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About Us

Steve and Elizabeth Willey started BACKWOODS SOLAR ELECTRIC SYSTEMS as a home based business in 1978, after successfully pioneering the use of photovoltaics for their own mountain home, two miles from utility lines. In 2004, Steve and Elizabeth retired and new owners David Katz and Scott Gentleman along with their employees continued to operate the business and maintained the Backwoods Solar that our customers know and love! David Katz continues to own the company along with Sequoya Cross, who runs the day-to-day operations as CEO. As one of the major mail order renewable energy businesses, Backwoods Solar Electric once operated from a remote mountain-top property. Both home and business were 100% powered by the time tested equipment described in the catalog: 85% by the sun, with wind and back-up generator covering the balance in snowy winter months. When Steve and Elizabeth retired Backwoods moved out of their home and relocated to a facility just a couple of miles down the road where we still operate today.

For over 37 years, we have specialized in independent electric power for the remote off-grid or grid-tied home. We offer personal attention for owner-builders who design and construct their own homes and power systems as well as work with smaller installers across the globe.  Over the years we have expanded our focus to offer remote power for telecom systems, water pumping, and rural villages around the world. Many of our technical salespeople live in homes that get their power from the wind, water or sun using the products we sell in our catalog. Tracey’s post and beam home is powered by a Harris hydro system with Xantrex and Morningstar products. Shawn uses a Bergey wind turbine and Kyocera modules as well as Outback and Schneider power components. Tom uses SolarWorld modules and Outback components in his power system. Alan is in the process of building his new remote homestead and will be utilizing an array of REC modules with utility power as a back-up source. He currently provides backup power to a grid-connected deep well pump with a Xantrex inverter and transformer. Sequoya is in the process of installing a AC Coupled SMA & Magnum system with Q-CEll 275W modules. Brian utilizes solar and a custom micro-hydro system along with a Magnum MiniPanel system for his family home. Erika has both an off-grid system at her remote cabin along with a grid-tied system at her main home in Oregon using micro-inverters and SolarWorld modules.

Backwoods Solar is a catalog sales source specifically dedicated to serving homes & businesses so remote that access to utility lines is not practical. We are an intentionally small business of nine solar electric specialists offering personal attention to self-reliant home owners, installers, and busineses who choose to install their own power systems. Alan, John, Brian, Tracey, Shawn, Tom, Erika or Sequoya personally answer all letters, email, and calls during business hours, to help with your questions and equipment needs. Your questions will get answered and your needs will be met. It is our earnest goal to leave you completely satisfied.

Backwoods recently established a wholesale division to serve small to mid size installers, larger integrators, and to help with large scale projects and international non-profit organizations. If you are interested in working with Backwoods as a wholesaler, please contact us and we will happily send information to you about our accounts. 

You can browse our full catalog available on this website, but it is quite extensive. If you find this catalog suits your needs, you may want to request a print copy for easier reference, where you can make notes and more easily compare items and refer to the educational material. It is 208 page book size, usually $5, but FREE to folks when utility lines are not possible to your site. Just email, postal mail, phone, or fax your request with your mailing address. We will send the catalog, plus notify you of any new online newsletters during the year.

Our mailing list is never given out nor sold, so you won't be getting any unsolicited mailings that way.