It was a perfect August day with the sun fittingly shining and enthusiasm in the air. A sea of blue and orange looked on as Scott Boose, president of Direct Energy Services, flipped the ceremonial switch in front of our new headquarters in Columbia, Maryland, symbolizing another step towards our goal to be one of the largest residential and commercial solar installers in the country. “We have plans to create 800 new jobs across North America for our solar operations this year. As we expand and open in new markets, we need one central site where our team can work together to support this growth. We are pleased we were able to remain in Howard County, which has been home to our solar business since 2008,” said Boose.
In additional to the ribbon cutting ceremony, which included local and state officials and media representatives, we were also joined by the Direct Energy Innovation to Inspiration 18-wheeler mobile exhibit, equipped with interactive displays of new innovations in home, solar and business energy management.
Our new 42,000-square-foot facility was custom-built to our needs and specifications—and employees now benefit from an open workspace and amenities which allow for more efficiency and greater collaboration. The additional space also allows us to continue our expansion with a goal to hire an additional 800 people across North America this year.
“Innovation fits directly with the area’s workforce, so we’re happy Direct Energy Solar was able to stay in Howard County,” said Lawrence Twele, CEO of Howard County Economic Development Authority. “The jobs they have are sales, marketing, engineering and installation, so it’s one of those companies that provides a lot of opportunities for a wide range of skills.”
The new facility also includes a 10,000 square foot operations warehouse and of course, we’ll be installing solar panels on the roof and electric car charging stations in the parking lot in the coming months.
“I am excited that Direct Energy Solar has chosen to stay right here in Howard County,” County Executive Allan Kittleman said. “Direct Energy Solar is innovative, agile, and a leader in technologies of the future and Howard County is proud to be able to support their growth. They are an example of the kind of economic investment that will grow our regional economy,” added Kittleman.
There were a number of events scheduled throughout the day, but what employees enjoyed most was the company cookout and dunk tank competition. Yes, you read that right. Dubbed the “Solar Soak Contest”, the executive leadership team all took turns manning the dunk tank that not only provided their teams an opportunity to dunk their bosses, but for every successful dunk, we made a monetary donation to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. These types of actions and activities represent the exciting changes that are taking place at Direct Energy Solar—changes that will continue to benefit not only customers, but the communities we serve.
“Solar really helps us make a difference in customers’ lives,” Boose said. “Through the technology and innovation in solar, it positions us to make that difference and frankly, allow customers to use less energy. From an energy company, that’s not something you often hear.”
But now you will!