About Solartech

Solartech is a family-owned business located in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.  Established in 2009, Solartech has helped many homeowners, businesses, and towns make their transition to solar energy.

Rich Nicol owns and operates Solartech, and he and his family have lived the off-grid lifestyle for nearly twenty years.  He is passionate about solar energy and is more than happy to share his knowledge of solar, be it technical or philosophical. He is a Solar Partner with Renewable Energy Vermont and received his designer/installer certification from Solar Energy International. When he has free time he enjoys riding his motorcycle, studying history and politics, tinkering on vintage sports cars, and taking long walks in the woods. Rich grew up in the Northeast Kingdom and graduated from Lyndon Institute and Lyndon State College. He has a BS in History, AS in Business, Management Certificate from the University of Southern Maine, and SEI certifications in Solar Electric Design and Installation and Advanced PV System Design.

Donna Nicol manages Solartech’s home office.  When not behind the desk, she attempts to balance hearth, home, and family with her writing and blogging.  She has a BA in English Literature and Writing from Ithaca College and is currently working toward her MA.

Byron Savoy, a Vermont native and long-time resident of Sutton, joined Solartech in 2010.  He assists with all aspects of an installation.  He has a variety of work experience including, but not limited to: heavy construction, building bridges and roads, general carpentry, auto repair, and electronics. His skills are many, and we appreciate having our own “Renaissance Man” whose knowledge and enthusiasm never lets us down. In his free time, Byron enjoys reading, running, and long hikes in the deep woods of the NEK.  He has SEI certifications in Solar Electric Design and Installation and Advanced PV System Design.

David Eastman fills out the regular crew, assisting Byron and Rich with installations.  He lives in Lyndonville where he enjoys growing and canning his own food, hiking, and canoeing.  David also works at Eagle Eye Farm in Newark, caring for the traumatically brain injured residents.

The Crew also consists of local, NEK contractors who work with Solartech from time to time to get the job done.

Norbert Patoine—Excavation and Ground Work, Sutton, VT

Rusty’s Electric–Master Electrician, Newport, VT

Dana Patoine–Builder and Mechanical Engineer, Sutton, VT

Ernest Wells–Construction, Sutton, VT

Ben Wilcox–Carpentry, Sutton, VT

Fionn, the Border Collie is our official mascot, playmate, dog friend, and entertainer.  Agile and energetic, Fionn’s hobbies include ball play, disc, excavation, deconstruction, and gardening (true!).  He receives deliveries (and a game of toss) when orders arrive at the shop.  He visits with customers, and he loves a long ride to everywhere but the veterinarian’s office.

Rich and Fionn at the Jasper Hill Creamery solar install.


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