SolarCity Expands In Riverside With New Operations Center

In some good news for the Inland empire, solar financing firm SolarCity said today that it has opened up a brand new, U.S. operations center in Riverside, with big hiring plans in the location. According to SolarCity, its new 35,000 square-foot facility is currently staffed by 75 employees, and has an additional 20 job openings; the firm said it expects to hire an additional 50 this year in the location.

Silicon Valley-based SolarCity--which recently went public--is a provider of financing for rooftop, solar panels. The firm offers up power purchase agreements (PPAs), where customers promise to pay a set rate in exchange for the installation of solar power. Due to the vagaries in electric utility rates and incentives for solar power, those payments are usually a steep discount to what users currently pay for their electricity.

Unlike the widespread pain being felt by solar panel manufacturers, SolarCity--one of the companies started by Elon Musk--has actually done well, sidestepping the bloodbath of falling solar panel prices and a glut of Chinese solar panels.

SolarCity's local operations are run by Jim Cahill, regional vice president of operations. The company pointed out it is providing support to more than 2,500 customers through the operations center, including a significant number of local customers. The expansion and attraction of SolarCity's high tech jobs is a welcome change for Riverside, which had the unenviable position of being among the hardest hit regions during the recent economic downturn.