Sunworks Inc. is moving the offices for its non-residential solar business from Riverside to Tustin, in the latest sign of the Orange County’s growing role as a hub for the clean energy and battery technology industries.
“It makes sense for us to be in Orange County in that very centralized area,” Sunworks (Nasdaq: SUNW) Chief Executive Gaylon Morris told the Business Journal on July 6.
He added: “It’s centrally located to tons of wonderful businesses that hopefully would like to have solar put on their rooves or parking lots of their facilities.”
Sunworks, with headquarters in Placer County’s Roseville, is valued at about $260 million. It provides a combination of solar energy projects operations and development services.
The company reported first-quarter net revenue of $6.2 million, about half of the amount for the same period of 2020.
“It’s both a tactical and a strategic move for us,” Morris said of the company’s non-residential operations’ move to Orange County. “It’s a great place for us to operate.”
He said the company’s divisions are split between the services for private homes and the commercial side that can handle installations at gas station parking lots, colleges, multi-family homes and other sites. The Tustin office will be responsible for non-residential sites in Southern California.
The company’s corporate headquarters are remaining in Placer County.
“The new facility gives us room to grow,” said Morris of the new Tustin base at 18302 Irvine Blvd.
He said the company handles all aspects the solar panel and battery installation.
“We install solar and batteries, basically all of the balance of the system—everything that’s required to get the solar energy into your building or onto the grid. Everything that’s required to get the battery energy out of the batteries into your facility or onto the grid. We do all of that. We stop at the meter.”
The services they provide range as far as contracting for pile drivers and canopies.
“It’s a turnkey solution,” Morris said. “As a prime contractor, we sub some of the work out.”
“We see Southern California as integral to our strategy for success in the future,” Morris said. Among local projects, the company is nearing completion of a 66.4 kilowatt solar panel system with battery energy storage at the Viair air compressor company in Irvine.
The move is expected to lead to more work, the CEO said.
“I have really high hopes for the growth of the company in that area.
“We see Southern California as integral to our strategy for success in the future.”
Up to 15 people are expected to be working out of the new Tustin base by the end of the year.
Other companies in OC are also breaking into the field.
They include Irvine-based Sunpin Solar, which has been developing projects in Southern California and elsewhere in the U.S., and BayWa r.e. with North American headquarters in Irvine.
Macquarie Bank’s Green Investment Group said in January it’s investing in esVolta, an Aliso Viejo-based developer and owner of utility-scale, battery-based energy storage projects across North America.
Further afield, OneCharge in Garden Grove makes lithium-ion batteries for forklifts that haul goods around warehouses and industrial sites, and says the boom in demand that it is experiencing for its power supplies is a good indicator of the coming economic pickup.