By Jeff Siegel
In as soon as five years, you could be living right next door to a power plant.
Actually, even closer. The power plant could be operating from right inside your home.
I’m serious. Take a look…
This is a backup battery system installed in a home that’s powered by domestically generated electrons, courtesy of the biggest nuclear reactor known to humans: the sun.
And according to super genius Elon Musk, within five to 10 years, every set of solar panels installed by SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) will come with a battery pack.
Musk’s cousin and SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive recently spoke at a private meeting in New York, where he announced that due to the economies of scale that will soon come from Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) new battery manufacturing complex, SolarCity’s solar power systems, with the new battery system installed, will be able to produce energy cheaper than the local utility company.
This means powering your home with solar day and night, and at a price lower than what your utility charges.
That’s a pretty bold claim, but it’s one I wouldn’t sleep on. Musk and his ilk are not the type to fall short, nor are they the type of folks you should bet against.
The truth is, beyond the battery system, SolarCity is taking the appropriate steps to drastically slash the cost of solar altogether.
A few months ago, I told you about the company’s acquisition of solar manufacturer Silevo. This deal will allow the company to lock in a steady supply of low-cost, high-efficiency panels that’ll enable it to stay competitive against a rise in new U.S. start-ups as well as low-cost producers from China.
Then, just last week, the company unveiled a new solar mounting product called ZS Peak. It basically allows installers to install systems on flat roofs in half the time it takes today. And according to company reps, this new product can increase generation capacity on flat-roof buildings by 20% to 50% per building.
This technology now makes it possible for far more businesses, schools, and other organizations to install solar power on their buildings and immediately pay less for solar electricity than they pay for utility power. It will also help the company expand its reach into the commercial solar market.
The Best Part
Now here’s the best part…
SolarCity has been getting knocked down a few pegs over the past week or so. Some believe the new Vivint Solar IPO, which is a competitor to SCTY, is luring SCTY investors away with a cheaper share price.
But while I’m also looking forward to picking up a few shares of Vivint, this isn’t a reliable comparison. If anything, I would caution investors against picking one over the other and instead recommend maintaining positions in both especially now that SolarCity fell below the $60 mark. That’s a bargain compared to Deutsche Bank’s $90 price target and Credit Suisse’ $97 price target.
Point is, there’s plenty of room for more than one company to grow and profit. And there’s no reason you can’t ride both.
Full Disclosure: I currently own shares of SCTY.
To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth…
Jeff Siegel is Editor of Energy and Capital, where this article was first published.