Gov. Jay Nixon announced Sungevity, a global solar energy provider, has selected Kansas City to open its new sales and service center, creating 595 new good-paying jobs over the next several years. The expansion project will help the company support its expanding customer base across various time zones.
“Sungevity’s decision to invest in Kansas City further complements Missouri’s strategy to support the energy solutions industry and create next generation jobs,” Gov. Nixon said. “We are proud that our talented workforce continues to attract investments from innovative companies and of our dedication to put Missouri in a prime position for advancing energy efficiency.”
Headquartered in Oakland, Calif., Sungevity is considered one of the top residential solar companies in the nation. With its focus on making solar power easy and affordable for homeowners, the company can deliver a quote instantly with immediate visibility to savings on electricity bills. Today, the company services 11 states, the District of Columbia, the Netherlands and a joint venture in Australia.
“Kansas City’s geographical location, depth of professional talent and inviting business climate make it the ideal location for our new sales and service center,” said Andrew Birch, Chief Executive Officer of Sungevity Inc. “Our future Kansas City-based staff will enable us to extend our best-in-class solar service offering to more people in more places.”
Since energy solutions was identified by his Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth as a top target for next generation job creation, Gov. Nixon has made attracting investments in this field a priority of his administration. The state has been a recent recipient of major expansions by companies that advance this industry and create high-paying, next-generation jobs, including Burns & McDonnell and BioStar Systems. Missouri’s solar energy field, in particular, experienced one of the highest growth rates in the nation in 2013, according to a report from The Solar Foundation. Last year, solar energy equipment manufacturers, installers and suppliers added 1,600 jobs in Missouri, earning the state 12th in the country for the number of solar jobs, up from 20th just two years ago.
Over the past five years, Gov. Nixon has made clean, reliable, affordable and abundant energy a focal point and as a result, renewable energy production in Missouri has increased by more than 1 million megawatt-hours, or nearly 500 percent, since 2009. In June, the Governor signed an executive order to formally launch the development of a Comprehensive State Energy Plan, a strategic path towards a prosperous, secure, and sustainable energy future for the state. Led by the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Division of Energy, working groups are being established to expand upon public input provided at the seven public meetings held throughout the state in October. A final report from the Division will be submitted to Gov. Nixon by May 31, 2015.
To assist Sungevity with its expansion, the Missouri Department of Economic Development has authorized a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation and investment criteria. The City of Kansas City, the Kansas City Area Development Council, the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, KCP&L, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the Metropolitan Community College, and the University of Kansas also partnered with Sungevity to make its expansion possible.