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Solar financing firm Sunrun expands reach in California market

Solar financing firm Sunrun expands reach in California market
Sunrun is acquiring three subsidiaries of Mainstream Energy Corp., including the residential division of REC Solar. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Solar financing company Sunrun acquired a residential solar business that will expand its reach in the booming California solar market.

The San Francisco company is purchasing three subsidiaries of Mainstream Energy Corp.: solar product distributor AEE Solar, equipment manufacturer SnapNrack and the residential solar division of REC Solar.

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Sunrun in a statement said the acquisitions would enable the company to lower costs for consumers and improve access to solar panels. Terms of the deal were not released.

The company has quickly expanded in recent years with the growing popularity of novel financing methods that have pulled down the prices of going solar.

Now, many solar companies will pay for installations, letting homeowners go solar for no money upfront or very little. Some firms including Sunrun have other companies do the installation, while others put up panels themselves. In return, homeowners pay solar firms a certain amount per month for the electricity generated.

Sunrun Chief Executive Lynn Jurich said the company would be better positioned to "fulfill the enormous market potential for home solar nationwide."

"Sunrun pioneered solar service to remove the most significant barriers to going solar," she said in a Tuesday statement. "We continue to innovate our business to further drive down costs."

Sunrun competitors have also been out shopping for acquisitions. SolarCity, for one, recently announced the purchase of tech firm Common Assets, part of an effort to offer investment products backed by solar projects that will be sold to retail investors.

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