Having begun operating in Connecticut in February, California-based SolarCity announced Thursday that 10 months after it began doing business in the state, it has begun adding more jobs to meet consumer demand.
The company, which provides one-stop shopping for businesses and homeowners looking to employ solar energy, is adding 15 employees to the 45 people it already has working in the state.
SolarCity celebrated the news with a visit from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Daniel Esty to the company's new 14,000-square-foot operations center near Interstate 91.
Malloy said growth in energy companies such as SolarCity that are doing business in Connecticut "is going to be very important to our ability to compete economically."
"Energy independence will mean we're more competitive in industries where we never thought we'd be able to compete again," Malloy told executives of the company and employees.
"We made a decision to move here based on the level of confidence we had that we would be successful," said Ed Steins, SolarCity's regional director. Prior to moving into its new operations center last month, the company's Connecticut base had been a smaller facility in Wethersfield.
Among the new workers SolarCity is looking to add are installers, electricians, project managers and sales people.
Since its launch in Connecticut in February, the company has installed more than 200 residential and commercial solar systems. SolarCity designs, finances, installs and services solar power systems, with the majority of work done for the residential market, Steins said.
But the company is starting to gain traction in the commercial and municipal markets, according to Steins. SolarCity is expected to start a project in March for the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority's Treatment Plant on Whitney Avenue in Hamden and is also doing projects for New Haven Glastonbury, he said.
Thursday also marked the launch of SolarCity's initial public offering of stock. It had been privately held since it was founded in 2006 and had been successful enough to attract a $280 million investment from Google in June 2011.
SolarCity does business in about 14 states and offers leasing programs with no upfront costs for homeowners who can't afford the $15,000 to $30,000 cost of the equipment to generate electricity from the sun's rays.
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