SolarCity, in an earnings call with investors, trimmed its expectations for solar deployments, to 170 MW this quarter, down from 201 MW installed in the second quarter.
SolarCity said the slowdown in partially the result of a greater emphasis on profitability over growth in the wake of an acquisition bid from Tesla Motors.
SolarCity also took the occasion of the earnings call to announce it plans to roll out a “roofing integrated product” that will combine a product that can be used for new roofs or to replace existing roofs with a storage and an energy management system.
SolarCity is apparently still feeling the effect of the takeover bid from Tesla Motors.
Tesla made its offer in June when SolarCity shares were around $21 each. In August Tesla revised its offer downward, possibly to take into account the rise in SolarCity shares in the wake of the original merger announcement.
The pending acquisition between the two firms that share board members as well as close family ties – Elon Musk is CEO of Tesla and chairman of both Tesla and SolarCity; his cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rive, are CEO and chief technology officer, respectively, at SolarCity – has also affected funding at SolarCity.
The pending deal put a hold on the closing of a tax equity fund, reducing SolarCity’s cash on hand by 65%.
The pending merger also prompted SolarCity to put more emphasis on profitability over growth, but in the second quarter the company’s sales grew by 81% even as losses grew larger. SolarCity had a net loss of $55 million in the second quarter, outstripping a $22 million loss in the same quarter last year.
The less than stellar quarterly report did not slow down Elon Musk, however, who took the occasion to announce a new product that would combine a roofing product that incorporates solar panels with energy storage and software to integrate the solar-plus-storage system with the grid.
SolarCity did not reveal a lot of details about the roofing product, telling investors on the call, “We are going to keep the rest of the stuff a little secret.”
During the call Musk again underscored the synergies he sees between an electric vehicle company and a solar company, saying, “solar and battery go together like peanut butter and jelly,” adding, “you obviously need the battery, particularly as you get to scale and you want to have solar be a bigger and bigger percentage of the grid.”