By Roy L Hales
San Diego’s Board of Supervisor’s declared June 30th “Sullivan Solar Power Day,” in honor of the county’s leading solar installation company. Supervisor Dave Roberts presented CEO Daniel Sullivan with a proclamation in a ceremony at the company headquarters (photo above).
“The declaration commends Sullivan Solar Power for its outstanding service, leadership and commitment to area residents, and recognizes its tenth anniversary in business, said Roberts. “Sullivan Solar Power is headquartered in Mira Mesa in the heart of my Third Supervisorial District. This company has accomplished so much in its first decade of service to create jobs, promote a clean environment, and work with all to make our county even greater by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. I look forward to what it will accomplish in its next decade of business.”
There were only about a dozen installation companies when Daniel Sullivan decided to go into the business.
He had been a master electrician for one of the largest commercial electrical contracting firms in San Diego, but by 2004 he had $2,500, a pick-up truck and was living in a friend’s garage. Sullivan installed the first jobs himself. Within a year, he moved out of the garage and was hiring people.
San Diego now leads the nation in rooftop solar (per capita) and there are more than 200 companies, but Sullivan Solar Power has been the leading installer since 2010. They employ more than 130 individuals, have a fleet of 55 vehicles, and regional offices in Orange County and the Inland Empire.
Most of their installations are in urban areas, but Sullivan Solar Power does about 30% of its work in the back country and has also done slightly less than a dozen off grid solar-with-battery jobs.
Erika Johnson was hired to do marketing/PR in 2009, and now heads a team of seven.
There is a sense in which Sullivan Solar Power’s progress is symbolic of the industry in San Diego.
“The entire board was very supportive of this (proclamation),” said Supervisor Dave Roberts, “We don’t usually honor businesses that are turning 10 years old but this truly has been a decade of growth and excellence.”
“Today’s Proclamation in naming June 30th Sullivan Solar Power Day was a surprise to our entire team, and probably the most honorable moment I have had since starting the company,” said Sullivan.
Asked if she though solar, probably with battery could provide 100% of San Diego’s energy needs, Erika Johnson replied, “Yes. There is an abundance of sunshine in San Diego. It is by far our most abundant natural resource. We would like to see San Diego, and all of California, to be a net-exporter of energy to the rest of the nation