It’s been a hard spring for the residential solar industry in the United States. All indications are that the largest market, California, declined during Q1 due to both torrential rains and the shift to “Net Metering 2.0” in the service area of two of the three largest utilities. And while we haven’t seen the latest quarterly numbers from the top three national installers, in the wake of more difficult market conditions Sungevity closed up shop and was replaced by “Solar Spectrum”.
Additionally, in February Spruce Finance laid off an unspecified number of employees. According to our sources these layoffs spanned the company including the offices in Houston and San Francisco, and included executive positions and almost half the marketing department.
These layoffs appear to be continuing. Late Friday pv magazine staff received an email from an individual in a senior director position at Spruce Finance, who stated that he was voluntarily leaving as part of the latest round of reductions.
Spruce has also engaged Goldman Sachs, and while it attributes other motives to the arrangement the company has also declined to either confirm or deny that Goldman is helping prepare for a sale, per rumors published by Greentech Media.
pv magazine is currently waiting for Spruce Finance to comment on the latest layoffs and will update this article when we receive a response.
And while the California market is experiencing difficulty and many companies appear to be struggling, the larger U.S. residential market was continuing to grow as of the Q4 2016 report by GTM Research. This is aided by an increasing geographic diversity of markets, including the opening up of the Florida market.