SolarCity cuts 2016 installs forecast while Q1 deployment jumps

Residential solar system. Author: David TREBOSC. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

May 10 (SeeNews) - SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) reported a 72% jump in first-quarter (Q1) deployment and an even greater year-on-year increase in revenues, but it had to revise down its guidance for 2016 installations.

The US solar company previously expected to install 1.25 GW for the full year, but bookings in the first quarter were disappointing at 160 MW. This was mainly due to the regulatory uncertainty in key states including California, Arizona, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, and especially in Nevada, in combination with other factors.

In its results release Monday, SolarCity said it would not be able to compensate for the order decline in Q1. The company also expects lower Q2 bookings due to an increase in pricing for its commercial business. As a result, it cut its 2016 installations forecast to 1 GW-1.1 GW.


The company deployed 245 MW in the quarter, up by 71% year-on-year. At the end of March it had 2 GW deployed under contracts.

GAAP revenues rose by 82% on the year to USD 122.6 million (EUR 107.8m), but SolarCity saw its operating expenses rise by 54% to USD 227 million. Q1 net loss expanded to USD 213.5 million from USD 125.7 million a year ago.

Still, the company said it is “on the path to bring” costs back down later this year. Its forecast for the second quarter is in the table.

Results in USD million Q2 forecast Q1 figures
Revenue from Periodic Billings 105-108 84
Revenue from Solar Energy Systems and Components Sales 14-16 22
Revenue from Operating Lease Prepayments and Upfront Incentives 16-19 16
Operating expenses 240-250 227
Non-GAAP loss per share 2.70-2.80 2.56

With 214 MW installed, Q1 was SolarCity’s third highest quarter in terms of installations, up 40% year-over-year. In Q2 the firm expects to install 185 MW.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.879)

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for almost nine years. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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