Project Solar doesn’t make solar panels, nor does it employ staff to pop them onto rooftops, but the startup claims it can shake up the residential solar industry by keeping vendors out and sharing the ordering, design and installation process. to automate.
Backed by $23 million in new Series A funding led by Left Lane Capital, Project Solar says it is on track to install 30 megawatts of solar this year, primarily in California and Texas, while apparently building some of its undercut competitors on price. The startup aims to exceed the installation figure for 2022 by a factor of five by 2023.
But first some context: Tesla knocking on the door on bail centuries ago, only to see its market share collapse. Sunrun meanwhile has more than 100 sales jobs listed on his site and is the top residential solar energy brand by market share. So why would disabling merchants work for Project Solar, which currently is? not nearly as active as a market leader?
For homeowners, sales mostly come down to price. The startup says it charges an average of $2.20 per watt for installations, and just $1.63 after federal incentives. That’s about 25% cheaper than the 2021 national average of $2.94 per watt (before tax credits), according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Whether it qualifies as “dramatically lower” as the startup characterizes it is more of a matter of opinion. For those who are particularly handy, Project Solar also offers cheaper DIY options.
Project Solar’s revenue comes from increasing equipment prices, for which it receives volume discounts. The company says cutting vendors saves it as much as a dollar a watt, and from there it leans on its in-house software to cut the time needed for things like system design, permitting and contractor coordination. For each sale, “about 40… hours of work are involved in the back-end process (not including the physical labor of the installation, which usually takes a team of 3-4 people eight hours),” CEO Trevor Hiltbrand told londonbusinessblog.com. He added that the company’s software includes “a tool that has reduced engineering/CAD time from three hours to 30 minutes.”
Project Solar plans to use Series A to expand in the Midwest and South, and continue work on the software. Beyond Left Lane Capital, Project Solar declined to share who contributed to the funding round, calling them “industry strategies.”