Utilities Drawn to Rooftop Solar

Posted December 8, 2014 at 11:07am

Brookings reports that “power company NRG energy recently announced a major foray into California’s residential solar market, with a goal to have 35,000 to 40,000 home solar installations by the end of 2015. The development is indicative of the seismic changes underway in the utility industry. Once stodgy utilities are slowly beginning to warm up to rooftop solar.”  

“It was only a year ago that Edison Electric Institute, the trade group for investor-owned utilities (IOUs), warned starkly that the industry faces various disruptive challenges to revenues and investor returns. And earlier this year, Barclays downgraded the bond market for the entire electric utility sector due to the dual threat of rooftop solar and energy storage to utility earnings.”  

The piece continues: “A handful of big utilities have responded to the growing threat of rooftop solar by entering the market as a direct provider of rooftop solar systems. The industry’s shifting attitude—that if you can’t beat them, join them—could well make distributed solar and utilities complementary in the long run.”