Roof + Solar = HuzzahAs you know, we're big fans of all kinds of solar power. From large scale to small scale, residential, commercial, PV, thermal, concentrating, everything. One kind that makes a lot of sense is rooftop solar; you have all these roofs - commercial and residential - baking in the sun all day, and right below them are the things that use most of the electricity we generate (appliances, electronics, lighting, factories, offices, etc). Putting solar panels on buildings is just plain elegant. You're not using more space, you are generate power close to where it is used (low transmission losses and costs), and you end up with a kind of massive distributed utility that is a lot less vulnerable to disruption.
One of the solar installers that are doing a good job of making it easier for people and companies to put solar PV on their roof is SolarCity. Today they released some guidance numbers showing how many megawatts they expect to install by the end of this year, and over the next. These could turn out to be over-optimistic forecasts (though this year's numbers should be pretty solid, since there are only a few months left) or too conservative, but they give us an idea of what to expect.
Here's what SolarCity released:
Third Quarter 2013 Operating Metrics
- In the third quarter of 2013, the Company deployed 78 MW.
- As of September 30, 2013, cumulative energy contracts reached 72,506, and cumulative customers rose to 82,235.
- Estimated nominal contracted payments remaining were $1,737 million as of September 30, 2013.
Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014 Guidance
- The Company continues to expect to achieve 278 MW deployed for its current fiscal year 2013.
- For its fiscal year 2014, the Company expects to deploy between 475 MW and 525 MW.
So a growth of 278 MW to 500 MW (let's take a number in the middle of the range) would represent a growth of 80%. Extremely impressive! Half a gigawatt is a lot for a single company, especially one that doesn't focus on large-scale solar farms. That probably explains the market's reaction, with the stock being up more than 20% today:
This kind of fast growth for solar helps to explain why solar is, for the first time ever, beating wind power in new capacity.
The Company continues to expect to achieve 278 MW deployed for its current fiscal year 2013.
For its fiscal year 2014, the Company expects to deploy between 475 MW and 525 MW.