Semper Solaris Is Your California Solar Company

Go Solar American Style

A California Solar Company with Military Roots

At Semper Solaris, we bring the same discipline and attention to detail we gained in the military to all of our projects. We recognize that our reputation is on the line with each job that we take, and so we do everything we can to exceed the expectations of our customers.

The results speak for themselves. We have received numerous awards, maintain an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, and rely on referrals from happy clients as a major part of our business.

We are proud to be a top solar San Diego company and to install solar panels in Los Angeles for a growing customer base in California.

“As a Captain in the US Marine Corps, trust means everything. Trust to be there for my Marines. Trust to be the expert. Trust to get the job done right. That same philosophy stayed with me for the past 20 years as a contractor and a solar specialist. Solar can be complicated, but at Semper Solaris we pride ourselves on taking the time to help you understand how solar works and how to choose the right system. Find out why homeowners all over San Diego trust Semper Solaris.”
-Kelly Shawhan
Co-founder, Semper Solaris

“Solar power is all about the freedom to afford to run your AC. We make solar simple, stripped of hype, high pressure and high prices, the basic reality of solar electricity is simple. It’s a math problem, with an obvious answer. No land needs to be bought or leased, as it is already present. No additional infrastructure needs to be installed, as the home wiring is generally sufficient and the home is already tied into the grid.
With current prices as low as they are, there will likely never be a better time to go solar.”
– John Almond Co-founder, Semper Solaris

Why Choose Semper Solaris, a California Solar Company?

  • Locally and veteran owned
  • BBB accredited with an A rating
  • We make solar easy to understand
  • Best prices in Southern California
  • Impeccable installations
  • Products designed in America
  • Discounts for military, police and firemen
  • Exceptional CUSTOMER SERVICE

Meet Our Vets

Co Founder Kelly Shawhan and family

About Kelly

Kelly Shawhan is a former United States Marine Corps Captain who has been a contractor for over 20 years. He is a cum laude business school graduate from Miami University of Ohio, often referred to as “the Yale of the Midwest,” where he went to school on a full military scholarship. A first alternate for the Olmsted scholarship (the military equivalent of the Rhodes scholarship), he served in many posts around the world, and was one of a select few Marines chosen to be an instructor at the Army Artillery School at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.

Following his military service, he has spent the last 20 years in construction – most recently as an energy specialist in the solar industry. Kelly has shared his expertise by supervising and training many others in this growing industry to the standards expected of a professional contractor. His superior expertise has made him a force in California solar. A father of five, he is actively involved in supporting his children’s interests in baseball, soccer, and volleyball.

John's Family

About John

John Almond has been a leader in the business world for 20 years with a specialty in construction for over a decade. Six years ago, John evolved his focus to renewable energy as it was clearly the wave of the future as well as an ethical focus for his talents.

John’s passion for renewable energy and customer service led him to co-founding a solar energy company dedicated to serving people. He believes that you “must treat every customer like they are your only customer.” This standard has led to great success in the solar business. Born and raised in San Diego, he attended Coronado High School and UC San Diego. He currently resides in Alpine with his wife and son.

Robert Bessler - Executive Director of Operations

Robert Bessler is a solar industry veteran with over 16 years of direct industry experience.

Robert is a NABCEP certified PV Installer and PV Sales Technician and is a certified IREC NABCEP solar trainer for the Solar Training Institute. He is a California C10 and C46 license holder and also holds electrical licenses in both Arizona and New Mexico.

For over seven years Robert owned and operated his own solar company specializing in residential, commercial, and large scale utility power installations before joining the Semper team. He has designed and installed projects for SDGE, SCE, PGE, SoCal Gas, Macys, Walmart, Costco, Burnham, and many others. A native to San Diego he attended UC San Diego with a focus on electrical engineering.

Gina Mendoza - HR Department Head

Gina is a talented HR professional who specializes in providing guidance and support to fast-growing organizations in all areas of benefits, employee relations, recruitment, and safety. If you can’t find her in the office she’s probably out on the soccer field.

David Fox - Warehousing, Fleet and Inventory Control Manager

Retired Reserve Sgt. Major Fox joined the U.S.M.C. in January of 1984 under the delayed entry program and retired as a Sgt. Major in the Reserves in August of 2014.

Sgt. Major Fox specialties in the military and the civilian sector span all areas of purchasing, receiving, warehousing, fleet and security control.

Nicole Laco - Executive Administrator

Nicole Laco is a native San Diegian who graduated Cum Laude from Point Loma Nazarene University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.

Shortly after graduating, she started her career in the construction industry, assisting in scheduling and office management.

In 2013 she received an award from the City of San Diego for Citizen Certificate of Appreciation for helping to save the life of a stranger. She resides in Scripps Ranch with her 2 children and husband, a Police Officer for the City of San Diego.

Tracey Pollard - Rebate Coordinator

Tracey was born and raised in Newburyport Massachusetts. Tracey Served in the United States Coast Guard for 8 years as an Electrician’s Mate aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton and at the Small Boat Lifesaving Station in Boothbay Harbor Maine.

Tracey Graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA. with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.

Tracey worked as a Trust Administrator in Retirement Services for City National Bank for 5 years. Currently she resides in Fallbrook CA with her husband and two children.

Mark Albano - Senior Representative

Born and raised in San Diego, Married for 20 years, 1 daughter. Mark has 5 plus years in the Home improvement industry including 4 years of Photovoltaic Solar.

Mark is committed to providing customers with the highest level service and attention by focusing on building a long term relationship.

Hobbies: fishing, camping and golf.

Michael Barnett - Senior Representative

Michael Barnett has been an ordained minister for over twenty years, empowering people to be set free spiritually.

And now in recent years through the partnership of Semper Solaris, Pastor Mike has also enjoyed helping people gain freedom over their utility bills through the power of Solar electricity!

Laura Vargas - Project Manager

Laura was born in the Chicago-land area and raised in Calexico, CA where she graduated from Calexico High.

Wanting more for herself than small town life she moved cross country to Jacksonville, Florida and worked in the medical supply industry as an executive coordinator for 8 years before returning to California where she started in the solar industry as a production assistant.

Laura has been in the solar industry for 4 years and is now thriving in her role as a project manager. Currently she resides in El Cajon, CA with her 2 children and fiance.

Trevor Decker - Project Manager

Trevor is a NABCEP certified PV professional and Green property advisor. He comes from a small town in Central CA where he graduated High School as a part of the Energy Technology Academy with a focus on renewable alternatives. Looking to broaden his horizons, Trevor moved to Santa Barbara to study business at SBCC. For a little over ten years now Trevor has been in the construction industry with the majority of this time in the Solar industry. Trevor currently lives in Oceanside CA with his wife and son.

Ashley Antonio - Operations Support Manager

Ashley is a San Diego native who graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Marine Biology.

After working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for a few years she was interested in finding other ways to enhance the environment, while enjoying the San Diego sun. She became involved with the solar industry in 2014 and recently joined the Semper Solaris team. Working with a veteran owned company, she feels right at home as her husband is currently serving in the US Navy. Outside of the office, she takes full advantage of the nearly constant sunny, warm weather and spends most of her time in or around the ocean.


Our Military Roots

Semper Solaris is inspired by the Marine Corps motto, Semper Fidelis, which means always faithful. As a former Marine, Kelly wants his entire solar company to reflect this excellence, inside the company and in customer’s homes. Semper Solaris was built on the military values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.

Kelly has taken the values and skills he learned from his service years and applied them to Semper Solaris. For Kelly, military values have been a way of life. Not only is Kelly a veteran Marine, but so is his brother and father. Likewise, John’s father spent his whole career in the military. Even as a civilian, John gets it. He understands the value of former service members’ skills. Kelly and John hire as many veterans as possible. They strongly believe in the work ethic the military instills in its service members and in helping out fellow service men and women.

One of these veterans is David Fox. A former Marine, David found himself on unemployment just over a year ago when he got connected with Semper Solaris. John and Kelly were looking for someone to run the warehouse, a job that David, fondly called Sergeant Major by the team, was exceptionally qualified for. After meeting David, Kelly and John knew they had found their guy. David has been with the company a year now and couldn’t be happier with the position.

David has seen first hand how Semper Fi has worked its way into every person at the company. David says the motto, “rubs off on everybody, former military or not. The key thing is respect, showing respect for the individual and respect for the customer. When we go to a home to do an install, we’re there on time, we have all of the material to do the job – there are no half measures with anything. That’s how veterans are trained and that’s how our employees are trained.” David is especially appreciative of the leadership of Kelly and John. He admires the way their dedication to providing excellent service as well as caring for people runs all the way down the line.

Semper Solaris-Once a Marine Always a Marine

When you talk to Kelly, he’s passionate about helping former service members. He might even tell you the story of the jungle pact. In the Philippines in 1985, Kelly made a promise with 13 other Marines after a long mission. That night, they swore, “If we ever got to a spot where we could help a Marine out, or any service member, where we could get them a job, buy them a beer, whatever the situation might be, we would do so, and we’d pass that legacy on so that they would be able to help another member.” Kelly considers it a huge privilege to run a business built upon the promise he made all those years ago. Semper Solaris is founded upon loyalty, exceptional customer service, and a commitment to their team. As Kelly says, “All of us need to pay it forward and look out for our guys.”

Many people don’t realize how hard it is for veterans to find jobs upon retirement. In fact, according to a Forbes article on the benefits of hiring veterans, nearly 1 million veterans are currently unemployed, with the unemployment percentage being 20% higher than the national average. Kelly and John are dedicated to standing in the gap for these awesome veterans, ensuring that the best of the best have fulfilling and meaningful work.

Hiring veterans is a no-brainer for Semper Solaris. They are highly trained, efficient, passionate, and dedicated. Kelly and John equate much of the success of their solar company to these amazing team members. Despite the unfortunate statistics, the advantage of hiring veterans is not a new concept. Veterans are pioneers in leadership, technology, teamwork, and integrity. It’s simple. Kelly and John hire veterans because they do the best work.

This work ethic and honor goes above and beyond the call of duty. Semper Solaris is dedicated to service beyond solar panel installations. There are even documented cases of Semper Solaris employees saving lives. Just check out this video on how R.J., Jacob, and Trevor rescued a woman and her passenger from a horrific accident. When Trevor, R.J., and Jacob were out on an install, they saw a car swerve off the road. Instead of just moving forward, they stopped and pulled the driver and her passenger out of the vehicle. Right after, the car exploded. These amazing team members perfectly exemplify the level of care and bravery every single person in Semper Solaris must strive to live out. This astounding rescue shows the dedication and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty, and to commit to helping people in every situation, even beyond the solar industry. These people are not normal installers, or even normal individuals; they are exceptionally brave, loyal, and heroic. These are the people Kelly and John hire at every level in their solar company.

Semper Solaris has the nation’s best in its ranks which is a major reason why they are the best solar company in the world. Kelly and John built their California solar company to serve each customer, each team member, and each home well. They accomplished this by working in military values in everything they do.

Happy Semper Solaris Customers

What We Do

Semper Solaris is California’s premier solar panel installation contractor and residential roofing contractor! Semper Solaris offers you the freedom to choose American Made solar panel products. We offer the best solar panels available on the market and we are local and Veteran owned. Oo-rah!

We’d love to crunch the numbers on your power usage and determine the best way to install your solar panel system to save you the most possible money, and while we’re inspecting your roof, we can do any roof repairs needed or put on a whole new energy efficient roof! As the top rated California solar and roofing company, we are also proud to serve Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Orange County, Palm Springs, the Inland Empire, and the Bay Area.

If you want the best solar power system and energy efficient roof replacement from the top rated local solar energy company, call Semper Solaris today! Ask about our HERO approved energy efficient upgrades.

The Freedom to Choose

The American Made solar panels that are delivered to our customers are the highest efficiency panels you can buy today, produce the most energy over the long term and, with their sleek all-black appearance, are the most attractive.

To give some perspective, conventional solar panels are about 15 to 18 percent efficient, meaning that 15 to 18 percent of the sunlight they’re receiving is absorbed and turned into electricity. What this means is that when you choose American made panels, you get more energy in your home in fewer panels.


Not only are American made solar panels better made and more efficient than other solar panels, they are also built for convenience. There’s even apps to check in on your solar system, easily allowing the homeowner to view stats and information about their solar panels at any given time.

If you want the best solar panels in the world installed by the best solar company, Semper Solaris would love to provide you and your family with the highest quality solar panel system.

Hero Financing

If you’re looking for more ways of saving money on your investment in solar energy, you should consider applying for the Hero Program! The Hero Program allows customers like you to invest in renewable energy options for your home in a way that’s beneficial to your wallet. As a trusted contractor for Hero, Semper Solaris would love to install solar panels on your home with this excellent government financing option. We love helping people get this benefit, and we would love to walk you through the process every step of the way. Essentially, if you went with Hero financing, the cost of your solar panels would be attached to your property tax, limiting the number of bills you have to pay while providing a superb financial investment. If you want solar panels and you would like to consider different financing options, the Hero Program is the way to go. Semper Solaris is thankful for our partnership with Hero because we believe it gives folks like you the best opportunity to have a more comfortable and energy efficient home. Please let us know if you are interested in Hero, and we will walk you through the process! We promise to help you figure out the most effective and cost efficient way for you to go solar.

Trusted Partners


Corporate Office – El Cajon

1805 John Towers Avenue
El Cajon, CA. 92020
PHONE: (619) 357-4142
Contractor’s license: #978152
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San Diego

964 Fifth Ave. #510
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 432-4222

Los Angeles

10713 Norwalk Blvd.
Sante Fe Springs, CA 90670
(213) 634-4313

Orange County

1701 East Edinger Avenue Suite H1
Santa Ana, CA. 92705
(714) 831-3221

Bay Area

2505 Amaral Court
Hayward, CA 94544
(650) 727-9272



177 N. First St.
Fresno, CA 93702
(559) 529-6560

Inland Empire

1218 Spring Street
Riverside, CA. 92507
(951) 900-3970


3600 Pegasus Drive Unit #3
Bakersfield, CA 93308
(661) 577-4888

Palm Desert

74350 Alessandro Dr.
Palm Desert, CA 92260
(760) 263-3366