When Vincent Battaglia launched Renova Energy Corp. in 2006, he chose the Coachella Valley because of his deep community ties and the abundance of what the company needs most: sunshine.
Renova — a full-service solar power plant builder for homes, businesses, and nonprofits from the Coachella Valley to the Salton Sea — began as Battaglia’s MBA thesis at UC Riverside Palm Desert Graduate Center.
Battaglia cites the region’s trained workers as another link in his success. “The labor force here is conducive to the construction environment,” he says. “We retrained folks who were in the construction industry to understand solar and how to build solar power plants.”
Battaglia’s firm develops local talent, training up to 40 students at a time to build solar systems. “The solar industry is experiencing explosive growth,” he says. “We have a young workforce that’s hands-on. We are hiring local. We are keeping our tax dollars local. By the end of 2014, we will have 100 employees.”
The area’s lifestyle and cost of living positively affect the business. Battaglia also credits support from local banks, and the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership’s focus on the renewable and solar energy sector.
“We are fortunate to have the iHub in the Coachella Valley,” he says. “Anyone with an innovative idea or concept can get support that they need. If your focus is your business, you won’t find a better place to focus than the valley. Out here, you can really make your way.”