A Solar Power Success Story

Solarcity's innovative way of selling power could disrupt the utility industry

The first time I went to see solarcity, I wasn't really going to see SolarCity. It was February 2008, a moment when solar seemed poised to go supernova. I was in the San Francisco Bay Area to visit Nanosolar, a startup that was going to revolutionize the industry with its cheap manufacturing process for solar panels. I stopped by the SolarCity headquarters, then in Foster City outside San Francisco, mostly because the company--which is in the decidedly less glamorous business of actually selling and installing panels--had a connection to Elon Musk, founder of electric-car maker Tesla Motors. (Musk is a cousin...

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