Irvine just got a little more solar-friendly.
Sullivan Solar Power, a San Diego-based solar system provider, opened a new location at 18 Technology Drive last week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and electric car demonstrations.
The business chose to expand into Irvine as its second location because of the city's reputation as an up-and-coming business hub, said company founder Daniel Sullivan.
The opening comes a couple weeks after the City Council's May 10 decision to waive fees on solar installations and solar water heaters for commercial and residential buildings.
"It was perfect time for the business to open in Irvine because residents and businesses can now take advantage of the fee-waiver program and at the same time the technology that [Sullivan Solar Power] has to present," said Councilman Steven Choi, who attended Wednesday's event. "The city of Irvine is always on the forefront and maintains stewardship of energy conservation and environmental policy."
In all, about 600 systems have been installed at Long Beach City College, San Diego State and the Port of San Diego, since the company was founded in 2004.
While a business at its core, Sullivan Solar Power is deeply rooted in sustainable energy advocacy with an aggressive policy of community outreach and education, Sullivan said.
"We are at the point where we are able to declare energy independence from fossil fuels," Sullivan said. "We have energy panels on our roofs and electric cars; we don't need to import oil from foreign countries any more."
The company installs solar panels, but also leaves the consumer with education on how to take conservation one step further, such as by using an electric vehicle.
Eventually, Sullivan said he would like to see an infrastructure of electric vehicle charging stations built in Irvine and the surrounding region.
"When it comes to solar energy and the electric vehicle, the potential is so much for job growth," Sullivan said. "…Irvine and the surrounding regions have the ability to make a difference and show people what happens when people get behind a cause."