- SolarCity kept its firm grip on the residential solar market in the first half of 2015. According to a new GTM research report, the sector leader installed 34% of residential systems in the U.S. in that period, matching its 2014 market share.
- The second biggest installer in this year’s first half was Vivint Solar, with a 12% market share. Sunrun was third, with a 3% share, followed by NRG Home Solar and Sungevity, each at 2%, according to GTM Research's Q3 2015 U.S. PV Leaderboard.
- The same installers have been the industry’s top five for three consecutive quarters, but change is underway. Vivint Solar was just acquired by SunEdison and TerraForm Power, its yieldco, for $2.2 billion. And Sunrun just published the terms of its $309 million IPO, launched on the strength of a revenue-tripling performance in 2014.
Installation of U.S. residential PV solar in Q2 2015 was up 6% over the previous quarter, and up 70% over the same period in 2014. Installed capacity is expected to grow by over 2 GW by the end of the year.
Sungevity fell from its 2014 third position in the top five to fifth in 1H 2015. GTM's report says the drop underscores trends that suggest SolarCity's model of vertical integration — being emulated with recent installer acquisitions by Sunrun and NRG Home Solar — is a more viable approach than Sungevity's outsourcing of financing strategy.
The third party ownership (TPO) financing structure that revolutionized the residential solar business is believed to have peaked in 2014 at a 72% market share, according to U.S. Residential Solar Financing 2015-2020, from GTM Research. Most of the top TPO financier-installers, led by SolarCity, have moved toward loan products.