SolarCity Corp Surpasses 110K Customers; Targets 1M By 2018

SolarCity Corp Surpasses 110K Customers; Targets 1M By 2018
By BrokenSphere (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) added 17,664 new customers during the first quarter. The company now has more than 110,000 customers. SolarCity aims to have one million customers by 2018. That means the San Mateo-based company will power one million homes in the next four years. The company installed 82MW of panels in the first three months of this year.

SolarCity adds Hewlett-Packard to its customer list

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY)’s cumulative megawatts deployed almost doubled from 333MW in Q1, 2013 to 649MW in the latest quarter. The Elon Musk-backed company forecasts panel installation of 500-550MW in 2014, taking the total to more than 1GW by the end of this year. SolarCity aims for 2GW of panel installation by the end of 2015. Recently, the company started operations in Nevada, where it expects to employ about 800 people. SolarCity’s leasing program is for 20-years,and the company assumes that about 90% of those customers will extend their leases for another 10 years. That’s a risky assumption given SolarCity has been in the market for just 8 years, and the solar technology is evolving rapidly.

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Earlier this month, SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) signed a deal with Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) to install solar panels at the computer company’s headquarters. Hewlett-Packard said the panels will supply 20% of its net energy usage. According to The Solar Foundation, solar industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Perhaps that’s the reason General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) CEO Jeff Immelt regrets missing SolarCity.

Why GE CEO regrets missing SolarCity?

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) is the leader in residential solar installation with about 26% market share, thanks to its financing strategy and leasing model. It’s an opportunity that established energy giants like General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) could have tapped. GE chief executive Jeff Immelt acknowledged this fact. During a Q&A session at Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s World Energy Innovation Forum, Immelt said his company was so focused on how bad the panel business was that it “missed SolarCity.” Immelt added, “My God, I wish I had thought of that.”

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) shares inched up 1.22% to $48.67 at 11:25 AM EDT on Wednesday.

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