Funny - Morgan Stanley, who funded SolarCity, is in trouble, so now First Solar invests in SolarCity and sells to SolarCity (kind of reminds me of the dotcom deals). We will see. But CertainTeed better find some other toys to play with - it will be very, very hard to compete when your cost of manufacturing is 2x that of the larger competitor.
-------------- First Solar and SolarCity Announce 100MW Module Supply Agreement to Serve U.S. Residential Segment
* Companies sign 5-year 100MW module supply agreement * First Solar invests $25 million in SolarCity
TEMPE, Ariz. & FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq:FSLR) and SolarCity Corporation today announced a module supply agreement and investment that will make solar power an affordable option for more U.S. homeowners and businesses. The two companies have entered into a five-year agreement that calls for First Solar to supply 100 megawatts of its advanced thin film solar modules to SolarCity, marking First Solar’s entrance into the U.S. residential segment. Pursuant to the agreement, First Solar will begin delivering modules to SolarCity in the first quarter of 2009. First Solar will also make a $25 million equity investment in SolarCity; part of a $30 million round of financing that will fund SolarCity’s continued U.S. expansion.
SolarCity, one of the nation’s leading residential solar installers, currently serves California, Arizona, and Oregon with plans to expand into additional states. SolarCity’s innovative SolarLease™ financing option allows homeowners to switch to solar power for less money than they currently pay for electricity from their power company, without the need for a large upfront investment.
With years of high volume production and system performance monitoring, First Solar has demonstrated proven efficiencies leading to high energy yields, low production costs and predictable energy performance. First Solar’s industry-leading modules make it possible for SolarCity to serve residential and small commercial markets where solar was not previously an affordable option.
“The combination of First Solar’s modules with SolarCity’s innovative approach to designing, financing and maintaining complete solar solutions enables homeowners and small business owners to lower their electricity costs while reducing air pollution and the effects of global warming,” said Mike Ahearn, First Solar’s chief executive officer.
“Our relationship with First Solar will enable us to deliver affordable solar power to a wider market of residential and small commercial customers,” said Lyndon Rive, chief executive officer of SolarCity. “We believe that together, SolarCity and First Solar are uniquely capable of making solar power competitive with the cost of electricity generated from fossil fuels across the U.S.,—making solar a mainstream source of electricity in the next several years.”
It will be interesting to see how aesthetics impacts residential decision making. From the investors day slides, the Unisolar residential materials will look like a roof. The First Solar panels look like a science project.
I'm not guessing how it will play out, but I would think that would be factor in the decision making in some cases.
matthewsnow: No need to be concerned about that. Here is the list of all the panel makers and their installations smaller than 5KW reserved and noncancelled in California since Jan 2007, in KWs:
Shanghai Solar Energy S&T Co Ltd. 2 Solartech Power Inc. 2 Energy Photovoltaics 2 ASE Americas 4 Shell Solar 5 Jiangsu Linyang Solarfun Co Ltd 7 Siemens Solar 7 MC Solar 11 Kaneka Corporation 11 Connect Renewable Energy 12 GE Energy 17 Atlantis Energy 18 Baoding Yingli New Energy 20 Webel-SL Energy Systems 20 Matrix Solar/Photowatt 23 Solar Power Inc 24 Conergy AG 25 United Solar 29 United Solar Ovonic 43 Schott 51 Open Energy Corporation 63 REC ScanModule AB 67 Day4 Energy 84 Ningbo Solar Electric Power Co Ltd 102 Schuco USA LP 201 Suntech Power, Inc. 325 Andalay Solar, Inc. 963 SolarWorld California, Inc. 1349 Mitsubishi 1893 Evergreen Solar 2096 Sanyo 2222 Kyocera 3052 BP Solar 4485 Sharp 5460 Sunpower Corporation 6396
What do you see? I see Unisolar having 0.2% share of the residential rooftop market. Meaning, 99.8% of the residential rooftop market is glass solar panels. Aesthetics, my ass. Time to put your Excel skills into some use, don't you think?