About Us

Trust the Experts

A typical solar energy system can provide 25 plus years of operational service, therefore the design and proper sizing of a solar system for your home or business should be a cooperative relationship.  Want to know more about us?  Eagle Solar & Light experts will create a system for you with accurate analysis, modeling and design considerations.  That way we guarantee to maximize annual energy production for your financial investment.

An initial consultation results in a preliminary system concept using a host of solar-specific software tools, but it does not stop there. We study power bills and use site tools to factor in shading or other limitations.   Most importantly, we listen to what you want to achieve from your solar potential. We determine the best alternatives to achieve the operational, aesthetic and financial interests that are important to you – all in a pressure-free environment.

Our History

The Eagle Solar & Light (ESL)  was founded in early 2016 on a desire to provide the same access to commercial and residential solar energy that can be found in other parts of the country.  We believe that individuals and businesses should have access to clean, abundant solar energy for reasons beyond energy savings such as energy independence from a utility.

Eagle Solar & Light founder, Sam Yates, created a company that would fill the much-needed void in the Central Alabama area of solar energy contractors by setting up the Eagle Solar & Light team to provide a true General Contracting experience. Our trade knowledge comes from our participation and licensure in the Alabama Home Builders Association, as well as being a licensed General Contractor in Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina specifically for Solar installations and LED installations.  Our team holds certifications and achievements from the North American Board of Certified Electrical Practitioners (NABCEP), as well as many hours of training and education on safety, industry-specific products, lighting design and more.

Beyond the system components or design of a system, we are a committed community partner. Each member of the Eagle Solar & Light team consistently seeks out opportunities to speak and interface with the public to further the truth about solar energy in our marketplace. Whether it is a solar demonstration for a fourth-grade science class, or a system installation for a Habitat for Humanity home, the team at Eagle Solar & Light is ready and eager to make our community better for all.


It is our passion to expand renewable energy by developing partnerships driven by trust and integrity, while meeting savings and sustainability goals.

Sam Yates - CEO

Sam Yates - CEO

Sam graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Virginia. He is the owner operator of both Talladega Castings & Machine company and Eagle Solar & Light.

In his spare time Sam enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, golf, and most of all working. Sam was driven to solar energy because of its sustainable contribution to energy generation and the rapid growth of the industry.

Joe Bennett - President, Lead PV Designer

Joe Bennett - President, Lead PV Designer

Joe has over 30 years of operations experience with international and domestic sales development, consumer electronics manufacturing and low voltage general contracting. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Faulkner University. Joe is one of 5 people in the state of Alabama with a NABCEP Board-Certified PV Installation Professional certification.

He enjoys Cooking with the family and when the weather is nice, chasing fish on Lay Lake. Joe believes the electricity from solar power will be a key energy source for homes and businesses in the move to greater sustainability and resiliency.

Michael Churchman - Operations Director

Michael Churchman - Chief Operations Officer

Before joining ESL in 2016, Michael directed a state-wide environmental advocacy organization where he began a focus on energy policy in Alabama.

He graduated from Louisiana College. Michael is an avid outdoorsman enjoying backpacking, camping, fly-fishing, and mountain biking. Michael believes solar power is a very tangible way to have a positive effect on climate impacts, moving toward a clean energy future for his family, his children’s children and beyond.

Paul Freeman - Sales Director

Paul Freeman - Sales Director

Paul has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Appalachian State University and master’s degree in Environmental Science from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Prior to working for Eagle Solar and Light, Paul gained 24 years’ experience as a freshwater ecologist and environmental scientist with consulting firms, Tennessee Valley Authority and The Nature Conservancy. He understands that expanding solar energy plays a significant role in maintaining clean water and air for the generations to come. Paul can be found canoeing and fishing any chance he can get in streams across the Southeastern U.S.

Scott Alexander - North Carolina Regional Director

Scott Alexander - North Carolina Regional Director

Before joining ESL, Scott was a senior executive in the federal government in international affairs. His federal career included service with the U.S. Department of State,

U.S. Agency for International Development, Millennium Challenge Corporation, the U.S. African Development Foundation and as a staff in the U.S. House of Representatives. Scott has an undergraduate degree from Auburn University and has a Master of Public/Private Management degree from Birmingham Southern College. Scott’s interest in solar began in 1998 while he was a Peace Corps Volunteer. In his spare time, he enjoys running with his wife and family, playing tennis and touch rugby, and reading.

Memberships, Certifications & Awards

Eagle Solar & Light Is A Proud Member Of The Amicus Solar Cooperative.

amicus member logoAmicus Solar Cooperative was founded in the fall of 2011 when a small group of friendly solar installation companies decided it was time to form a special organization where independent businesses could support each other by sharing best practices and pooling their buying power. Amicus is a purchasing cooperative that is jointly owned and democratically managed by our member companies. Trust the experts that form Amicus Solar.

Eagle Solar & Light Recognized by the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association

"The Clean Energy Innovator Award is given to a member whose innovative product or business model has helped change the face of clean energy in North Carolina. Eagle Solar and Light is the recipient of this year’s award. Led by Regional Director Scott Alexander, Eagle Solar and Light trailblazed their way through the process to become the first licensed solar lessor in the state. Their hard work paved the way for others to participate in the Solar Leasing Program and expanded the options available to North Carolinians as they consider adopting clean energy in their homes and businesses." December 17, 2018, NCSEA

Eagle Solar & Light is a Certified Generac Clean Energy Installer

Eagle Solar & Light is a REC Certified Solar Professional installer

This allows Eagle Solar & Light to supply extended warranties to our customers who use REC solar panels.  We are the only certified REC Solar Professional for Alabama and one of the few in the Southeast.

  • Joe Bennett
  • Sam Yates
  • Michael Churchman
  • Steven Gambla


Talk to the experts at Eagle and discover what Solar & Energy Storage can do for you.


OR CALL DIRECTLY AT (800) 982-0808