Here comes the sun
Jul 16, 2013
In The News
STOCKTON - Rapidly expanding solar contractor SolarCity Corp. formally opened its Stockton operations center Monday, with company officials saying they had hired 79 employees since December and are looking for more.
Demand for SolarCity services was growing last fall, and the company had three crews a day out of Sacramento working in Stockton, Manteca or other San Joaquin County communities, said Dennis Cox, SolarCity's regional vice president.
"It got big enough that it was time to open an office and hire more people," he said.
The company has nine crews working out of the Stockton facility, on Arch-Airport Road in south Stockton, and that continues to grow.
"We're hiring every week," Cox said.
"That means a lot to this community," Rep. Jerry McNerney said.
The Stockton Democrat helped inaugurate SolarCity's new office, noting that besides creating jobs and helping reduce carbon emissions, it is tapping the Central Valley's abundant sunshine.
"This is one of the best solar resources in the entire country," he said Monday.
Praise came, too, from other officials in attendance.
Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, said SolarCity fit the mold of green businesses she tried to encourage in her former role on the Stockton City Council.
"We can actually do something good for the environment and do something good for the economy as well," she said.
Mayor Anthony Silva said the company plays an important part in Stockton's ongoing economic recovery.
"This is going to be a really good partnership for our community," he said.
San Mateo-based SolarCity is growing in other areas, too.
Cox said he will help oversee new facility openings in Chico, Petaluma, Pleasanton, Visalia and San Luis Obispo before year's end.
That pace of expansion is costly, however.
In its latest report of quarterly results, SolarCity revenues nearly doubled in the first three months of the year, to $15.1 million from $8.1 million in the same period of 2012. But operating expenses rose even faster, reaching $34.5 million, compared with $24.7 million in the same period a year earlier.
SolarCity, which had its initial public offering in December, lists its shares on the Nasdaq exchange. The stock closed Monday at $44.62, up $1.30.
Altogether, the company has more than 30 operation centers in 14 states.
Its 18,000-square-foot Stockton facility serves the San Joaquin County region. Since January, it has installed nearly 1,000 solar systems, most in homes. "The demand for solar is incredibly high," Cox said.
The company will design, install, maintain and finance a solar system to meet a customer's existing energy needs and says the long-term lease payments will undercut electric utility bills.
More information can be found online at SolarCity.com and employment opportunities at SolarCity.com/jobs.