Sunrun CEO Lynn Jurich to step down as firm posts record quarterly install figures

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Lynn Jurich has been Sunrun chief executive for nearly a decade. Image: Sunrun.

Lynn Jurich is resigning as CEO of Sunrun as the company increases its 2021 guidance after delivering record quarterly installation volumes during Q2.

Jurich, who co-founded the US rooftop solar installer in 2007 and has been chief executive for nearly a decade, is leaving the position later this month to become the firm’s executive co-chair of the board, a role she will share with co-founder Ed Fenster.

She will be replaced by Mary Powell, a former CEO of utility Green Mountain Power and current Sunrun director, as of 31 August. Sunrun said it evaluated both internal and external candidates for the role.

Jurich said her transition to executive co-chair will give her the opportunity to continue supporting Sunrun while having the freedom to design scalable solutions for solving the climate crisis.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside Mary on our board over the last three years, and believe that her intense drive, passion and love of people and the planet make her the right person to unlock Sunrun’s next phase of growth as we continue to transform the grid,” Jurich said.

Powell served as Green Mountain Power CEO from 2008 to 2019, during which time she led the acquisition and merger of utility Central Vermont Public Service. She joined Sunrun’s board in 2018, where she is said to have played an important role in developing the company’s strategic plan and overseeing its growth.

Powell said she is looking forward to using her experience leading energy companies to accelerate home electrification and drive innovation for customers. “With climate-related risks on the rise, an electric grid system well over 100 years old, and a national focus on addressing climate change, Sunrun’s mission to build a planet powered by the sun is more critical than ever.”

Installation growth on track to continue in Q3

Reporting its Q2 results yesterday, Sunrun revealed it installed 185.6MW of rooftop solar during the three months to the end of June, representing a quarterly record for the firm as it beat a previous high of 171.6MW posted in the fourth quarter of 2020.

During a conference call with investors, CFO Tom vonReichbauer said the company expects this momentum to continue into the third quarter, with sequential quarterly growth in solar energy capacity installs expected to up 15% from Q2.

The strong performance has led management to upgrade its guidance for solar capacity installed in 2021 to 30%, up from the previous growth estimate of 25-30% for the year that was revealed in the firm’s Q1 results statement.

The Q2 install figures represent a 53% rise on the same quarter of 2020, as Sunrun benefits from last year’s US$3.2 billion acquisition of rival Vivint Solar.

Sunrun added around 26,000 customers in the second quarter, representing an 11% increase on Q1’s customer additions, meaning the firm now has just shy of 600,000 customers, including approximately 520,900 subscribers.

Q2 revenue rose 121% year-on-year to US$401.2 million, while revenue from solar energy systems and product sales increased 142% to US$181.7 million.

Despite the revenue jump, Sunrun reported a Q2 net loss of $213.4 million, compared to a US$134.5 million net loss during the same quarter last year.

Sunrun has grown its workforce by more than 25% since the beginning of 2021, and Jurich said during the investor call that the firm is hiring quickly to meet accelerating demand.

She said that during the quarter, the “dire need” for Sunrun’s service offering has been made even more apparent: “Extreme weather caused by climate change has resulted in record-setting wildfire season, more power outages, accelerating cost of utility power and increased pollution.”

Conference call transcript from the Motley Fool.

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