Nevada has added a knight to the chess match between traditional utilities and rooftop solar companies vying for electricity customers. SolarCity, now operating in 14 states and the District of Columbia, has opened a facility in Las Vegas. Officials described it as an extension of the company’s headquarters in San Mateo, California, because it houses several key administrative divisions.
“We’re looking forward to the next phase of rooftop solar. We believe this will be our biggest location in the country,” said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive, following Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting at the 28,000 square foot space on the third floor of Town Square office building. The location has 138 employees, whose job is to provide solar arrays for residences, businesses and institutions.
U.S. Senator Harry Reid and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval cut the ribbon, flanked by a coterie of federal and state lawmakers who have supported legislation that facilitates the opening of businesses such as SolarCity. Rive cited Assembly Bill 423 and Senate Bill 128 from the 2013 Nevada legislative session as having paved the way for his company.
The opening came on the heels of the National Clean Energy Summit, an annual gathering started by Reid six years ago.
At the SolarCity ceremony, the Senate Majority Leader said, “We’re waiting to see what the public utility does,” adding that it would be a deciding factor in the future of solar development in the Nevada.