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Blockbuster Sunrun/Vivint Merger Challenges Tesla Solar Ambitions

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The rooftop solar industry in America was shocked last week to learn that Sunrun was buying Vivint Solar for $1.46 billion in stock. In addition, Sunrun is agreeing to assume about $1.8 billion in debt owed by Vivint. “Sunrun will be freaking big,” Joe Osha, an analyst at JMP Securities, told Bloomberg News. “They are clearly looking for ways to get scale and efficiency

Tech Crunch reports that the combined company will have a value of more than $9 billion and expects to trim costs by $90 million per year thanks to operational efficiencies. With 500,000 customers and more than 3 gigawatts of solar assets, it will also gain more leverage with utility companies when it come to getting approval to connect more customers to the grid.

As impressive as 3 gigawatts sounds, it represents only 3% of the potential market for rooftop solar in America, so there is huge potential for growth. Together, the two companies account for 75% of all new residential solar leases each quarter, with Tesla in a distant third place.

“Americans want clean and resilient energy. Vivint Solar adds an important and high quality sales channel that enables our combined company to reach more households and raise awareness about the benefits of home solar and batteries,” Sunrun CEO and cofounder Lynn Jurich said in a statement. “This transaction will increase our scale and grow our energy services network to help replace centralized, polluting power plants and accelerate the transition to a 100% clean energy future.”

David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar, said in a statement, “Vivint Solar and Sunrun have long shared a common goal of bringing clean, affordable, resilient energy to homeowners. Joining forces with Sunrun will allow us to reach a broader set of customers and accelerate the pace of clean energy adoption and grid modernization. We believe this transaction will create value for our customers, our shareholders, and our partners.”

Reported by Clean Technica

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