Report shows SolarCity rising among industry competitors

July 10, 2014 Updated Jul 10, 2014 at 9:39 AM EDT

By Dan Miner, Reporter- Business First

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Report shows SolarCity rising among industry competitors

July 10, 2014 Updated Jul 10, 2014 at 9:39 AM EDT

SolarCity Corp. dominates the U.S. market for residential solar installations, accounting for 29 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

That's well ahead of its nearest competitor, Vivint Solar, which ranked second with at 9 percent share.

Publicly traded SolarCity, chaired by prominent entrepreneur Elon Musk, is set to have a major stake in Buffalo. The California company announced in June it had acquired Silevo, the solar panel manufacturer that had committed to being an anchor tenant in the Riverbend Commerce Park, a Buffalo Billion project. SolarCity subsequently announced it will expand the project's initial vision into a major solar panel innovation center with as many as 1,000 jobs.

The data comes via ValueWalk.com, which utilized quarterly statistics from GTM Research. Those statistics show that residential interest in solar panels is growing, with a market that expanded 38 percent year-over-year over the past 12 months.

SolarCity has seen annual revenue skyrocket in the last three years, from $59.55 million in 2011 to $126.91 million in 2012 to $163.84 million in 2013, though it continues to operate at a deficit, having lost $99.34 million in 2012 and $55.79 million in 2013. That, despite hundreds of millions in federal grants and loans.

Company officials have urged investors to focus on growth, though analysts have warned of the company's debt as a significant risk.

Thus far, SolarCity shares have generally showed an upward trajectory. They were at $11.72 after its public offering in December 2012, and $42.15 one year ago. They're currently selling at $64.61.

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