Solar Inverter News Roundup

There’s been a furious amount of design wins, funding, personnelmoves and earnings reports in the PV inverter market.  Here’s a roundupof recent news.

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 solar power plant developers. The 38megawatts will be installed across three separate solar power plants. All installations are expected to come online this year. 

Addditionally, Satcon will deliver 30.5 megawatts of its solar PV inverters to ENERGY 21 Group,one of Europe’s largest power utilities to power fifteen solar powerplants in the Czech Republic.  These installations qualify as part ofthe Czech Republic’s Feed-In Tariff program, aiming to deploy over 500megawatts of grid-connected PV power through 2011.

SolarEdge and Flextronics Start Manufacturing

SolarEdge is working with Flextronics(NASDAQ: FLEX), to get to mass production.  SolarEdge, VC-funded andbuilding a distributed inverter architecture, selected Flextronics asits global manufacturing partner for volume production of SolarEdge’sdistributed PV power harvesting and monitoring systems.   Productionbegan in the previous quarter and is expected to reach an annualcapacity of 200MW, according to the company.

Sustainable Energy Partners with Bosch

Sustainable Energy and Bosch Solar Energyare teaming up in Canadian market. Bosch Solar Energy uses "micro-morphtechnology" (amorphous silicon) and Sustainable Energy uses a parallelsystem architecture to increase solar energy harvest.  The duo aretargeting 10 to 15 megawatt Bosch-PARALEX installs for 2010 and 50 to75 megawatts for 2011.

Petra Solar Funding and Progress

Petra Solarwon a sizable $40 million venture round in February from Craton EquityPartners, Espírito Santo Ventures, Element Partners, Blue Run Ventures,OnPoint Technologies (U.S. Army’s Venture Fund) and Kuwait’s NationalTechnology Enterprises Company (NTEC).  

Petra has a big contract with Public Service Electric & Gas, NewJersey’s biggest power utility, to install solar panels on streetlightsand power poles across the distribution network.  PSE&G looks toinstall 200,000 panels and about 5 percent are up so far, according toPSE&G.  PSE&G-owned poles with a view to the south are suitablefor panels, providing they do not have more than one transformer andcan handle the weight according to the company.  Petra provides aline-voltage microinverter and communications capability along with aPV panel sourced from SunTech or other panel vendors.

Deutsche Bank on SMA

FY09 prelims ahead of expectations driven by higher than expectedoutput of about 3.3 gigawatts and a sales increase of 37 percent.  DBestimates SMA’s global market share at 57 percent while SMA managmentsays ">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 thatmaximizes  power output of individual solar modules, added BerndNeuner, to manage the firm’s European expansion as Director of BusinessDevelopment for Europe. Tigo is also launching in Japan and now hasrecognition from JET for sales in the Japanese market.  

In January, Enecsyswon $4.2 million of funding from Good Energies. The new investment addsto the $10 million received from Wellington Partners and BankInvest inJune 2009.  Enecsys named Bernd Kohlstruck, formerly of Xantrex, asVice President of Sales and Marketing – Europe.  Enecsys is planning tolaunch its micro-inverter in mid-2010. 

Microinverter leader Enphase Energyhired Sanjeev Kumar as its first chief financial officer.  Kumar waspreviously CFO of HelioVolt, a CIGS thin-film solar startup. Beforethat he was CFO of Energy Conversion Devices.

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