EDDS Solar Excels in Sustainable Power for Texas and Beyond
Thomas Edds, owner of Electric Distribution & Design Systems, (EDDS Solar) has never been timid about exploring and trying new things. As a youth, he was involved with a dance troupe in Midland, Texas, that performed at the World Arts Festival, in Ireland. Attendees included King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and future queen Silvia Sommerlath, who enjoyed the dancers so much they invited the troupe to perform at their royal wedding. As a teen, Edds’ parents paid for him to take bull-riding lessons. “But they wouldn’t let me have a motorcycle,” he jokes. As a young adult, Edds traveled throughout Europe.
Edds completed a four-year electrical apprentice program in electrical/electronics equipment installation and repair. He was a foreman and an estimator at Amber Electric, and he also worked at Moore Electric Company as a project manager for 10 years. Quipping that he “got tired of making everybody else rich” he founded his own business, Electric Distribution & Design Systems, in 1982.
Today, with Electric Distribution & Design, Edds still gets to travel throughout the U.S. and abroad sustainably powering the world through electricity and alternative energy services, including solar panel installation, solar photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal and wind electric generation for residential and commercial projects. His services include design, engineering, solar panel installation, repairs and guidance with permitting and cost analysis. For the fifth year in a row, Electrical Distribution & Design received Top 500 Solar Contractors recognition from Solar Power World. Criteria for this honor include professionalism, longevity and credibility.
Innovation in solar and wind technology, along with consumer education and growing awareness of climate change, has fueled consumer demand for alternative energy. Over the years, Edds has observed more efficiency in solar PV systems, particularly in the racking system in how solar units are grounded. He has also kept abreast of numerous changes in local codes.
Edds corrects some myths about alternative energy, particularly the “free solar panels” advertisements touting Texas’ lease and power purchase agreements. “That’s all salesman fluff—there is no Texas program whatsoever, and no, it is not free,” he emphasizes. “But it will not cost you any more out-of-pocket than what you will pay on your electric bill. You can pay the electric company for the rest of your life, or you can pay for solar over 12 years and not have an electrical bill after that.”
Solar panels are durable and will also work on overcast days or on a full moon night. “I’ve installed over 60,000 solar panels, and I’ve never replaced one from hail,” he notes. Edds adds people can further save by lowering energy consumption as much as possible through LED lighting and energy efficient appliances.
As people become more receptive to sustainable energy sources, Edds predicts that it will soon become the norm, even in an oil and gas state like Texas. Locally, his solar and wind projects include the 62-story Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Dallas and IBM facilities. He’s facilitated wind projects in Nicaragua, Belize, Argentina and Guatemala, and a 100-wind turbine project in Bahrain.
Edds regularly attends trade shows to promote alternative energy and lectures at college classes and solar installer training classes. To give North Texans an opportunity to see demos of working residential solar systems, solar on trucks, solar water heating and rainwater harvesting, Electric Distribution & Design Systems is hosting a free open house from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 5 and 6.
In his spare time, Edds volunteers with Kairos Prison Ministry. “We visit prisons on weekends and show incarcerated persons what God’s love is all about. About 93 percent of guys who are in prison and don’t go through some kind of faith-based program reoffend,” he says. “Most of these guys don’t have a father figure in their lives. We’re not trying to replace being a father, but instead showing them when they get out there is a place for them in society, if they choose to be part of society.”
Electric Distribution & Design Systems is located at 3637 Marquis Dr., Ste. 106, in Garland. For more information, call 214-679-5458 or visit EDDSSolar.com.
The open house is part of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) National Solar Tour. For location and details, check NationalSolarTour.org/open-houses/470.
Door prize drawings will be held each day.
Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and contributing writer to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.