About Us

Meet Eagle

A typical solar energy system can provide 25 plus years of operational service, so the design and proper sizing of a solar system for your home or business should be a cooperative relationship between the owner and the contractor. Eagle Solar & Light has the expertise to assist you with accurate analysis, modeling and design considerations to maximize annual energy production for the financial investment.

An initial consultation often times results in a preliminary system concept using a host of solar-specific software tools, but it does not stop there. We study power bills, use site tools to factor in shading or other design limitations, and most importantly, we listen to what you, the customer, wants to achieve from your solar potential. We also help you 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 company 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 (where the cost of energy drives the need for alternative resources). Even though energy costs in Alabama are among the lowest in the nation, we realized that individuals and businesses should have the access to clean, abundant solar energy for reasons beyond simple energy savings.

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 true trade knowledge comes from our participation and licensure in the Alabama Home Builder’s Association, as well as our being a licensed General Contractor in Alabama and North Carolina specifically for Solar installations and LED installations.

ESL team members have delivered nationally-recognized expertise to the solar energy industry to our home in Birmingham, Alabama. 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

Eagle Leadership

At Eagle Solar and Light, it is our passion to expand the use of solar by developing long-term relationships with our clients, driven by trust and integrity. We meet this goal by engineering our solar energy systems with superior products at an economical price, built to meet your 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 6 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 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. Read more about Amicus Solar

amicus member logo
  • Joe Bennett
    PV-102117-016491
  • Sam Yates
    PVA-060518-020902
  • Michael Churchman
    PVA-051818-022032

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