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Top 10 US Commercial Solar Developers Account For Only 42% Of Market

The top 10 commercial solar developers in the US only account for 42% of the total US commercial market, according to new figures published this week.

According to figures published in GTM Research’s latest report, U.S. Commercial Solar Landscape 2016-2020, the US commercial solar market is much more fragmented than its companion residential solar market, where the top three companies installed nearly half of the residential segment total in 2015.

“The fragmented commercial developer landscape is largely the result of bottlenecks in the customer origination process that make it difficult for any individual player to consistently grow,” according to Senior Solar Analyst and report author Nicole Litvak. “There are therefore no dominant players driving the overall market growth, as SolarCity does in residential.”

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As can be seen in the above graphs, the commercial solar industry still has leading players, with SolarCity and SunPower leading the way. The 13 leading national commercial developers, as highlighted in the report, have a number of common criteria for their success, according to GTM, including “an emphasis on originating large deals for Fortune 500 customers, a captive source of low-cost capital, and the ability to offer ancillary products and services such as energy storage.”

Additionally, the report highlights how regional developers are having more success in the commercial solar sector than national developers, however, this also results in more difficulty in financing the projects. “The commercial market has struggled to efficiently match individual projects with financing,” added Litvak. “Furthermore, there is almost a complete lack of tax equity financing available for systems with non-creditworthy customers.”

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