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Solar provider breakdown: who leases PV systems?

Last updated 7/15/2020

Companies offering solar leases or Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are organized in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Vertically integrated

    These companies own all the major parts of the solar business, including capital, sales, installation, and after-sales service and maintenance. SolarCity is the best example of a vertically integrated solar company.

  2. Solar Financing companies with a preferred network of installers

    These companies use their own capital or source funds from a bank or a private investment fund to offer solar financing programs. They have built a national installer network that offers their financing program exclusively to consumers. Examples of such companies include SunRun, SunEdison, Sungevity. Some solar panel manufacturers are also providing financing using this business model. They include SunPower, Brightlease and CentroSolar.

  3. Solar Financing Company

    These are primarily financing companies that any installer can use to offer a solar financing solution to property owners. Companies like Clean Power Finance, Graybar Financial, Tech Credit corp. are examples of this business model.

  4. Installers offering proprietary solar leasing/PPA contracts

    Some larger installers have lined up a line of credit at a bank or at a private investment fund. Some even have put their own capital to finance commercial installations. Examples include Amberjack Solar and American Solar Direct.

Financing Solar Sales Installation Contract with Consumer System Maintenance
1. Vertically Integrated Company
In-house In-house In-house In-house In-house
2. Financing company with an approved installer network
In-house or via bank or private fund Network of installers Network of installers In-house Network of installers
3. Financing company; no preferred installer network
In-house Local installer Local installer In-house Outsourced to local installer
4. Installer with line of credit
In-house or via bank or private fund In-house In-house In-house In-house
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