June 19 (Renewables Now) - Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN) remained the top US home solar installer in the first quarter of 2019, while Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) fell to third place and Vivint Solar (NYSE:VSLR) climbed to second.
This is the first time Tesla/SolarCity has fallen that low in the quarterly rankings by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, dating back to the first quarter of 2013. With its annual installations on the slide, due to a decision to abandon a number of customer acquisition channels, Tesla has been responsible for a slowdown on the US residential solar market in 2017 and 2018. Its impact will be much less severe this year.
Wood Mackenzie calculates that the 15% drop observed in the residential solar market in 2017 would have been just 2% if Tesla was excluded from the calculation. In 2018 the market recorded growth of 7%, but that would have been 15% if not for Tesla.
In its best quarters, SolarCity was responsible for more than a third of US residential solar capacity additions. In the first quarter of 2019, the top three installers’ share was 25%. Tesla’ accounted for just 6.3% of installations.
“Tesla stepping away from being a growth driver for solar reaffirms our hypothesis that long-term national growth will continue to be driven by smaller local and regional players and less reliant on national players, though Sunrun and Vivint will remain important,” says Solar Analyst Austin Perea.
Wood Mackenzie expects the US residential solar market to grow by around 3% in 2019.