Sungevity Receives GE Backing to Expand Solar Leasing

General Electric Co. (GE), the world’s largest maker of power-generation equipment, participated in a $15 million equity investment in the solar financing company Sungevity Inc.

The funding will help the company expand into additional markets, Oakland California-based Sungevity said today in a statement. The other participants in the funding round weren’t identified.

GE’s support is a vote of confidence in Sungevity’s business, Andrew Birch, the solar company’s chief executive officer, said today in an interview. As prices for photovoltaic panels fall, so will his costs to install power systems, and demand will grow.

“The average cost of solar is going to be lower than the average U.S. retail electricity prices in the next two years,” said Birch. “Prices have fallen really fast, more aggressively than we originally thought.”

The average price for solar panels is 83 cents a watt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, down 9.8 percent from a year ago.

Sungevity leases rooftop solar system in nine U.S. states, Australia and Europe.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ehren Goossens in New York at egoossens1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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