Sullivan Solar Power locks its doors and does not return phone calls



Sullivan solar power, one of the largest solar installation companies in the San Diego area, has closed its doors and some of its customers are worried about what will happen to the huge investments they have made in their solar systems on the roofs.

Several phone calls to Sullivan Solar Power in recent days go directly to voicemail, and the doors to the company’s Miramar office were locked on Tuesday morning. No employee appeared to be inside. A fleet of 17 yellow Sullivan Solar trucks was parked in the company’s front parking lot and 17 more trucks were parked in the back.

Several messages left by the Union-Tribune to the company over the past two days have gone unanswered.

“They haven’t been there for two or three weeks,” an employee of a neighboring company said Tuesday morning in the same office complex as Sullivan Solar.

A search of federal bankruptcy records on Tuesday showed no filings from Sullivan Solar Power.

According to the company’s website, which is still in business, Sullivan Solar has been in business since 2004 and has installed more than 9,000 solar systems for homes and businesses in San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties. It boasts a workforce of over 150 people.

The company’s Twitter page was also still live on Tuesday and the most recent tweet, boasting of a five-star Yelp review, was posted on October 15.

As the first reported by ABC 10News, a multitude of angry customers have since posted one star yelp review in the last days. “My 2 year old solar system is down and I can’t even get someone to answer the phone,” one and another posted, “now I have to withdraw money from the my child’s college savings. ”

A fleet of trucks in the Sullivan Solar Power parking lot in Miramar on Tuesday. The doors of the business were locked and phone calls were directed to voicemail.

(Rob Nikolewski / San Diego Union-Tribune)

In Carmel Valley, Cromwell Cornilier-Ty had a $ 14,000 roof system installed about a month ago on his two-story house.

Sullivan Solar has hired a subcontractor who, Cornilier-Ty said, has yet to be paid by Sullivan, leaving the owner potentially exposed to a $ 6,000 lien on his property. “I can’t blame the subcontractor because he has to be paid,” said Cornilier-Ty. “I tried to call (Sullivan Solar) and no one answered.”

Bruce Pollock, who asked the company to install an 8.32 kilowatt roof system on his 2,300 square foot home in Ramona about seven years ago, is concerned about the state of his warranty. 20 years.

“I’m afraid if my system crashes tomorrow I’ll have to pay to get it fixed and I don’t even know where I will go,” Pollock said. It has also been waiting for months for an upgrade so that it can once again monitor the solar production of its system on a daily basis.

Kate Callen of North Park spent $ 17,000 to have Sullivan Solar Power install a roof system on her 1,500 square foot home. The work was completed in August. “In the end, they were extremely worried about getting that last check (for $ 3,000) and that was a red flag to me,” Callen said. “It was really clear that they needed this control immediately.”

Bruce Pollinger, who spent $ 12,000 to have Sullivan install a roof system on his three-bedroom house in Oceanside earlier this year, said he was shocked to hear the news.

“One of the reasons I chose Sullivan was that they had such great reviews and a colleague of mine recommended Sullivan,” he said. “The salesperson sold me on the fact that they had been in business for 16 years; they’re not going anywhere.

Sullivan Solar Power was founded by Daniel Sullivan, who is also the CEO of the company. The company has maintained high visibility in the San Diego area, investing in print and broadcast advertising and issuing press releases over the years.

Sullivan himself has been a strong advocate for solar and renewable energy, attending press conferences, supporting legislation in Sacramento, and sometimes criticizing investor-owned utilities like San Diego Gas & Electric.

In a company press release promoting a solar education event in 2019, Sullivan said his company “has fought to get San Diego to 100% clean energy to show the world that we don’t need to depend on fossil fuels to power our homes, businesses and vehicles. ”

Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Cinnamon energy systems in Silicon Valley, has been installing solar systems for residential, commercial and industrial customers in California for decades and said the solar and battery industry is “inherently a low gross margin business.”

Cinnamon said he had no idea what had happened at Sullivan Solar Power, but “it is extremely common for companies to get bigger and bigger and then start selling on the basis of low prices and find they find themselves in a cash shortage. Their whole business is focused on getting the next new customer, cutting prices, low margins, a lot of excitement and then it crumbles. “

In early 2018, Sullivan Solar installed a 336,520-watt solar system at Petco Park, billed as the largest of all Major League Baseball stadiums. Comprised of 716 high-efficiency 470-watt solar modules, it is expected to produce more than 12 million kilowatt-hours in 25 years.

“It makes all the other systems (in baseball) a lot smaller so the Padres come in first place in the season,” Sullivan said at a press conference at the time, surrounded by Padres officials and the mayor. of the time, Kevin Faulconer.

Sullivan Solar also has an office in Irvine. Phone calls to Irvine’s location in recent days have also been directed to the same voicemail as the San Diego office.

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