SunEdison CEO Jigar Shah said the company succeeds because it delivers a full-range of services including financing, installation, and maintenance. “I’ve never been in a space where there was such pent up demand for a service as I’ve seen in this industry,” Shah told Marketing Green in a recent interview.
“At the end of the day,” Shah said, “we sell electricity, not just solar equipment.” SunEdison promises to sell the customer electricity generated at their own facility. “If we don’t generate it, they don’t pay for it,” Shah said. “Because we own the solar energy systems, we have a strong, built-in check to maintain our brand with the customer.”
For SunEdison, such installations break even in 7-10 years. After that, they provide a low risk annuity for the company and its investors.
Sun Edison receives most of its business from referrals, but the company works hard to pursue channels in the utilities and government sectors – through RFPs and other funding vehicles.
The businesses SunEdison works with want to lower energy costs through predictable pricing and to also improve the environment – without a disruption to their business, according to Shah. To help put companies at ease, SunEdison works to remove the volatility from electric bills. For instance, it offered Whole Foods a contract that locked in electricity rates for ten to twenty years.
Xcel Energy recently announced that an affiliate of SunEdison will build, own and operate a 8 megawatt central solar power plant in south central Colorado.