Comcast Enters Partnership With Solar-Power Provider Sunrun

By Erin Ailworth Features Dow Jones Newswires

Shares of solar installer Sunrun Inc. jumped Thursday after the company announced a marketing and investment deal with cable giant Comcast Corp.

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Under the 40-month deal, Comcast has agreed to market Sunrun's solar systems to its customers. Sunrun will pay it a fee for any new customers brought in and is offering Comcast an option to earn a nearly 10% stake in the solar company.

Sunrun shares rose as much as 10% Thursday following the announcement.

Lynn Jurich, Sunrun's chief executive, said Comcast's marketing reach could add tens of thousands to Sunrun's customer base, which currently sits at about 150,000.

"This partnership is another sign that we are just getting started," Ms. Jurich said in an interview. "It's another way to spread the word."

Comcast, which has nearly 29 million customers, said it sees solar energy as a complement to the home security and automation services it already provides.

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"By working with Sunrun, Comcast can help customers take more control of the price they pay for energy, save them money and help contribute to cleaner communities," said Jon Kaplowitz, a managing director at Comcast Cable.

The two companies have teamed up previously, with Comcast offering Sunrun's systems to customers during a one year pilot that started in 2015. That pilot, the companies said, paved the way for Thursday's deal.

Comcast expects to begin offering Sunrun's rooftop solar services to customers in selected states later this year. If at least 30,000 customers install Sunrun's systems, Comcast will qualify for a stake in the solar company. That stake will rise on a prorated basis to, at most, 9.99% if 60,000 customers install with Sunrun.

The deal comes after a residential solar boom over the last several years, though some believe that trend is slowing.

Federal data show that the amount of electric-generating capacity from small-scale residential solar systems has more than doubled in the last few years, hitting 7.4 gigawatts in 2016, up from 3.3 gigawatts in 2014.

Write to Erin Ailworth at Erin.Ailworth@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 24, 2017 16:15 ET (20:15 GMT)