US residential solar installer Sunrun Inc (NASDAQ:RUN) on Monday withdrew its previously announced deployment forecast due to the coronavirus-related uncertainty in the sector and said it undertook expense reduction actions.
In February, the company guided for 102 MW in first-quarter (Q1) deployments along with a 15% year-on-year rise in full-year deployments from the 413 MW registered in 2019. Yesterday, Sunrun reported 97.4 MW deployed in January-March 2020 and abandoned its prior projections.
Based on preliminary and unaudited financial and operational performance metrics, the company had USD 366 million (EUR 336.6m) in total cash at the end of the quarter, which is USD 3 million more than in the previous three-month period.
The company pointed out that during the pandemic it is betting on a nearly contact-free solar panel installation process that makes use of virtual sales consultations and drones to execute rooftop surveys.
Sunron noted that it concluded more installations during the second half of March than it did in the first half, but still the total was less than expected. It further noted that based on early indications people still want to go solar regardless of the possibility of a protracted economic downturn.
As of April 6, the company had capital to finance about 216 MW of leased projects at above 90% of contracted Project Value, it said.
According to a recent report by the Business Insider, Sunrun has axed at least 100 or so employees and furloughed at least 65 additional workers. The company confirmed to the news website that it reduced certain parts of its headcount, without giving details. In its quarterly update, Sunrun only mentioned that it resorted to “various labor-related cost actions” to cut costs by USD 30 million compared to Q1 levels.
“We believe these cost actions strike an appropriate balance that considers the welfare of our employees, protecting the business against possible downside scenarios, and preserving our ability to grow quickly as the situation stabilizes,” Sunrun said.
The solar installer estimates that if volumes plunge by 50% compared to the prior year for two quarters, its consumption of cash would be limited to USD 30 million per quarter or less, without any capital market activities.