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Solar Panel Companies expand into the Balance of System (BOS) Equipment Space through acquisitions

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SunPower acquires SolarBridge

Solar companies continue to expand into different areas as the industry moves more and more into an energy providing service, rather than product sales. Some of the solar panel companies such as Renesola (SOL) already sell mounting systems, microinverters etc. Now others such as SunPower (SPWR) are too moving into the BOS space. The company recently acquired SolarBridge, which is one of the top microinverter sellers in the USA. Note microinverters are mostly a US phenomenon with most of the companies based out of that country. It is only now that the microivnerter companies such as Enphase Energy (ENPH) are starting to expand their marketing to other countries such as UK and Australia.

Traditional inverter companies such as SMA Solar, Sungrow etc. have been slow in getting into this fast growth niche area which is dominated by the likes of Enphase with their advanced technology and strong partnerships with modules makers. SunPower is going to use this acquisition to sell AC modules to customers. SunPower besides being one of the largest solar panel makers in the world is also one of the biggest residential and commercial installers in the USA, where the use of electronics in solar systems is growing rapidly. This will give SunPower an edge over its competition especially the Chinese solar module sellers like Trina Solar (TSL), Yingli Green Energy (YGE), Renesola and others. Modules have become highly commoditized and differentiating through the use of high efficiency, ease of installation and good O&M is important for the continued success of a module company.

Read more about Solar Installers in USA.

SolarCity started this trend by acquiring mounting/racking company Zep Solar, which used to make an innovative system that substantially reduced the solar panel installation time. I think more solar companies are going to acquire the startups which make optimization and inverter electronics for solar panel systems. The big players in this area are Tigo and Enphase. While Enphase is listed, the other companies are privately held.


SunPower Corp. (SPWR) today expanded its product portfolio for its residential customers with the acquisition of SolarBridge Technologies, Inc., a leader in integrated microinverter technologies for the solar industry.  SunPower will utilize this technology, which converts direct current (DC) generated by a single solar photovoltaic panel into alternating current (AC), to develop next generation microinverters for use with SunPower’s high efficiency solar panels.  Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Based in Austin, Texas, SolarBridge has developed an innovative, highly reliable microinverter solution for roof-ready AC solar panels.  Panels with these factory-integrated microinverters can be directly installed, eliminating the need to mount or assemble additional components on the roof or the side of a home.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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    What is the best AC recombiner manufacturing company in india ?

    I need ac recombiner or splitter to combine output of two 50 kW inverters