SolarCity outlines cost cuts in run up to ITC reduction

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

Leading US installer SolarCity has revealed more details of its cost cutting plans in the run up to the reduction in the Investment Tax Credit from 30 to 10% in 2017.

During the company’s Q2 results call it set itself an installed cost-per-watt target of US$1.90 by 2017. It currently stands at US$2.29.

COO Tanguy Serra provided an overview of the strategy.

“We have a number of operating initiatives mapped out to get there, including further automation of our processes, further reduction of our balance of system unit costs, continued productivity improvements and introducing high efficiency, low cost to level margins through our panel mix,” he said.

Changing the source of panels will be partly achieved by the firm’s planned production output following its acquisition of manufacturer Silevo.

“We intentionally chose 2017 [as] that's been essentially when the ITC reduces from 30% down to 10,” said Lyndon Rive, SolarCity's CEO. “As we ramp up our manufacturing and we get a higher blend, the net cost will come down.”

The company reported installed capacity of 107MW for the quarter compared to 53MW in the same period last year.

The company attributed this to vast efficiency improvements among its growing installation team. The time taken for one job has been cut from 2.4 days to less than one day with the acquisition of racking manufacturer Zep Solar given part credit for this.

Spending on research and development was also up nearly ten-fold compared to Q2 2013 to US$3 million with plans for this figure to continue rising.

“The R&D component right now consists of culmination of research in many homes, other developments with Zep, battery and other energy control systems as well as heavy investments in our sulfur platform,” said Peter Rive, founder and CTO, SolarCity. “And it's difficult for us at this stage to be able to put a number out there in terms of the long-term research and development. It is something that we're investing heavily in. But for Q3 I'd expect it in the kind of US$4 million to US$6 million range.”

SolarCity also revealed it was trying a few solar loan products out and would have a “big announcement” in its solar loan offering in the future.

Following its third successful securitisation of US$201.5 million, outgoing CFO Bob Kelly said he expected future securitisations to remain around US$200-250 million in size.

SolarCity's full Q2 results can be viewed on its investor relations website.
 

2 December 2021
Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition & conference series for the solar industry. As part of this event series, Intersolar India in Mumbai is India’s most pioneering exhibition and conference for India’s solar industry. It takes place annually and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. Since 2019, Intersolar India is held under the umbrella of The smarter E India – India’s innovation hub for the new energy world.
9 December 2021
The Smart Energy Council is hosting Australia’s second Virtual Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition on Thursday, 9 December 2021. This event will show that the industry powers on despite COVID-19 and we are standing together undeterred in spirit. Bringing our global community together using the latest technology.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.
1 February 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.

Read Next

December 1, 2021
Major US bank Wells Fargo has closed its maiden tax equity investment into a colocated solar-storage project currently under construction in New Mexico, US.
PV Tech Premium
December 1, 2021
The price of shipping containers from Asia to Europe and North America remains high but should start to come down in the new year, although the main price drops won’t occur in earnest until 2023 when new capacity is brought online. That additional capacity, however, may be offset by new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules to address the industry’s emissions
December 1, 2021
Enefit Green, the renewables subsidiary of Estonian state-owned utility Eesti Energia, is looking to procure up to 500MW of solar modules in the next three years.
December 1, 2021
Tech major Amazon has added a further 2GW to its committed utility-scale solar PV capacity, adding projects in the US and Europe to its renewables portfolio.
December 1, 2021
Global solar PV deployment is on track to grow by 17% this year in spite of surging commodity prices increasing manufacturing costs, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
December 1, 2021
The European Commission (EC) has approved the extension of Poland’s auction scheme for renewable resources that is predicted to support the creation of 9GW of renewables after it passed EU state aid rules

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal