HARKER HEIGHTS – At Solar CenTex, turning sunlight into dollar bills is a business model. The company designs and installs solar systems for homes and businesses all over Texas in an effort to preserve the state’s energy grid.
"The state goes through pretty tremendous growth and I figured every person who has solar on their rooftop is contributing to the reliability of our grid,” says Scot Arey who opened Solar CenTex in 2012.
Commissioned as a Lieutenant at West Point in 1988, Arey spent 25 years serving in the U.S. Army all around the world. He spent 9 of those years at Ft. Hood.
"After I left Ft. Hood I had another couple of assignments to Afghanistan to Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania but I came back here when the first opportunity arose,” said Arey.
When retirement came around, Arey knew his second passion would be solar energy.
“Every assignment you get in the military is a new job and typically one you've never done before so really starting a small business was the same way. It was about managing people, objectives supplies,” said Arey.
Arey started Solar CenTex with 3 fellow veterans and now his business has grown to more than a dozen employees helping central Texans use a natural resource to power their homes and businesses.
"I've watched grown men get kind of teary eyed when they see their meter run backwards. It's a good feeling. It's a real sense of satisfaction that you've taken sunlight that was before just hitting a rooftop and now you are actually turning it into usable energy,” said Arey.
Entrepreneurship after the military has been a fun challenge Arey says and one he hopes other veterans will tackle too.
"They have all the skill sets they need. They have some financial protection since they have a military pension. I hope it gives a lot of veterans the ability to say you know what? I should give this a shot. The last thing you want to do is finish something and say I really wish I would have tried it and I know I can always say that I tried it and in this case, we've been really successful at it,” says Arey.