Solar panels are installed on a roof in Washington, D.C. Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Sunrun, the largest U.S. home solar provider, is buying rival Vivint Solar in a $3.2 billion all-stock transaction, the companies announced Monday.

Why it matters: The deal between major players brings new consolidation to the U.S. solar sector, a growing market that has been hindered by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The companies, who have a combined customer base of 500,000, said the deal would provide $90 million in annual cost "synergies."
  • It says they see room for significant growth, noting that residential solar is only at 3% penetration in the U.S.

What they're saying: "Vivint Solar adds an important and high-quality sales channel that enables our combined company to reach more households and raise awareness about the benefits of home solar and batteries," Sunrun CEO Lynn Jurich said in a statement.

What's next: Both companies' boards have approved the deal, but it still needs sign-off from shareholders as well as regulatory approvals. It's expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, they said.

  • Sunrun's stock is up over 3% in pre-market trading on Tuesday.

How it works: Greentech Media notes that while the companies' regional sales overlap considerably, they have also pursued different strategies.

  • Sunrun has aggressively pushed its paired solar and battery storage systems, while Vivint "has a strong ground game and has long been a leader in door-to-door solar sales."

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Oct 8, 2020 - Science

Piecing together an asteroid's history

A global map of Bennu. Photo: Simon et al., Science (2020)

The space rock that eventually gave rise to the asteroid Bennu — currently being studied from close range by NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft — may have had flowing water, according to a new study in the journal Science.

Why it matters: Asteroids are thought to be building blocks leftover from the early days of the solar system, and understanding their nature could provide insights into its evolution.

Supreme Court blocks Alabama curbside voting measure

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday evening blocked a lower court order that would have allowed voters to cast ballots curbside at Alabama polling places on Election Day.

Of note: With 13 days until Election Day, the court voted 5-3 against the measure. Liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer dissented.

Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: New York reports most COVID cases since MayStudies show drop in coronavirus death rate — The next wave is gaining steam.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.
  5. World: Spain becomes first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million cases.