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SolarCity loss widens in second quarter

SolarCity’s second-quarter loss more than doubled as the nation’s biggest rooftop solar panel installer absorbed rising costs as it moves to ramp up solar panel production.

SolarCity said it had a loss of $55.5 million, or 56 cents per share, compared with a loss of $22.4 million, or 23 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding certain items, SolarCity had a loss of $2.32 per share, which was less than the $2.53 per share that analysts were expecting.

The company’s sales rose by 81 percent to $186 million from $103 million as bookings improved, partly because of a new loan offering for customers that prefer to own their rooftop solar system, rather than lease it.

SolarCity earlier this month said it installed 201 megawatts of generating capacity during the quarter, up 6 percent from a year ago. It cut its installation forecast for the full year to between 900 megawatts and 1,000 megawatts because of slower residential bookings during the first half of the year.

SolarCity, which has agreed to be acquired by Tesla Motors for $2.6 billion, said its cost of installing each watt of solar generating capacity was $3.05 per watt during the second quarter, up from $2.84 per watt a year ago.

The company plans to open the biggest solar panel manufacturing facility in the Western Hemisphere next year in South Buffalo, with $750 million in state investment through the Buffalo Billion economic development program.

email: drobinson@buffnews.com

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