Solar industry and utility companies can play nice. Investor-owned utility National Grid is investing $100 million into Sunrun to develop 200 megawatts of residential solar homes. The partnership includes a co-marketing campaign that will initially target 100,000 single family homes in National Grid’s downstate New York service area.
The partnership’s goal is to accelerate the adoption of cost-effective rooftop solar in National Grid’s service area. National Grid’s investment in the partnership will reduce the cost of the solar systems by between 45 and 55 cents per watt. That’s on top of the tax equity advances and other upfront incentives that Sunrun passes on to its customers.
“We are excited to partner with National Grid, a utility focused on truly creating a clean energy future, and to promote the growth of rooftop solar in the United States,” said Lynn Jurich, Chief Executive Officer of Sunrun. “This partnership demonstrates Sunrun’s ability to develop new strategic and financial relationships with partners to increase consumer access to rooftop solar while further unlocking value for customers.”
Partnerships between solar companies and traditional utilities are rare, yet cooperative efforts continue to pop up around the US. For instance, Vermont’s Green Mountain Power announced that it is offering its customers incentive packages that combine rooftop solar arrays and battery storage systems in an effort to retire outdated infrastructure and lower maintenance costs.
“This exciting partnership with Sunrun provides an opportunity for National Grid to increase our capability in the distributed energy space, and enhance our ability to meet the changing energy needs of our customers and communities,” said John Flynn, SVP of Strategy and Business Development at National Grid.
The companies also plan to promote Sunrun’s BrightBox solar-plus-storage residential systems, as well as use National Grid’s customer base to extoll the benefits of rooftop solar. Additionally, the companies will explore new ways to distribute energy resources, efficiently integrate residential solar into existing grid infrastructure and modernize the grid to support the influx of alternative energy sources.Tweet