SolarCity’s Market Share Jumps to 32% of U.S. Residential PV Market

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SolarCity installs almost a third of all U.S. residential PV in the third quarter of 2013, according to the GTM Research US PV Leaderboard. The company installed nearly four times as much as its closest competitor, Vivint Solar.

SolarCity accounted for almost a third of all U.S. residential PV installed in the third quarter of 2013, according to the GTM Research US PV Leaderboard. The company installed nearly four times as much as its closest competitor, Vivint Solar.

Despite SolarCity’s dominant position in strong solar markets such as California and Arizona, the company doesn’t top GTM’s leaderboard in all states. Vivint has led Massachusetts all year, and New Jersey-based companies Roof Diagnostics and Trinity Solar Power both installed more than SolarCity in their home states in Q3.

“SolarCity’s market share is likely to continue growing into 2014, but the addressable market is large enough to allow for growth among major competitors like Vivint, local installers, and new players in the residential solar industry,” Solar analyst Nicole Litvak commented.

The leaders in Q3 2013 residential solar installs in the United States: 

1. SolarCity

2. Vivint

3. Verengo

4. REC Solar

5. Real Goods Solar

US Solar PV Marketshare

SolarCity was at the forefront of innovative solar financing options, partnerships, and mergers in 2013. “In addition to a steadily growing market share, the company made a bevy of moves over the course of the year, ranging from the first securitized distributed solar deal to the acquisitions of Paramount Solar and Zep Solar,” said Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President, GTM Research. “SolarCity’s 2014 guidance suggests another rapid year of growth, barring bottlenecks in component costs, project finance or regulation.” 

SolarCity’s diverse sales strategies have played a major role in the company’s ability to capture such a large share of the residential market. Nicole Litvak cited the firm’s key partnership with companies such as Home Depot, Honda, and Viridian Energy to tap new sources of customers. “The installer has been quick to enter and dominate new residential growth markets such as New York and Connecticut,” Litvak said. 

GTM Research estimates that installers added 753MW of residential PV in 2013. That’s in line with the latest NPD Solarbuzz North America PV Markets Quarterly report, which stated that small-scale solar projects (i.e., residential and small non-residential rooftops) accounted for about 700MW in 2013 — representing an increase of 10% year-over-year. More than three quarters of small-scale demand came from the residential segment, the report stated.