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Leading alternative-energy firm comes to Irvine

Sullivan Solar Power’s expansion is seen as a result of homeowners’ growing demand for lower utility costs.

By Larry UrishPublished: February 07, 2011

Indicating that sunny Orange County is becoming a hot-bed of sustainable residential living, Sullivan Solar Power, named by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., has opened a new office in Irvine. This move, according to the company, is due to the growing demand for solar power in regions served by Southern California Edison, which includes O.C.

To date, Sullivan has installed more than 5 million watts of solar power while serving a variety of residential, commercial and municipal clients. The firm is the top installer of solar systems in San Diego-area homes, according to data provided by the Southern California Solar Initiative.

The Irvine office’s launch has created 10 new full-time jobs, said Erica Johnson, Sullivan Solar’s community developer. The number of Sullivan employees is expected to double by the end of the year, she added, and an estimated 100 homeowners will be served by the company during the same time period.

“With the number of projects we’ve completed, our company has been integral in the city of San Diego realizing its place as the No. 1 solar city in the country,” said Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of the firm. “We are excited to enhance Orange County’s deployment of renewable energy and be of similar influence with this move.”

Sullivan Solar can provide homeowners with sun-based power without any out-of-pocket cost, he said, adding that the overall expense to throw the switch is far smaller than most people realize.

State rebate incentives are more than four times greater for homeowners in the Southern California Edison market, compared to similar monetary breaks given to residents using power provided by San Diego Gas & Electric, according to the company. In addition, roughly 20 percent of the cost of an installation is covered by the California Solar Initiative’s rebate program; an additional 30 percent of the expense will be returned to sun-power users through a federal tax credit.

“Once we show homeowners that the financial benefits of solar enable them to realize immediate electric-bill savings, their decision to transition from supporting dirty energy to generating their own clean, renewable power becomes a no-brainer,” said Jesse Malcomb, manager of the new Irvine office.

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