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Instant Analysis: SolarCity to Install Solar Systems on Whole Foods Market Locations

By Evan Niu, CFA - Mar 8, 2016 at 1:45PM

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SolarCity will install solar power systems on 100 Whole Foods stores.

Image source: SolarCity.

What happened?
Leading solar installer SolarCity (SCTY.DL) has announced that it will install solar power systems on Whole Foods Market (WFM) locations across the U.S. The deal will generate solar directly at Whole Foods locations and reduce the reliance on energy from the traditional power grid and translate into immediate cost savings. A total of 100 stores will be retrofitted with rooftop solar installations.

Installations will begin this spring and Whole Foods will become one of the largest corporate solar users in the country once all systems are installed.

Does it matter?
While the total capacity of the systems was not disclosed, 100 locations will inevitably translate into a strong win for SolarCity. Whole Foods will immediately benefit from lower energy costs once the systems are in place, buying power directly from SolarCity at discounted rates compared to the traditional grid.

The deal is in line with SolarCity's recent efforts to focus more on the commercial market in order to boost profitability this year. The company has long prioritized growth by expanding its presence in the residential market. Investors were taken aback when SolarCity detailed the strategic shift late last year, but bolstering cash flow is never a bad thing.

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