American residential solar provider Vivint Solar has had an impressive start to the month of November with three big announcements which solidify the company’s standing as the country’s solar leaders, as it surpassed the 1 gigawatt (GW) milestone for rooftop solar installations amidst a strong third quarter and expanding its California offerings.
Vivint Solar published its third quarter financial results on Tuesday, revealing a strong quarter of growth. Rooftop solar installations for the third quarter amounted to 54 megawatts (MW), in line with the third quarter of 2017 and up significantly on the 47 MW installed in the second quarter. In total, the company installed 7,547 solar installations in the quarter, up on the 7,076 installations posted a year ago and up on the 6,678 installed in the second quarter.
Total revenue for the third quarter amounted to $77.8 million, up 3.5% year-over-year but down nearly 4% on the second quarter, and missing analyst expectations by $10.74 million. Earnings per share on both a non-GAAP and GAAP basis also fell into the negative, significantly missing analyst expectations. And while the company’s share price fell significantly it also rebounded almost immediately, presumably off the back of the company’s announcement that it had surpassed 1 GW worth of rooftop solar installations in the third quarter, making it one of the fastest residential solar providers to reach this milestone.
Specifically, as of the end of the third quarter, Vivint Solar had installed 1,007 MW worth of solar.
“We’re extremely proud of the entire Vivint Solar team for their contributions to this remarkable achievement,” said Vivint Solar CEO David Bywater. “The impact we have made on the environment and in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans by enabling them to power their homes with clean energy is immensely rewarding. We are confident that the quality of our installations and incredible customer experience will continue to differentiate us in the residential solar market.”
Vivint Solar has now provided solar installations to over 146,000 customers across 22 US states which, over the 30-year lifespan of the installations, are the equivalent of:
- Carbon dioxide emissions of approximately 12 million metric tons of coal burned
- Greenhouse gas emissions saved by recycling over 8 million tons of waste
- Greenhouse gas emissions of over 5 million passenger vehicles driven for a year
“Announcements like these are proof positive of a maturing industry,” added Alex Hobson, Director of External Communications for the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Today, solar is a major player in our nation’s economy and electricity mix. It’s exciting to see companies in our industry, like Vivint Solar, constantly innovating and improving their offerings so more customers gain access to reliable, low-cost clean energy.”
But Vivint Solar kicked off November by announcing that it had launched a new fixed-rate solar lease plan available initially in select Californian markets which would allow new customers to install solar panels for no money down, lease the solar panels from Vivint Solar for 20 years, and pay a fixed monthly payment over the entire term of the contract.
The new offering is part of Vivint Solar’s desire to be a major player in California’s solar market over the coming years after the advent of the state’s upcoming rooftop solar mandate which will require all new residential buildings to include rooftop solar installations starting in 2020. Specifically, and in collaboration with Vivint Solar, homebuilders in California will be able to offer multiple solar plans to homebuyers who will have the opportunity to choose from their preferred financing option.
“In order to provide a best-in-class customer experience, we must continue to diversify the ways homeowners can go solar and save money on energy bills,” said Vivint Solar CEO David Bywater. “This new solar plan introduces a simple, flexible option for embracing clean, renewable energy and gives new customers the assuredness that they will pay the same amount for solar energy in 2038 as they will in 2018.”
The announcement comes only a couple of months after the company revealed a partnership with one of the country’s largest homebuilders in a move which will see Vivint Solar provide its solar systems for new homes.
“As one of the largest and most experienced residential solar providers in California, Vivint Solar is actively preparing for the solar mandate, including through strategic partnerships like the one we announced in August,” said Jordan Winder, Vivint Solar’s Director of New Products, speaking to me via email. “Along with those efforts, we decided to introduce a new financing option that we believe will appeal to California homeowners who want to enjoy clean solar energy with the convenience of a fixed, predictable monthly payment over the life of the contract. This option may be especially appealing to new homeowners looking to streamline their expenses.”
Unsurprisingly, Vivint Solar does not plan to restrict its solar lease offering to “select markets in California” for long, believing that “a fixed rate solar lease option may appeal to consumers outside of California and plan to expand to other states in early 2019.”
As for the role California will play in Vivint Solar’s operations moving forward, the company is unsurprisingly keyed into the state’s decision to mandate solar on all new residential homes.
“California will remain a key market for Vivint Solar, especially after the mandate takes effect in 2020,” added Jordan Winder. “According to SEIA, California ranks number one in the nation for solar with more than 22,000 megawatts (MW) installed. That number will get a boost with the new requirement, which is expected to expand rooftop solar installation by 44 percent yearly across the entire industry. As the fifth largest economy worldwide, California is home to a growing number of people, meaning a larger carbon footprint as well, and Vivint Solar remains focused on providing Californians with clean solar energy.”
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