Top full-service solar company SolarCity has announced that it is acquiring direct sales company Paramount Solar for $120 million. SolarCity plans to use the big acquisition to help it along the road to winning 1 million customers by 2018.
Only $3.7 million of the acquisition involved cash. The remaining $116.3 million is in SolarCity stock. The CEO of Paramount will assume the role of chief revenue officer for SolarCity. Paramount was actually majority-owned by Guthy |Renker, the folks behind Proactiv Solutions. You know the stuff, commonly seen marketed via long infomercials. The CEO of Guthy | Renker , Ben Van de Bunt, is expected to join the board of SolarCity.
This move may signal the beginning of the mainstreaming, or at least the mass-marketing, of solar power services in the United States. As the number one full-service solar provider in the U.S., SolarCity already has 68,000 customers , 3,300 employees, and over 400 megawatts of solar capacity deployed.
It’s going to be interesting to see if SolarCity can meet, or exceed, its goal of reaching a million customers in the stated timeframe. If it does, it will mean that around 6 gigawatts of new solar capacity will be installed in the U.S. from SolarCity alone, and it’s by no means the only full-service solar company out there.
What we are really seeing here, is the building of some of the first distributed (rather than centralized) power utilities. The question is: just how big might these new distributed utilities become?