Can Vivint be the Biggest U.S Solar Installer in 2013?
Following on the heels of the announcement that Vivint would be purchased by Blackstone for more than $2 billion, Vivint has said it plans to install solar on at least 10,000 homes in 2013. That’s according to founder Todd Pederson, who discussed expansion plans with Bloomberg earlier this week.
That’s up significantly from about 1,500 rooftop solar installations the company’s completed thus far. That being said, the company started installing solar about a year ago. Vivint is building on its other home offerings which include security, energy management and automation. The company also has decades of customers, almost 700,000 throughout the U.S. and Canada, to potentially up-sell residential solar systems to under power-purchase agreements. And with that type of name recognition and market penetration it’s feasible the company could quickly grow the business to become one of the nation’s largest residential solar companies.
However, the company is still working out the details of its purchase by Blackstone. “Unfortunately we have entered into a ‘quiet period’ until the Blackstone deal closes, therefore we aren’t doing any interviews at this time,” said Vivint spokesperson Megan Herrick.
Under the agreement Blackstone Capital Partner VI, L.P. and it’s affiliates, will acquire Vivint from its shareholders, among them Goldman Sachs, Peterson Partners and Jupiter Partners, according to a September press release. Blackstone will also acquire Vivint Solar Inc. and 2GIG Technologies, Inc. from its respective shareholders. The purchase will allow the company access to additional funds to expand its business, including the solar business.
Still, the company’s plans to grow its solar business are ambitious. “We went from installing about one a day in January to about 20 a day now,” Vivint CEO and Founder Todd Pedersen told Bloomberg. “Forty-five to 50 installs a day gets us to that number. It’s not that big of a stretch.”
On the other hand, the company’s got some mighty big shoes to fill or catch up with. The nation’s largest rooftop solar installer is SolarCity—which is working on projects like SolarStrong—SunRun, Sungevity and other residential installers that have a larger nationwide footprint than the Provo, Utah-based company, which is currently providing systems in parts of California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Hawaii.
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