Concentrating photovoltaics manufacturer GreenVolts, Inc. introduced what it calls the first complete and fully integrated CPV system. Within almost the same breath, it announced that international power and automation company ABB will market and provide GreenVolts’ systems across the globe.
GreenVolts designed all aspects of its CPV system, including its modules, trackers, inverters and its energy management software.
“We designed our entire system to work together,” said GreenVolts, Inc. Vice President of Strategic Development Eric Romo. “Another thing that’s a little different is we purely contract out all our manufacturing.”
GreenVolts recently introduced its CPV system as part of the Arizona Western College 5-megawatt solar test-bed, which chose five photovoltaic technologies to test.
“A lot of people saw it for the first time there,” Romo said. But the company already has about 3 megawatts of projects in the ground.
GreenVolts’ CPV is designed to be modular.
“Our building block is just under 20 kilowatts,” Romo said.
The company can develop small commercial projects but is working on developing larger projects up to the tens of megawatts in size.
“We expect we’ll be competitive in the utility-scale market,” he said.
The company borrowed from high-tech manufacturers in other industries, according to Romo. The model makes it more efficient. It can order as much as needed without adding in more manufacturing capacity on its own.
“That’s one of the big advantages of contract manufacturing partners,” he said. The product was designed to take advantage of manufacturers’ competencies and equipment, so they can produce to meet GreenVolts’ needs.
“The manufacturing partners are pretty big companies themselves,” Romo said. “If they need to scale they can do that because they have a lot of options.”
The approach to manufacturing attracted the interest of ABB.
The company, based in Switzerland, invested $20 million as part of a $35 million financial round, gaining a minority stake in the company. The investment adds to the portfolio of other solar products that the company offers, including concentrating solar power and photovoltaics.
“They’ll be selling and marketing our systems worldwide,” Romo said.
The company will allow GreenVolts to play in the large-scale market.