But that was then and this is now, and with the last year several companies have left the solar industry, reduced their workforce, or gone bankrupt. SolarCity has been absorbed by another of Elon Musk’s ventures Tesla. Now the company has lowered it’s expectations for growth and has refocused its attention toward providing premium service offering infinity warranties on their products.
Last year according to their 10k filings, the three largest solar companies in the United States combined lost over $1 billion. The largest company, SolarCity, had revenues of $730 million but lost $820 million. In second, Sunrun with revenues of $454 million still lost $303 million, Finally Vivint Solar earned $135 million but still hemorrhaged $242 million, proportionally the largest losses of any of the three. What is worse, Sunrun is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding “whether the company adequately disclosed how many customers had canceled contracts.” The SEC is also looking at SolarCity.
SB 700 would require utility companies to collect even more funds from ratepayers to help establish an Energy Storage Initiative, an ESI. This ESI would work in conjunction with the existing Self Generation Incentive Program that has been so successful in California. The ESI would need to be funded through 2027.