Here's a roundup of recent news from the PV inverter market.
Satcon's Biggest Orders
Satcon (NASDAQ CM:SATC) will ship 38 megawatts of its 500-kilowatt solar PV inverter products to GCL Solar, one of China’s largest utility-scale solar power plant developers. The 38 megawatts will be installed across three separate solar power plants, and all installations are expected to come online this year.
Additionally, Satcon will deliver 30.5 megawatts of its solar PV inverters to ENERGY 21 Group, one of Europe's largest power utilities, to power 15 solar power plants in the Czech Republic. These installations qualify as part of the Czech Republic's feed-in tariff program, which aims to deploy over 500 megawatts of grid-connected PV power through 2011.
SolarEdge and Flextronics Begin Manufacturing
SolarEdge is working with Flextronics (NASDAQ: FLEX) to get to mass production. SolarEdge, which is VC-funded and is building a distributed inverter architecture, selected Flextronics as its global manufacturing partner for volume production of SolarEdge’s distributed PV power harvesting and monitoring systems. Production began in the previous quarter and is expected to reach an annual capacity of 200MW, according to the company.
Sustainable Energy Partners with Bosch
Sustainable Energy and Bosch Solar Energy are teaming up in Canadian market. Bosch Solar Energy uses "micromorph technology" (amorphous silicon) and Sustainable Energy uses a parallel system architecture to increase solar-energy harvest. The duo are targeting 10- to 15-megawatt Bosch-PARALEX installs for 2010, with 50 to 75 megawatts in sight for 2011.
Petra Solar Funding and Progress
Petra Solar won a sizable $40 million venture round in February from Craton Equity Partners, Espírito Santo Ventures, Element Partners, Blue Run Ventures, OnPoint Technologies (the U.S. Army's Venture Fund) and Kuwait's National Technology Enterprises Company (NTEC).
Petra has a large contract with Public Service Electric & Gas, New Jersey's biggest power utility, to install solar panels on streetlights and power poles across the distribution network. PSE&G looks to install 200,000 panels and about 5 percent are up so far, according to PSE&G. PSE&G-owned poles with a view to the south are suitable for panels, providing they do not have more than one transformer and can handle the added weight, according to the company. Petra provides a line-voltage microinverter and communications capability along with a PV panel sourced from SunTech or other panel vendors.
Deutsche Bank on SMA
FY09 prelims ahead of expectations driven by higher than expected output of about 3.3 gigawatts and a sales increase of 37 percent. DB estimates SMA's global market share at 57 percent, while SMA management says it's "less than 40 percent." Here's SMA's earnings release.
Personnel Moves from Tigo, Enecsys and Enphase
Tigo Energy, a VC-funded startup developing a distributed inverter architecture that maximizes the power output of individual solar modules, added Bernd Neuner to manage the firm’s European expansion as Director of Business Development for Europe. Tigo is also launching in Japan and now has recognition from JET for sales in the Japanese market.
In January, Enecsys won $4.2 million of funding from Good Energies. The new investment adds to the $10 million received from Wellington Partners and BankInvest in June 2009. Enecsys named Bernd Kohlstruck, formerly of Xantrex, as Vice President of Sales and Marketing - Europe. Enecsys is planning to launch its micro-inverter in mid-2010.
Microinverter leader Enphase Energy hired Sanjeev Kumar as its first chief financial officer. Kumar was previously CFO of HelioVolt, a CIGS thin-film solar startup. Before that he was CFO of Energy Conversion Devices.