It's a good year to be a California-based rooftop solar installation company, as such installations are experiencing a boom in the golden state. It's particularly good to be Sungevity. Sungevity announced the creation this week of a $50 million renewable energy tax equity fund created by Citigroup Inc. The Oakland-based company has raised over $120 million since last year. Sungevity launched a $0 down solar lease option last year, and as a result its solar installations, according to a press release, grew "ten fold from 2010 to 2011."
Sungevity is now operating in seven other states besides California: Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. On July 26, 2011 Sungevity launched its Rooftop Revolution, a new campaign that expanded Sungevity to the Northeast (New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts and Delaware). The campaign, which lasts until September 4, 2011, is based on a "bio-diesel, solar-powered ice pop truck," as a press release put it. The company is using the ice pops as a way to "symbolize solar energy as the refreshing alternative to fossil fuel."
The new equity fund by Citigroup supports Sungevity's "rapid growth and momentum," said Mac Irvin, Chief Financial Officer of Sungevity, "including our recent expansion to the East Coast and our significant partnership with Lowe's."
Sungevity announced its partnership with Lowe's in May. Lowe's provides its customers with Sungevity's iQuote, which uses satellite images and aerial photography to calculate the cost of installation. Through an iQuote display customers are be able to see the cost-savings of Sungevity's solar lease program. iQuote displays began in certain stores this summer and will spread to all Lowe's stores in states where Sungevity operates.
"I am thrilled about the potential of reaching Lowe’s 15 million weekly customers at their more than 1,750 retail locations, with Sungevity’s services," said Andrew Birch, chief executive officer, Sungevity. "This partnership marks a major acceleration point in our mission to make solar power easily accessible and affordable to homeowners nationwide."
Sungevity named Innovator of the Year by PBS
PBS named Sungevity "Innovator of the Year" during its Planet Forward television special about energy, climate and sustainability.
"We have built a network of thousands of smart homeowners across the country with our online iQuote process to make solar easy, and our finance innovation to make solar affordable," said Alec Guettel, Sungevity Board Chairman. "We are thrilled to be recognized for our innovative solutions and look forward to showing the Planet Forward audience our continuing efforts to improve how our country generates energy."
Photo: Flickr user, Muenzer
Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.