SunPower sees the solar industry is at a strategic inflection point. Residential solar installers surpassed half a million installations in 2021, a first for the industry, and the residential solar market is expected to grow by 113% over the next 10 years, according to Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie. Yet, with less than 5% of U.S. homes currently powered by solar.
This highlights the need for solar companies to double down on software and customer service to meet demand and capture market share, which is why the brand is making new investments in local solar dealer network via the SunPower Dealer Accelerator Program. This includes making minority investments in Freedom Solar Power and Sea Bright Solar, two SunPower Master Dealers.
As part of the deal, Freedom Solar and Sea Bright — who are already exclusively selling SunPower solar systems — will sell SunVault battery storage and leverage SunPower Financial offerings for solar financing. In addition to capital, SunPower will provide the dealers with enhanced lead generation and business strategy support.
In Texas, battery storage attachments grew by 350% in 2021, according to a report by SEIA and Wood Mackenzie, and New Jersey has more solar installed per square mile than any other state in America.
“Our dealers are on the front lines of the clean energy transition. With SunPower’s Dealer Accelerator program we create avenues for these businesses to grow their own businesses and help more customers make the move to renewable energy by doing what they do best,” said Peter Faricy, CEO at SunPower.
Texas-based Freedom Solar Power is the leading residential installer in the state as well as the Front Range of Colorado and central Florida. Freedom Solar teamed up with SunPower in 2014 and became the first and only SunPower Master Dealer in Texas. The company was named Residential National Dealer of the Year in 2017, Regional Top Producer of the Year in 2018, and National Top Producer of the year in 2019 and 2020. In 2021, Freedom Solar booked over $175 million of residential contracts, growing by 80% in Texas to outpace the market and regain market share leadership.
Sea Bright Solar provides solar solutions to homeowners in New Jersey, New York and Southern California. The company was named Residential National Dealer of the Year in 2019.
“Following the Texas winter storm, 2021 was a record-breaking year for Freedom Solar with more homeowners seeking reliable, clean solutions,” said Freedom Solar Power CEO Bret Biggart. “By establishing a closer relationship with SunPower, we are well-positioned to double our growth in 2022 through a combination of organic growth in existing markets and accelerated new-market expansions. It’s more than the additional financial resources but the intellectual horsepower and extensive network we create together.”
In other SunPower news…
SunPower is teaming with OhmConnect, a residential energy management company, and also invested in its latest funding round. SunPower customers can access OhmConnect’s gamified user experience and get rewarded to manage their electricity use during peak usage periods. These collaborations expand OhmConnect’s energy platform to a network of millions of grid-responsive devices from 30 companies and manufacturers.
“By integrating SunPower’s solar solutions with OhmConnect, homeowners can supercharge their home’s energy earning potential while creating a more resilient grid,” said Shawn Fitzgerald, Vice President of Corporate Development at SunPower. “SunPower and OhmConnect share the beliefs that accessing renewable energy and participating in solutions that make energy more reliable should be accessible and easy. Our investment in OhmConnect and the work we are doing together directly reflects our mission to change the way our world is powered.”