Nation's largest solar installer to open Clermont facility

The largest U.S. solar panel installer is moving into sunbaked Florida's residential market after voters last month rejected a utility-backed ballot measure that critics said would make going solar more expensive.

SolarCity, a subsidiary of electric car maker Tesla Motors, said Thursday it is opening an operations center near Orlando and plans to spread into other areas of Florida.

A typical operations center employs about 100 people. The company is hiring for sales and installation jobs at its Orlando area facility in Clermont.

SolarCity installs custom solar systems that it leases to homeowners, and also maintains and repairs them.

In some states, the company sells the power generated by the panels directly to consumers. But in Florida, the law allows only utility companies to sell power directly to consumers.