Sungevity, E.ON link for Dutch solar

US residential PV specialist Sungevity has started its push into the European solar market in partnership with E.ON, the utility giant that bought a stake in it last month.

Sungevity and E.ON Benelux will offer co-branded turnkey services to customers in the Netherlands, the California-based company announced.

A push into Europe – and specifically the Netherlands – looked on the cards when the German utility took an equity stake in Sungevity last month as part of a $70m finance round at the PV specialist.

Sungevity already had a minority stake in Dutch solar start-up Zonline – and has now taken full ownership of that business, which will be renamed Sungevity Netherlands.

The two partners expect to target other European nations and range further afield.

Sungevity CEO Andrew Birch said: “As the second-highest-priced energy market in Europe, the Netherlands is an ideal place to begin our strategic partnership with E.ON.

“Being able to tap into their customer base, their brand recognition and their credibility as one of the largest utilities in Europe gives us a solid route to market with extensive growth potential in the face of rising demand for alternative energy sources.”

Sungevity has emerged as a rival to SolarCity in the thriving US residential market. Its other investors include GE Ventures.

The company counts Lowe’s – which has nearly 2,000 home-improvement stores throughout North America – among its exclusive partners.