Headquartered in Houston and serving 21 states, Sunnova has a unique business model that distinguishes it from other large solar installers. Sunnova has no in-house installation or maintenance teams. Instead, they have regional partners across the country to do installation for them. Additionally, all of Sunnova’s solar options are $0 down, with options to eventually own the system or to lease it for a defined period of time.
SunPower is primarily a solar panel manufacturer, and they produce some of the highest quality panels on the market. They partner with local installers around the country, authorizing them to use their products and become a representative of the SunPower brand. SunPower has also begun to work on community solar projects, starting in New York with plans to expand to more states soon.
Recent years have seen SolarCity scale back their residential services significantly, but they are still a major player in the U.S. solar market. SolarCity was founded by cousins of Elon Musk (of Tesla fame) in 2006. The company serves 27 states, and was acquired by Tesla in 2016. Currently Tesla is producing their innovative solar roof, which has mixed reviews.
WHAT ABOUT SUNGEVITY AND NRG?
You might be surprised to see Sungevity and NRG missing from this list. In fact, both of these solar companies have recently exited the solar market. Sungevity declared bankruptcy and was sold in 2017. NRG is still operational, but is focusing on commercial solar, and is no longer installing solar for homes.