NRG Home Solar eyes California's residential market

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U.S. residential solar company NRG Home Solar has today revealed its plans to open two new sales offices in California as it sets its sights on the Golden State’s soaring residential PV market.

The subsidiary of renewable energy company NRG Energy will seek to add 100 new employees at its Merced and San Diego offices, reports Reuters, as the company zeroes-in on the state’s lucrative residential space.

Currently, NRG Home Solar holds just 2.4% of the U.S. residential market, putting it fourth behind SolarCity, Vivint and Sungevity, but the company hopes to end 2014 with 10,000 home solar installations deployed, with a further 40,000 added next year.

The two new offices will complement the two existing offices in San Francisco and Emeryville, with the additional 100 staff taking the number of NRG Home Solar employees beyond 1,000.

Since acquiring rooftop installer Roof Diagnostics Solar and online sales portal Pure Energies earlier this year, NRG Home Solar has made a power play for the American solar lease and loan market. The company is set to begin offering zero-down solar loans to U.S. homeowners across the country, adding to its already-vibrant solar lease segment.

The dual-headquartered company (New Jersey and Texas) has seen its operating profits boosted in the third quarter thanks to the performance of its California Valley Solar Ranch and the Ivanpah solar plant, despite the latter – a huge CSP installation near the California/Nevada border – falling short of expected electricity production so far this year: at 189,156 MWh generated between May and August, production is some 40% below initial projections.

At residential scale, however, NRG Home Solar’s ambitions appear on course. In the summer the company announced that it is to open a new office in Connecticut, employing 75 new staff in the process, while its recent acquisition of Goal Zero will allow the company to offer mobile solar products to all consumers.

Sungevity announces new office

Fellow provider of residential solar systems, Sungevity announced last week that it is to open a new sales and service center in Kansas City in the state of Missouri. Over the next five years Sungevity hopes to create as many as 595 solar jobs in the city, creating a secondary hub that will complement its headquarters in Oakland, California.

"Kansas City’s geographical location, depth of professional talent and inviting business climate make it the ideal location for our new sales and service center," said Sungevity CEO Andrew Birch. "Our future Kansas City-based staff will enable us to extend our best-in-class solar service offering to more people in more places."

Sungevity’s Kansas City center will employ sales and operations managers and trainers, solar sales consultations and design engineers. The idea is for staff there to work with homeowners to devise the best finance options for those hoping to install their own solar system.