Why SolarCity Is Succeeding in a Difficult Solar Industry

Solar suburbs: A residential solar installation in Peoria, Arizona. SolarCity

After a steady stream of bankruptcies, poor earnings reports, and canceled IPOs for clean-energy companies, this week SolarCity bucked that trend by announcing that it had filed the necessary paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO.

The key difference between SolarCity and many other clean-energy startups is that it isn’t trying to take on incumbents with new technology. It makes money by deploying existing solar technology with a novel approach to financing.

SolarCity designs, installs, and maintains solar-energy systems fitted to homeowners’ roofs. Instead of asking for a big upfront payment, it leases the systems. As the panels produce power, surplus electricity is sold back to the local utility. Combined with the savings that come from using less power from the grid, this will typically reduce the homeowner’s electric bill by enough to offset the lease payments.


One comment

  1. Fred and Dina Dales says:

    Hello. We would like to ask if you have service on Mt. Crest. Our street address is 215 Hill St. Crossville, TN 38572. (Bledsoe County) Ridge Road West is our intersecting road.We have cleared about 3 acres and will be clearing more.

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