Incredible things can happen when two powerhouses in the solar panel industry join forces. Following the Blue Raven acquisition by SunPower, the companies hope to expand the residential market, providing clean energy to millions of homeowners nationwide. This merger will benefit SunPower’s growth, further driving a widespread transition toward renewable energy.
What Is the Blue Raven Solar Acquisition?
In October 2021, leading solar organization SunPower acquired Blue Raven Solar — the fastest-growing player in residential solar providers. Ultimately, SunPower hopes to maximize its residential market using Blue Raven’s impressive footprint and direct sales strategy.
The deal swiftly went through, with SunPower paying $165 million in cash to acquire Blue Raven Solar. Per the deal, Blue Raven’s founder and CEO Ben Peterson joined SunPower’s leadership, working to integrate the two companies’ employees and contractors.
Blue Raven Solar Acquisition: What it Means for SunPower
SunPower is set to gain Blue Raven’s 20,000-plus customer base — 90% of Blue Raven Solar’s customers were in 14 states where SunPower met only 5% of their sales goals. The acquisition will allow SunPower to compensate for its lagging residential market faster while broadening its reach in three other states Blue Raven operates in.
The residential solar business is rapidly growing and highly profitable. Amid the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the extension of federal solar tax credits, more homeowners are interested in installing rooftop solar. Additionally, heating a home with traditional fuels could cause 10,000 deaths annually — many people see solar alternatives as an opportunity to improve their health.
SunPower hopes to leverage Blue Raven’s business strategy and suite of digital products to improve the customer experience, including energy storage, energy management systems, and electric vehicle potential. The combined product line and best practices were expected to boost the company’s 2022 loan volume significantly.
History of Blue Raven Solar
Blue Raven Solar was founded in 2014. Starting with only three people and $100,000, it quickly became one of the country’s fastest-growing and most renowned solar companies. By the time SunPower acquired Blue Raven, the company employed 2,000 solar professionals and earned $100 million in sales.
Blue Raven Solar is recognized for its popular Blue Power Plus+ financing program, in which customers pay nothing for the first 18 months. The enterprise also offers a referral program, rewarding its customers with $500 to $1,500 based on how many people they refer.
Since its establishment, Blue Raven Solar has received numerous awards, including two Stevie Awards — one as recently as May 2023 — and the Utah Business Fast 50 Awards. Blue Raven also earned a spot in Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work 2021 list — a decision based entirely on employee feedback from the United States.
Current Market for Blue Raven
The market for rooftop solar is hot, with many homeowners eager to take advantage of the 30% tax credit per the IRA, state incentives and solar panel rebates to offset the installation costs. In fact, residential solar was up 23% from 2020 to 2021 — a 5.4-gigawatt increase for small-scale solar capacity.
According to a recent Solar Energy Industries Association report, 2022 was a challenging year for solar overall compared to 2021, mainly due to bans on various Chinese goods hindering panel availability. Despite this, the residential segment thrived, increasing by 40% with 700,000 rooftop solar installations across the U.S.
Nearly 70% of Americans believe the U.S. should prioritize solar energy developments, while 31% say the country should eliminate fossil fuels. Another 69% support U.S. efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
With the rising costs of utilities and intensifying climate change impacts, it is unsurprising that many people hope to transition to renewable energy sources. Solar power is clean and ensures ample savings on electricity. Standard solar panels also have a 25- to 30-year life span, requiring little maintenance.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Blue Raven prides itself on offering top-of-the-line panels — the company uses black monocrystalline solar cells. Monocrystalline solar panels are manufactured from the purest-quality silicone and are known for their high efficiency. Black panels can last up to 40 years when well-cared for and have a 20.6% efficiency rate.
Of course, high efficiency comes with a steeper price tag — yet, homeowners find Blue Raven’s costs are doable when credits, incentives, and rebates factor in. Plus, many feel they are worth the higher prices since black solar panels absorb more sunlight than other cells, generating longer-lasting power for businesses and residences.
Customers receive a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty for various technical problems that may arise when they install Blue Raven rooftop panels. The company also delivers a two-year warranty for productivity, promising to upgrade the system at no additional cost if the panels do not meet productivity expectations.
Solar Technologies Continue Evolving
As the market grows for rooftop residential solar, so do solar technologies. SunPower’s acquisition of Blue Raven Solar should prove to be a positive business venture, with even more advancements in residential solar underway.