Suncrest Solar set to expand with Tenaska investment

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Utah-based residential solar company Suncrest Solar will expand in size and scope following an investment from independent energy company Tenaska.

While Suncrest did not provide details of the investment, the company's president, John Corliss, said Tenaska partnered with the group "in residential solar to help us develop and expand." Corliss described Tenaska as a strategic energy partner with multiple years of experience in commercial and utility scale solar.

"At Suncrest, our mission is to lower our customers' electricity bills and provide solar at no upfront cost while also making a positive impact on the environment," Corliss added. "This investment will allow us to expand more quickly and provide more customers the ability to obtain solar and save money."

Suncrest designs, permits and installs solar panels on the roofs of residential electric utility customers. Electricity produced by the solar panels is fed directly into the home. Excess electricity is sold into the electric grid. The company installed more than 500 solar systems on residential homes last year.

"Suncrest is poised for growth and uniquely positioned to bring solar power to homes across Southern California, the surrounding region and the U.S.," said Greg Kelly, Tenaska's president of development. "The company brings that rare combination of a solid foundation and tremendous growth potential, along with a team in place that can get the job done."

One of the the largest privately held companies in the United States, Tenaska reported $9.5 billion in sales in 2013. The group owns 280 MW of utility-scale solar projects in California.

In addition to Tenaska's investment, Suncrest partner Sorenson Capital has also invested further in the company, although no details were provided. Suncrest said its partnership with Sorenson had proven invaluable to the rapid growth and expansion of the company.

Suncrest's expansion will include seven sales offices in California this year in addition to its existing Inland Empire, Orange County and San Diego locations as well as 10 more elsewhere in the United States in 2016.

Employment in solar energy industry has grown 20% since 2012, and California leads the U.S. in the industry, with more than 242,000 solar projects throughout the state.

"This is an exciting time at Suncrest Solar," said Suncrest Senior Vice President of Sales Josh Hatch. "With both Tenaska and Sorenson Capital on board, we can continue to build upon our successful sales platform and quickly expand to 20 markets."

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