One other notable development highlighted in the report: the rise of the third-party ownership model – in the West in particular. More than 70 percent of residential installations in each of California, Arizona and California were third-party owned (that is, lease or power purchase agreement).
“The success of third party residential solar providers has attracted more than $600 million in new investments in recent months,” said Shayle Kann, vice president of research at GTM Research. “This influx of cash into the residential space signifies the growing acceptance of solar leases and power purchase agreements as a secure investment for project investors.”
Yet the trend toward third-party ownership of systems hasn’t actually helped to grow residential installations. “To date this model has not expanded the overall market, but rather taken market share from direct ownership,” the report said.
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