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SolarCity plans IPO

April 30, 2012

SolarCity Corp., the developer of rooftop solar power systems whose chairman heads Tesla Motors Inc., is planning an initial public offering.

The offering will begin after the Securities & Exchange Commission reviews a draft registration statement the San Mateo, Calif.-based company submitted April 26, according to a statement that didn't say how many shares it plans to sell or at what price.

SolarCity is seeking to go public while other renewable- energy companies are abandoning their IPO plans. BrightSource Energy Inc., a developer of solar-thermal power plants, and the cellulosic ethanol producer Enerkem Inc. both withdrew their registrations this month.

SolarCity's Chairman Elon Musk is also chairman and chief executive officer of electric vehicle maker Tesla, which went public in 2010.

SolarCity was founded in 2006 by brothers Lyndon Rive, chief executive, and Peter Rive, chief operations and technology officer. They are Musk's cousins.

The company's projects have been financed with partners including Google Inc., U.S. Bancorp and Citigroup Inc. Its backers include Mayfield Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Al Gore's Generation Investment Management LLP.

Jonathan Bass, a SolarCity spokesman, wouldn't provide any additional information on the planned IPO.

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