always been energy trendsetters.

 Century Solar Supply is a locally owned and operated renewable energy distributor located at 2600 Sixth Ave. in Troy, near the approach to the Collar City Bridge. It is the first renewable energy supply company of its kind in the entire state.

In September of 2012, Bejian Century Supply, now owned and operated by Bejian’s son - also George Bejian, started a renewable energy division called Century Solar Supply to help New York continue developing and integrating renewable energy in the state.

The company actually began building solar panels at its facility in the 1970s, “but then when the crisis kind of went away, so did much of the solar industry. It went into hibernation basically,” Bejian said. But then it came back into play again after the turn of the century and “We knew the time was right to get into it,” he continued. “About the last seven or so years it’s really started to become very feasible and realistic to do.”

 Bejian said the solar industry at large is still in its “wild west” phase. “It’s the beginning of a whole new game,” he said. This is why the company puts plenty of time and effort into educating people about solar energy, how it works, and how it makes sense financially. Century Solar Supply is active in renewable energy educational initiatives around the Capital District. Clare Gaffey, director of training and marketing has not only presented to third grade classrooms as part of a local initiative called SmartKids NY, but also given demonstrations career-day fairs.

 Century Solar Supply also has its own training facility on site with a working system as well as demo trainers and demo roof with big plans on expanding. The company achieved a NYSERDA grant with Questar III BOCES to provide free training for unemployed or underemployed individuals to become solar installers. Internships through this program often lead to jobs, which in turn helps the industry to grow locally.

Bejian said that the U.S. is in a stage of the solar industry that he equates to when his father was installing oil heat systems and thermostats, which people were extremely hesitant about at the time. But with proper education, Bejian believes solar will become less scary and quickly be the norm.

Century Solar Supply is committed to reducing dependence on non-renewable energy and creating a sustainable environment. With solar power, individuals and commercial and public entities are given the power to reduce their impact on the environment, energy costs, and reliance on others. Century Solar Supply’s goal is to bring what they believe to be a socially and economically incredible resource to New York state and beyond.

While there is buzz about renewable energy growth in Troy, as far as jumping on with the larger solar movement in the country, Bejian said Troy is doing alright. “I would say we’re probably not as aggressive a lot of other areas, but we’re not as passive either.”

 Moneywise, Century Solar Supply encourages people to buy and own their systems. Though it’s an expensive initial cost, the system helps customers save in energy costs over the years, and right now there are federal and state incentives that save customers money as well.

Solar energy systems last decades, especially with new technology. “We see solar as an investment in your total electricity cost for the next 40 years,” Gaffey said.

As the region continues in a tech-heavy direction, the nearly 70-year old company seems to have a bright future ahead. “There’s a ton of room for growth,” Gaffey said.

 

For more information, visit www.centurysolarsupply.com

To reach Century Solar Supply call 326-3565.

Lauren Halligan may be reached at 290-1443.