Enter Solaro Energy

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Socorro is now the new home site for Solaro Energy. Solaro, which makes point-of-use solar electric lighting, ventilation and solar electric generating systems, brings jobs and economic development to the area.

Lindsey Padilla/El Defensor Chieftain: Mayor Ravi Bhasker, Solaro vice president of operations Emilia Dikunova, Gov. Susana Martinez, Solaro CEO Dennis Grubb and Cabinet Secretary Jon Barela stand under a Solaro light that is installed in a room at City Hall during a presentation Dec. 21.

The company, located at 1404 Enterprise Road, is from Lake Elsinore, Calif.

Solaro Energy will provide new job opportunities, as well as produce environmentally friendly products so homes can consume less power, said CEO Dennis Grubb.

“I have a passion for the solar business,” Grubb said. “I am an inventor, a classic American inventor. I am a pretty good business person. I invent products people want to buy, energy efficient products that have a positive impact on humanity.”

Grubb is one of the original inventors of the tubular skylight system that bends sunlight down a reflective light transfer tube. He also invented a slow close retractable screen system called the Clear View Retractable Screen Door.

“I get U.S. patents for the products,” Grubb said. “I have been in the business a long time. We make many different products.”

Solaro Energy Products include solar powered attic ventilation systems, an electronic skylight, solar powered generators, low wattage solar panels and reflective insulation products, he said.

Grubb said he chose Socorro to be the new home of Solaro Energy because the government is run extremely well. He said Mayor Ravi Bhasker is very pro-business.

“The opportunity to have a company that’s already successful, that’s a plus,” Bhasker said. “Manufacturing is a good thing for a community that can lead to more industries in town.”

Also, Grubb chose Socorro based on mathematical calculations. Everything Solaro does is based on solid analytical reasons, he said.

Thirty percent of the jobs Solaro is bringing to Socorro will require college degrees. The rest will need a high school diploma or GED.

Grubb also likes the city’s industrial park.

“It is one of the best industrial complexes I have ever seen — heavy electric and natural gas design,” Grubb said. “Our building has one of the nicest views I have ever seen.”

The park also has all the water Solaro needs for its production and the necessary telephone service.

After searching the western United States, Grubb said he finally chose New Mexico because of its central location and shipping convenience.

“We’re hoping it’s a keystone business for our industrial park,” said Chamber of Commerce President Terry Tadano. “We hope Socorro will be known for the solar business so other businesses can build upon Solaro products.”

Grubb will hire 20 employees to start with but over the next four years he hopes to have 100 employees.

If the company gets up to 50 employees, it will be in the top 1 percent of Socorro businesses, Tadano said.

He has promised to hire local people first. Solaro Energy employees have to live within 25 miles of Socorro, he said.

“Socorro has a lot of talent here,” Grubb said. “Dig deep and you find some amazing people. That’s my top priority.”

Solaro Energy itself is four years old but Grubb started out in the industry 25 years ago.

Grubb and his wife, Emilia, run the company themselves. Grubb said Emilia has a blended ability to invent things for the market and sell them.

“Socorro has a lot more than meets the eye,” Grubb said. “We are going to market Socorro to get other Earth friendly services. At Solaro, we make products that help your home to be more energy efficient.”

This year, Solaro Energy products is expanding into Europe and Canada.

“We want another record breaking year,” Grubb said. “We sell all of our products all over the United States.”

When finished, the Solaro Energy facility will have cost $1.5 million and include three different buildings that are going under construction.

“What we are looking forward to is the growth of a company on a solid foundation,” Grubb said. “We will add more products, like a tubular sky light. There are 50 variations of products and an electric system that people can do themselves.”

Solaro products are sold in hardware stores. The products will also be sold through professional contractors and do-it-yourself home centers for simple products, he said.

“We started Solaro with our own money,” Grubb said. “We never borrowed money. We are very profitable. We sell products people want to buy.”