SAN FRANCISCO/LOS ANGELES -- San Mateo solar-systems installer SolarCity expects to debut in the public markets before the end of the year after suffering a delay due to superstorm Sandy, according to a person familiar with the offering.

The company, which filed with securities regulators for a $200 million IPO in October, will begin its investor roadshow after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, the person said.

A spokesman for SolarCity would not comment.

SolarCity is being hailed as the alternative energy industry's most promising IPO candidate since electric car company Tesla Motors (TSLA)' 2010 debut. Like Tesla, which is widely regarded as the sector's sole public markets success story, SolarCity is backed by Paypal billionaire Elon Musk, chairman of the company founded by his cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rive.

The top U.S. installer of residential solar systems has grown rapidly, largely because it allows customers to lease its costly product by paying a monthly fee, avoiding the hefty upfront costs of an outright purchase.

The list of publicly traded alternative energy companies has until now been dominated by solar manufacturers that are struggling with a global glut of panels that has sent prices into a tailspin and weighed heavily on profits and share prices.