Corduroy Media & Mama Dog Studios Go Solar!

Corduroy Media Mama Dog Studios Solar Roof

Sun Light & Power considers our customers to be our partners in the communities that we serve. We need their vision and commitment in order to help build a better world powered by solar energy. A recent example of this crucial partnership is Carl D. Brown’s video production company, Corduroy Media, and Pilar Zuniga’s sound stage, Mama Dog Studios. SLP designed and built their 29.7 kW rooftop solar array, which offsets nearly 100% of their annual electricity usage. This makes their already totally refurbished 1950s warehouse Northern California’s first fully solar powered studio!

I wanted to know what motivated Carl to go solar. I learned that his environmental activism began during childhood and was spawned by his mother’s tutelage. By the sixth grade he was a member of a tree planting society and when he graduated from college, he had earned a BS in Sustainable Development. When he founded Corduroy Media in 2003, he maintained the dream that one day it would be solar powered. In April, 2022 that goal became a reality.

Carl offered some great advice for anyone considering solar for their business. He said, “Solar is a proven technology that makes economic sense. You can give money to the government or you can create an asset that benefits everyone. Going solar is easier than you think and there is no reason to wait.” Keenly aware that his own industry contributes to emissions, Carl wisely noted that “the old economic model of ‘free’ environmental resources has totally failed us.” He said that solar made it easy for them to reduce their environmental impact, and “at the very least do less harm.” Carl believes that adoption of renewable energy technologies is a way for those with means and privilege to help bring broader sustainability and social justice into underrepresented communities.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Carl has already gone solar at home. His residence features a PV and battery storage system which reduces his carbon footprint and provides energy resiliency and independence during outages. He is also happy to be contributing a lot less to “a broken and corrupt utility system.” As for the future of the studio, Carl doesn’t expect that it will ever be truly off-grid, but noted that there is room to add more solar panels and perhaps batteries in the future. He also hopes that they will eventually be able to contribute energy to a local microgrid in their community. Mama Dog and Papa Dog already have two EV chargers on site and are planning to add another one for employees.

Carl & Pilar Go Solar

During the solar installation, Carl’s video team captured our expert solar installers in action and interviewed Project Developer, Max Grinberg, on the rooftop. Corduroy Media then produced an inspiring video that brilliantly encapsulates SLP’s mission as well as Carl and Pilar’s commitment to equitable sustainable energy in their community.

Carl said he chose Sun Light & Power because we are a local, 100% employee-owned, profit-sharing company aligned with social equity values. We wish them well on their solar journey and are very grateful that we could help. You can read more about Carl and Pilar’s solar journey and their perspective on energy-based social equity in their blog post.


Seamas Brennan is Marketing & IT Coordinator at SLP. Photos courtesy of Corduroy Media & Mama Dog Studios.

Corduroy Media & Mama Dog Studios present Max Grinberg on going solar with SLP.

Hear Solar Project Developer Max Grinberg explain why Corduroy Media and Mama Dog Studios' decision to go solar with Sun Light & Power was a perfect fit for all three companies and the City of Oakland.

Video produced by Corduroy Media LLC.