SolarCity made its first international move today when it announced the acquisition of ILIOSS, one of the largest commercial and industrial solar developers in Mexico. Until today, SolarCity operated in 17 states in the US and they focused their efforts where electricity rates and government incentives are favorable to solar. Mexicans pay expensive rates for their electricity and they have plenty of sunshine, making Mexico an attractive market for the solar company.
Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s CEO, also mentioned the lack of need for building permits for solar installation as a reason for going into the Mexican market. The bureaucratic friction from sale to bringing installations online is minimal in this barely regulated market.
ILIOSS has a similar business model as SolarCity. They own most of their solar installations and sell the electricity generated from their systems to their customers. But the company primarily operates commercial and industrial projects while SolarCity is a leader in residential projects.
In term of size, the company is relatively small with just over 20 reported employees. SolarCity will pay a minimum of $10 million for the company and will offer incentive bonuses if ILIOSS, which will operate as a separate business unit, achieves certain goals related to installations and energy storage.
The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the month. You can read the press release here.