NRG acquires rooftop PV installer

NRG Energy has acquired Roof Diagnostics Solar (RDS), a New Jersey-based rooftop PV installer, in another sign of the momentum within the US residential solar market.

NRG owns more than 1GW of mostly utility-scale solar-energy capacity through its Solar and Yield subsidiaries, including the recently completed Ivanpah CSP project.

But the RDS acquisition represents a “big step towards a national residential solar business platform”, says NRG Energy chief executive David Crane.

With its nearly 500-strong workforce, RDS has rapidly built a strong market position in the northeastern US, acting as installation partner for rooftop PV financing and operating specialists like NRG. 

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“With the price of residential solar increasingly competitive with the retail price of power in multiple states, the time is now for NRG to ramp up its efforts to bring the benefit of self generation to NRG’s millions of present and future retail electricity customers,” says Crane.

The move parallels solar-finance specialist SunRun’s recent acquisition of California-based installer REC Solar, and puts NRG in direct competition with the likes of SolarCity and Vivint Solar – both of whose business models include installation and third-party ownership elements.

While RDS chief executive Kelcy Pegler will stay on to lead the company within NRG, RDS will soon become part of -- and take the name of -- NRG's existing Residental Solar Solutions unit.