COPPERAS COVE — With about 26 years of military service each, the owners of Solar Centex are using what they learned in the Army to operate their business.

“We shared a vision of what type of business we wanted to run,” said retired Col. Ben Danner, co-owner of Harker Heights-based Solar Centex. “One that took care of people just like the Army.”

That philosophy is used for the customers of Solar Centex, the community and the employees, said retired Col. Scot Arey, another co-owner.

“Let’s have a company where people want to come to work and feel good about the job,” Danner said.

Including the owners, Solar Centex has seven employees, including a retired Vietnam veteran and veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

“As we grow, we will grow this company around these guys,” Arey said.

Being a veteran-based company is one of the reasons Copperas Cove resident Robert Fryer chose Solar Centex to install his solar panels on Friday.

“These guys are beyond professional,” Fryer said. “They got good people working for them. When you have someone from the Army and they say they are going to do something, they are going to do it.”

Meet energy needs

The company isn’t just about veterans; it’s also about passion.

Arey and Danner both believe solar power will help save customers money and help Central Texas meet its future energy needs.

Arey said his role as a business owner is to install a quality product and educate Central Texas about renewable energy so the Clean Texas Corridor Austin stretches to Killeen.

“This is the most rewarding thing I have done since I was a battalion commander,” Arey said. “But unlike a battalion commander, I need to make payroll and keep these guys working.”

The company has one or two jobs a week installing solar panels.

Operating for about a year, Arey and Danner said Solar Centex will grow with Central Texas. Arey attributed current and future success to the Army.

“To the retirees of the Army, every one of them has the potential to be their own business owner,” Arey said. “I am just as passionate about career No. 2 as I was about career No. 1, and I think the Army really set me up for that.”

Contact Mason W. Canales at ​ or (254) 501-7474

(2) comments


Kudos guys!


Many thanks. We really believe in what we're doing. As Scot likes to say, we've moved from National Security to Texas Energy Security… and it feels good.

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