SolarCity Estimated Market Valuation: $1.5 BillionElon Musk seems to like to take his companies public. He did it a couple years ago with Tesla Motors, there are rumor of a SpaceX IPO, and it now appears that SolarCity (a solar system installer that he helped create and is now the chairman of) is getting ready to go public in the third quarter of this year.
"The San Mateo, California-based startup will file its IPO plans with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission 'within a few weeks,' the source said. The deal is expected to value the company at around $1.5 billion." (source)
SolarCity is now the top solar installer in the U.S., and an IPO could help it grow some more by giving it access to the capital markets. We don't know yet how profitable they are (we'll find that out when the IPO papers are filed), but they have powerful partners (such as Google, which financed $280m of residential solar installations) and that "think big" startup spirit.
The way I see it, the bigger they become, the more solar panels they can install each year, the better.