by Patricia Resende
SolarCity Corp.is growing. The West Coast clean energy startup, which opened its Connecticut facility doors in 2011, has outgrown its location and will expand.
The provider of solar services including solar design, installation, financing and online monitoring said it has plans to move into a larger facility in Rocky Hill and will hire an additional 15 employees including electricians, installers sales staff, auditors and project managers.
According to the 45-person company, the expansion is due in part to Connecticut's Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority and the Department of Energy (CEFIA) and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to invest in clean energy and energy efficiency projects.
SolarCity's business model has so far served the company well. Along with leasing its solar panels to customers, SolarCity has developed software to handle the bidding permits and design installation of solar panels. The average size of a panel needed to power the average home is 600 square feet. The average cost to for a 600-square-foot panel is $55,000, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
CEO Lyndon Rive and other officials including Connecticut Governor Daniel P. Malloy celebrated the company's grand opening of it Hartford operations center Thursday.
"Connecticut and Governor Malloy are taking the right steps to create clean energy jobs and give people clean, affordable energy choices," Rive said in a statement Thursday. "With residents and businesses saving significant money on what they were paying for utility power, the state has become a center for the emerging cleantech economy."
The growth comes less than one week after the company announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 11,500,000 shares of common stock at a price of $8 per share. The common stock began trading on the NASDAQ Global Market on December 13, 2012 under the ticker symbol "SCTY."