Sungevity is a solar electricity company based in Oakland, California. Founded in 2007, the company designs home solar systems; provides financing options; and manages system installation, maintenance, and performance.

Key people
Danny KennedyCo-Founder; Kyle Udseth; CEO
Sungevity electric car in Southern California

Sungevity operates in the United States and Europe. Within the United States, it installed solar panels and solar systems in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Delaware, and Washington D.C.[1] In 2012, the company reported having more than 250 employees,[2] but in 2017 it laid off almost all its staff and was sold to Northern Pacific Group.[3]

In 2020, Sungevity's assets were acquired by Minnesota-based company Pineapple Energy, which resumed activity under the Sungevity name in California only.[4][5]

History edit

Founding edit

Sungevity was founded in 2007 by Danny Kennedy, Andrew Birch[6] (CEO), and Alec Guettel. On September 22, 2009, the firm announced that it had raised $6 million to expand its services to Southern California and California's Central Valley. On May 1, 2010, Sungevity partnered with US Bank and launched its Solar Lease program.[7]

In December 2010, the firm raised an additional $15 million toward its Series C funding round. In 2011, it worked with U.S. Bancorp, Rabobank, and Citigroup to fund residential solar installations. Also in 2011, Lowe's, the home-improvement retailer, purchased a stake in Sungevity.[8] In April 2014, the firm raised $70 million in equity from investors including General Electric, Lowe's, Jetstream Ventures, and E.ON, Europe's largest investor-owned utility.[9] On December 15, 2015, it announced its $600 million private equity funding by investors including GE Ventures as well as Apollo Investment Corporation.[10]

In November 2011, the firm announced it was taking an equity stake in Dutch solar company Zonline.[11] Sungevity was to provide Zonline with its proprietary software tools, including the company's Remote Solar Design services and brand-identity assets. In June 2014, Sungevity acquired Zonline and launched Sungevity Netherlands.[12]

In April 2012, Sungevity and Australian solar company Nickel Energy announced a joint venture, called Sungevity Australia, that would provide Australian homeowners with their first pay-as-you-go solar option, which the company dubbed RoofJuice.[13]

Layoffs and first acquisition edit

In January 2017 the company laid off senior and mid-level managers, and in March it laid off around 2/3 of its staff without notice, with sources at the company suggesting bankruptcy was imminent.[3] The ex-employees filed a lawsuit seeking back pay for 60 days, a requirement under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.[14] In April, after laying off another 2/3 of its staff without severance pay, the remainder of the company was sold to private equity firm Northern Pacific Group for $50 million, who created a new company, Solar Spectrum, which acquired Sungevity's infrastructure, technology, installer network, supplier warranties, and certain agreements. Northern Pacific Group also acquired Sungevity's European businesses which were subsequently sold to French utility Engie. The now Engie owned European business operates under the name Sungevity International.[15][16][17]

Sungevity laid off 400 people in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In November 2020, Sungevity's companies Horizon Solar Power and Solar Spectrum, along with Sungevity, before Sungevity resumed operations under Pineapple Energy.

Pineapple Energy Acquisition edit

In 2021, Sungevity resumed operations under the umbrella of Pineapple Energy, which acquired its assets in 2020.[4][18] Pineapple Energy is a U.S.-based operator and consolidator of residential solar, battery storage and grid services solutions, which is currently privately owned but will be merging with the publicly traded Communication Systems Inc., an IoT company.[19][20][21]

Awards and recognition edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Locations - Support - Sungevity". Archived from the original on 2015-03-20. Retrieved 2015-03-19.
  2. ^ Jeff Himmelmann, 'The Secret to Solar Power', New York Times, August 9, 2012
  3. ^ a b "Sungevity Cuts Staff by Two-Thirds as Downward Spiral Continues". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b "CSI and Pineapple Energy merging to focus on residential DER market and VPPs". Renewable Energy World.
  5. ^ "Sungevity Joins The Pineapple Energy Family". Sungevity.
  6. ^ Watt It Takes: Sungevity CEO Andrew Birch, retrieved 2017-11-29
  7. ^ ""Solar Leasing: Solar's Next Big Thing," Daily Finance, May 2012". Archived from the original on 2015-11-03. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Lowe's Buys Sungevity Stake to Offer In-Store Solar Lease". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  9. ^ Wang, Ucilia. "What E.ON And Other Energy Firms Want: Solar Investments". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Sungevity Raises Giant $600M Fund From Apollo to Finance Residential Solar". Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  11. ^ "Sungevity Takes Equity Stake in Dutch Solar Company". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
  12. ^ "Sungevity & E.ON Team Up To Expand Solar Energy Business In Europe". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Real Estate and Property Market News". Domain. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  14. ^ Avalos, George (2017-03-15). "Sungevity workers demand back pay for abrupt terminations". The Mercury News. Retrieved 2017-03-22.
  15. ^ "Sungevity renames itself Solar Spectrum, will reach out to current customers for new warranty solution". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Sungevity Is Sold: More Layoffs Without Notice, Name Changed to Solar Spectrum". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  17. ^ "Sungevity files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  18. ^ Foehringer Merchant, Emma. "Solo solar no more: Regional home solar installers join forces". Canary Media.
  19. ^ "Pineapple Energy Announces Pending Merger With Communications Systems Inc". Faegre Drinker.
  20. ^ Kennedy, Patrick. "Communications Systems to become Pineapple, switch focus to home solar industry". Star Tribune.
  21. ^ "Communications Systems, Inc. Announces Agreement to Merge with Pineapple Energy, LLC". BusinessWire.
  22. ^ "SF Biz Times honors greenest and cleanest (tech that is)". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  23. ^ 2011 Winners | Green Jobs Award Archived 2013-06-16 at the Wayback Machine