SolarCity enjoys record Q2 as losses narrow and installations rise

U.S. solar leasing provider SolarCity has posted encouraging second quarter (Q2) financial results that reveal the company added more than 44,000 new customers and installed 189 MW of solar PV over the period.

Despite posting a loss of $22.4 million, SolarCity’s deficit actually narrowed from a year previous, when Q2 2014 losses reached $47.7 million. Losses per share were just 23 cents this year, compared to 52 cents last year.

The company outperformed Wall Street forecasts, registering revenue of $102.8 million – more than the anticipated $90.8 million expected by leading analysts – buoyed by a 77% year-on-year increase in PV installations, and a quarter-by-quarter increase on the 153 MW registered in Q1.

The majority of SolarCity’s PV installations – 168 MW – were residential (a year-on-year growth of 86%) but a recently announced solar package aimed at small and medium-size businesses should see SolarCity’s commercial sector grow in the coming months, particularly in California, which is where the new package is being introduced first. A roll out to the rest of the U.S. is expected later this year and in early 2016.

California also remained SolarCity’s most lucrative hunting ground, registering a 97% growth year-on-year. Installations across the U.S. East Coast also grew impressively, accounting for one-in-three of all SolarCity installations in the quarter.

At the close of Q2, SolarCity had 262,495 customers on its books – up from 218,000 at the end of Q1 – and a cumulative installed PV capacity of 1.41 GW, an 86% increase year-on-year.

In the past 12 months SolarCity has generated $114 million in cash from deployed contracts, which are typically locked-in for 20 years and thus are set to generate a steady stream of income for the company, which has secured around 35% of the U.S. residential solar market with this attractive no-cash-down financial model. A study this week by GTM Research found that 72% of the 1.2 GW of residential solar installed in the U.S. in 2014 is third-party owned.

SolarCity confirmed Wednesday that it is seeking to raise a further $123.5 million by selling solar-backed notes in a private offering – a fundraising model that has served the company well over the past couple of years.