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Ask a Fool: Is the Run for SolarCity Over?

Catering to residential and business customers, SolarCity's (NASDAQ: SCTY  ) leasing model has really been catching on. What it is able to offer is low-cost-power production that can often cost customers less than their traditional power bills. The fact that it asks for little to no upfront payments for the panels is added incentive for new business to join the ranks of its growing base. 

Other companies are hoping to enter the leasing market, but so far SolarCity has set itself apart. If you believe in this model then SolarCity is probably the company for you. However, if solar is an industry you want to add to your portfolio but are wary about what SolarCity is trying to accomplish, there are many other options out there.

Investors and bystanders alike have been shocked by First Solar's precipitous drop over the past two years. The stakes have never been higher for the company: Is it done for good, or ready for a rebound? If you're looking for continuing updates and guidance on the company whenever news breaks, The Motley Fool has created a brand-new report that details every must know side of this stock. To get started, simply click here now.

For our analysts' take on the company's past few months and its future potential, watch the following video.

Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 9:55 PM, ronwiserinvestor wrote:

    What exactly do you mean by little to no upfront payments? When you lease or PPA a solar system you're putting down a huge down payment in the form of the 30% federal tax credit and any other applicable financial incentives. For example:

    The California Energy Commission currently reports an average system price of $6.19 a watt. Even if you subtract a 50 cent per Watt rebate, that's $5.69 per Watt. At that price even a small 6 kW solar system would yield a federal tax credit of $10,242! That's money that would have gone into the homeowner's pocket if he or she would have financed their system with a $0 down solar loan instead of an expensive lease.

  • Report this Comment On June 14, 2013, at 12:59 PM, TMFrunAMuck wrote:

    @ronwiserinvestor - the Federal tax credits foregone would be an opportunity cost, not an upfront cost. Therefore, those interested in going green but are without sufficient free capital can choose the leasing route as an option.

    Is it the best option? That is up for debate.

  • Report this Comment On June 14, 2013, at 1:10 PM, AndrooFool wrote:

    I leased from SolarCity. I went with the all upfront option and it paid for itself in 2 years 9 months (average saving is $100 a month, so do the math and and you figure out what I paid). I get 12 years and 3 months of savings for free ... seems like a good deal. I didn't do it to go green, but to save green.

    * Just a note, I understand they don't do the 15 year lease anymore and have gone to a 20 year and my utility was doing a special at the time.

  • Report this Comment On June 19, 2013, at 12:13 PM, metalhead15 wrote:

    Thanks for the insight. SolarCity actually does the vast majority of the charging station installations for Tesla owners (although they recently switched to a subcontracting model) and is able to piggyback many of those charging station installations into new solar contracts. I don't know what the cost per watt is to the customer, but SolarCity's internal cost per watt is around $2.50 according to a friend who is currently employed there. I would imagine that internal cost varies depending on location and available subsidy (He's located in CA)

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