Sunrun announced this week that it has expanded into its 11th state.
The solar company, which specializes in third-party-owned solar installations, just made its service available to Connecticut residents who get their electricity from Connecticut Light & Power and the United Illuminating Company.
“Those two utilities represent about 90 percent of the customers in the state,” said Susan Wise, Sunrun spokeswoman. “We think there is great potential in Connecticut. There’s plenty of sunlight and plenty of rooftops.”
Connecticut Governor Danell Malloy, along with other elected officials in the state, have made a commitment to sustainable energy and to the long-term health of the solar market in Connecticut.
California-based Sunrun’s model allows homeowners to install solar with no up-front expense and to pay a fixed and predictable rate for the power their solar panels produce. The lease, or power purchase agreement, model is growing in popularity throughout the country. Sunrun, Sungevity and SolarCity all specialize in the solar as a service space. The model has made it easier for more people to go solar and has made it possible for average middle-class Americans to afford solar.
Sunrun has seen continued growth in its other markets.
“We’re always looking for ways to expand and bring solar to more people,” Wise said.
In Connecticut, Sunrun is partnering with local installers Roof Diagnostics Inc., Real Goods Solar, REC Solar and Trinity Solar.
Wise said Sunrun always partners with local installation companies when it moves into new markets. The partnerships offer several advantages, she said. First, it eliminates competition issues. But it also gives Sunrun boots on the ground with installers who are already familiar with all the local regulations and processes for getting new solar installations approved.
“It allows the homeowners to have local connections and work with companies they know and trust,” Wise said. “It allows us to expand into new markets while supporting local growth and local businesses.”
She said Sunrun is currently focusing on its existing markets and doesn’t have any announcements about other new states where the company might begin doing business in the future.
“But we are always thinking about how we can bring this opportunity to more people,” she said.