National Solar PPA and Leasing Companies – Below is a brief description of the major national PPA and leasing companies. We will add info on these companies and what they offer as well as alternatives as the appear. These companies are in our registry. We list their home office though most have branch offices in a number of states.
80% of the market is now controlled by a handful of companies. At the moment – SolarCity and Sunrun are the two major players followed by Vivint. There are a number of smaller companies with a national or at least multistate footprint. Astrum, REC which just got bought by Wunrun in an attempt to emulate Solarcity which is chasing Vivints model. RGS formly Real Goods Solar, Verengo, Sunpower, Clean Energy Partners, Sungevity, are among others. All of these companies are or have evolved into businesses that feature their PPA and lease products. These models are similar but each company has its own unique product.
SolarCity (solarcity.com) was founded in 2006, launched its lease product in 2008 and is currently one of the largest solar finance and integration companies in the US in terms of market share. SolarCity utilizes an in-house solar lease model and has been very successful in securing external financing including investments from Credit Suisse, First Solar, Google, PG&E and US Bancorp. The company has a significant presence in all major residential markets that allow third-party residential lease products and have favorable market conditions. At the time of publication, SolarCity was in the process of launching its IPO.
Founded in 2007, Sungevity (sungevity.com) helped pioneer the open-source finance model. It was also one of the first companies to conduct preliminary PV system survey, design and sales activities over the phone and via the Internet. Sungevity launched its residential lease product in 2010 and is active in major solar markets across the US. The company has a centrally located phone and web-based sales team and a regional network of solar installation subcontractors.
SunPower (sunpowercorp.com) is a global manufacturer of solar modules that was founded in 1985 as a subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductors. The company distributes its equipment and solar lease products through an authorized dealer network. SunPower has a national presence and offers residential financing options in most major US solar markets. French oil conglomerate Total acquired a majority share in SunPower in 2011.
Founded in 2007, Sunrun (sunrunhome.com) is currently one of the largest solar finance companies in the US in terms of market share. Its dealer network model has allowed it to expand into most major US markets with a distributed team of subcontracted installation companies. Sunrun has made substantial investments in its financial and service infrastructure and markets directly to residential consumers using mass media strategies. Recently acquired RECSolar in an effort to compete with Solarcity, and adopt a similar vertical model perhaps with an eye on a future stock offering.
A large national provider of home automation, alarm and energy management products and services, the company has recently moved aggressively into the residential solar lease market. It features a canvassing approach to sales same as it has built its home security services business. Its sales have grown rapidly in the industry.
Clean Power Finance.
Gary Kremen founder (cleanpowerfinance.com) in 2007. As well as offering other services, the company provides a web-based solar proposal tool and a residential lease or power purchase agreement product that it launched in 2011. CPF’s focus is to create a bridge between solar integrators and the financial industry. CPF does not market itself directly to the residential consumer, but rather provides whitelabel financing products that allow solar installation companies to offer financing under their own brand name.
NRG SunLease (nrgsunlease.com) provides residential solar financing through a dealer network. The firm is a subsidiary of Fortune 500 company NRG Energy. NRG SunLease has been active in many major US solar markets, with a dealer network of more than 40 companies. It is active in multiple states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Texas. NRG SunLease will be releasing a new product for 2013.
Founded in 2009, OneRoof Energy (oneroofenergy.com) employs the dealer network model. OneRoof Energy supports system installation during new construction or building reroofing, and the company has recently announced partnerships with several large roofing contractors and solar equipment manufacturers. It offers in-house resources to support its network, allowing partners to focus on system design and installation.