Late last year, we released SunCentral, a proprietary cloud platform service designed to help project developers, customers, and utilities set up and operate successful community solar programs and assets. As project developers ourselves, we saw a critical need in the market for a community solar management platform that provides infrastructure robust enough to manage the complexity of community solar programs while simplifying the experience for subscribers. We also saw the need for a suite of resources primed to grow with a maturing community solar market.
Our goal for SunCentral is to provide the most reliable management tools and the most engaging subscriber portal. Since its release, we have received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from financiers, project developers, asset owners, and subscribers. As these groups work across Colorado, New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois, they are using SunCentral to accelerate subscriber acquisition, simplify data management and reporting, and streamline subscriber invoicing and payments. And, in most cases, they are doing so under their own brand.
Today, SunCentral serves more than 110 MWs of community solar capacity, representing more than 6,000 commercial and residential subscribers. By the end of the year, we anticipate that number to grow to nearly 150 MWs of capacity, with steady continued growth into 2020 as the community solar market continues to mature and expand across the country.
As the market matures, the new and expanding programs take shape with a unique set of goals that demand an affordable and flexible platform. More than half of our SunCentral clients have chosen to white label the platform. This allows them to maintain strong relationships and build upon a brand presence in their home markets whether they are veterans of community solar or offering subscriptions as a new benefit to their customers. The ability to customize complex software platforms often comes with a large price tag. As project developers ourselves, we are aware of the underlying economics of community solar portfolios which can be challenged by expensive management resources. So we made a choice, to offer a high-quality, customizable suite of resources that is cost-effective to deploy in every market for community solar.
Due to our “right-sized” pricing structure and customizable features, SunCentral’s portfolio is growing at a rapid pace. From legacy projects seeking to increase customer retention with more attractive economics, to project financiers seeing SunCentral as a valuable tool to help de-risk the subscriber portion of revenue, SunCentral is rapidly becoming the preferred platform for community solar management.
Last year, VoteSolar released The Vision for U.S. Community Solar roadmap, which estimates that community solar can sustainably scale to 50-70 times its current size over the next 10 years, resulting in nearly eight million new solar customers. To achieve this kind of growth, the industry needs a dynamic platform that managemes all of these assets and subscriber relationships while being cost-effective. As a result, our team maintains product roadmap that is equally as ambitious as Vote Solar’s roadmap for our industry. Notably, SunCentral aims to unlock sub-segments of the community solar market with supplemental resources, such as low-to-moderate income community solar.
SunCentral has had an overwhelming response from the market in a short period of time confirming our thesis that the gap in the market we identified was correct. Our team is incredibly excited about the future for community solar, and we are proud to offer the SunCentral platform to facilitate that growth. If you are developing a new project, or manage an existing one, we can help. Contact me anytime to discuss SunCentral’s services.
By Brit Gibson
Director of SunCentral Services