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Sunrun Solar Installations Topple Record Set by Tesla’s SolarCity

(Bloomberg) —

Sunrun Inc., the top US residential solar company, has surpassed an industry record that dates back seven years. 

The company deployed 275.4 megawatts of panels in the fourth quarter, surpassing the 272 megawatts added by SolarCity in the last period of 2015. SolarCity’s record came as the once-mighty company was near the peak of its success, and less than a year before it was acquired by Tesla Inc. 

“It says to me that we’re at that tipping point from a consumer-demand perspective,” Mary Powell, Sunrun’s chief executive officer, said in an interview. “We modestly exceeded even our expectation on growth.”

Residential installations have surged in recent years, propelled by federal and state incentives, rising energy bills and threats of blackouts. But the sector now faces headwinds that may slow the pace of growth, including higher interest rates and cuts to a key solar subsidy in California, the biggest US market.

While Sunrun’s installations grew more that 25% last year, the company expects that to slow. Installs will increase 10% to 15% in 2023, according to a statement Wednesday. 

SolarCity was once the rooftop sector’s marketing and lobbying machine, but it struggled with heavy debt before Tesla acquired it. Quarterly deployments slipped under Tesla, though it remains a national leader behind Sunrun.

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.


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