SolarCity released its third-quarter earnings report to investors on Wednesday, revealing a nearly 20% increase in revenue over the same quarter a year earlier.
In a letter to shareholders (PDF), SolarCity CEO, Lyndon Rive, and CFO, Brad Buss, wrote that their company’s “long-term value creation for shareholders has never been stronger,” adding that SolarCity “continued to experience unprecedented demand in the quarter, while greater scale and efficiencies drove our unit costs to new lows.”
Revenue rose to $58.34 million from $48.6 million at the same quarter a year ago. Though, according to Thomson Reuters, analysts were expecting revenue to reach $60.23 million.
SolarCity now has over 168,000 customers, a number five times what it was in the second quarter of 2012. The company has set itself a goal of reaching one million customers by mid-2018, which requires a compound growth rate of 61% — a figure easily achievable under SolarCity’s growth rate of 104% since 2012.
SolarCity figures are all on the increase, with the number of MW booked and deployed both hitting new highs in the third quarter — up 154% and 77% respectively. And maybe most importantly for the company and its shareholders, SolarCity remains the number one residential solar installer in the United States.
SolarCity has now deployed a cumulative 894 MW at the end of Q3’14, leading to the following guidance:
- Q4 2014 Guidance for 179 – 194 MW Deployed
- Full year 2014 guidance now 505 – 520 MW
- Full year 2015 guidance now 920 – 1,000 MW
SolarCity also launched what it is describing as its “most important new product since Solar Lease in 2008” — specifically, MyPower, which “is a new solar loan product that offers customers the benefit of ownership and lower monthly energy bills with no upfront investment.”
The introductory interest rate of 4.5–5.0% is based around a similar setup as a traditional power purchase agreement, and allows customers the opportunity to own a solar system and lower their monthly energy bills from the get-go.
Late September also saw SolarCity announce that it would be building a new manufacturing plant in New York State — labelled by some as another Elon Musk “gigafactory,” as it is set to produce more than a gigawatt of solar panels a year.
While it was a good month for residential installations, Forbes notes that the company is still struggling to crack the business market. Nevertheless, with record installations and a growth rate any company would be proud of, SolarCity is likely to remain the dominant residential solar installer over the next 5 quarters. All that remains is to see how it deals with competition as the market matures and begins to flourish — though, in the wake of the recent Congressional elections in the US, one wonders whether the renewable energy industry will continue to receive the same love and support it has been used to.