Soligent, the largest pure play solar distributor in North America, Partners with Chilicon Power to Diversify Product Offerings

Petaluma, Calif., June 6, 2018- Soligent Distribution, the leading distributor of solar equipment in the United States, has partnered with Chilicon Power, a tech-forward designer and manufacturer of grid-support inverter and monitoring solutions, to expand its quality product menu.

Soligent, the largest pure play solar distributor, financier and technology platform in the Americas supplies over 5,000 solar installers with best-in-class panels, inverters, racking and balance of systems across the U.S. and over 45 countries. Soligent is eager to partner with Chilicon Power in part due to the impressive CP100 gateway monitoring system created so customers can view and manage their solar power systems 24 hours a day from the comfort of anywhere in their home. Soligent is dedicated in providing its customers with high quality products and Chilicon Power has met and exceeded that standard. Together, Soligent and Chilicon Power strive toward a brighter, clean-tech future.

"We believe in providing quality products to our customers and Chilicon Power has met and exceeded our standards," said Thomas Enzendorfer, President at Soligent, "We look forward to a long and successful partnership with them."

"Soligent and Chilicon share similar visions for the evolution of inversion and monitoring systems and we are pleased to partner with them", commented Alexandre Kral and Dr. Christopher R. Jones, Co-Founders of Chilicon Power.

For more information about Soligent Distribution, please visit http://www.Soligent.net

For more information about Chilicon Power, please visit http://www.chiliconpower.com/


About Soligent Distribution:

Soligent supplies over 5,000 solar installers with best-in-class panels, inverters, racking and balance of systems across the U.S. and over 45 countries. Founded in 1979, Soligent has been a pioneer in the solar industry for decades and continues to drive the market forward with innovative solutions ranging from materials management to project financing. With advanced training, a diversified product offering, and multi-site distribution centers across the U.S., Soligent is well positioned as a responsive, flexible equipment partner.

About Chilicon Power:

Chilicon Power has developed a world class module level power electronic (MLPE) product line that includes smart home features unique in the solar industry. Additionally, Chilicon is the only MPLE manufacturer that fabricates all of its products in the USA. Chilicon Power was formed in 2010 by two accomplished engineers, Christopher Jones and Alexandre Kral, a partnership committed to producing the most technologically advanced microinverter system in the solar industry.

Thomas Enzendorfer, president of distributor Soligent - Quoted by Solar Power World

What’s happening with U.S. solar after four months of panel tariffs

By Kelly Pickerel | June 4, 2018 

Published in Solar Power World 

Here we are, four months after 30% tariffs were placed on imported crystalline silicon solar panels. Who are the winners, and who are the losers?

Utility-scale contractors are hurting more than those in the residential or C&I markets because their work is more price-sensitive. Cypress Creek Renewables recently said it has canceled 1.5 GW of projects because the tariffs have made them uneconomical. That’s 20% of its project pipeline, and a significant number of contracting jobs.

 

An 88-MWdc project in North Carolina completed by Strata Solar

Strata Solar has experienced similar setbacks in its national EPC work. Brian O’Hara, senior vice president of strategy and government affairs, said the uncertainty leading up to the tariff decision was a hard blow even in 2017.

“When we were going through the process of whether there would be tariffs, [it] injected so much uncertainty in the market that it drove prices up anyway and made it difficult to secure panels, difficult to plan for the future,” he said. “That’s behind us. We still have a bad policy with bad tariffs in front of us. There are projects that would have been economic without the tariffs that are no longer economic. We’re building less solar than we would have and employing less people than we would have without the tariffs.”

That’s a bummer about fewer megawatts installed in the utility-scale market, but at least we’ve entered an American manufacturing renaissance, right?

Although China-based JinkoSolar has started plans on a 400-MW panel assembly plant in Florida and South Korea-headquartered Hanwha Q CELLS recently said it is setting up a 1.6-GW module plant in Georgia, those projects aren’t contributing to a surge in American manufacturing today, right now. Chinese manufacturer CSUN confirmed with Solar Power World that it is expanding its Sacramento plant from 400 MW to 600 MW and should start producing U.S. modules this summer (the original plan was to begin producing modules in January 2018). Panasonic/Tesla has said it will pump out 1 GW of cells and panels from its New York facility, but ramp-up has been slow and unconfirmed.

That leaves only a handful of actually functioning American panel assembly sites today. Mission Solar has a 200-MW (soon to be expanded to 400-MW) plant in Texas, Itek Energy has 210 MW of manufacturing capacity in Washington, Seraphim Solar has a 160-MW plant in Mississippi (with plans for an additional 200 MW), with a few smaller manufacturers in between. They may all be jointly taking advantage of a 2.5-GW tariff exclusion on imported cells, but 2.5 GW is a drop in the bucket compared to the expected 61.3-GW demand of installed U.S. solar over the next four years. All segments will be importing tariffed modules.

“We’ve seen announcements, but it’s unclear to what extent capacity actually will grow,” said Dan Whitten, vice president of communications for SEIA, of manufacturing expansions. “We do know that any new manufacturing won’t begin to fill our nation’s demand for solar panels, so the increased costs of projects are real and unfortunate.”

 

SolarWorld’s Hillsboro, Oregon, plant will be revamped to produce SunPower high-efficiency modules.

Shifting focus

When two “American” module manufacturers first requested tariffs on imported solar panels last year, they cited the need to safeguard U.S. manufacturing jobs and increase competition with foreign suppliers. Suniva (Chinese-owned) and SolarWorld Americas (German parent company) are both essentially kaput now, even after the tariffs were initiated on their behalf. Suniva never climbed back from its bankruptcy filing, and SolarWorld was bought by SunPower in April.

American-headquartered SunPower has long been a critic of the tariffs, as they affect its high-efficiency solar modules assembled in Mexico and the Philippines. The company provided extensive documentation to the U.S. trade commission seeking exemption from the tariffs (no possible exemption decisions have yet been made). SunPower said without the exemption, it would have to lay off hundreds of non-manufacturing employees and halt a $20 million manufacturing expansion (possibly for its smaller California line).

In what may be an increased effort to show the U.S. government that it is all-in on American manufacturing, SunPower started the SolarWorld acquisition. The company plans to keep the SolarWorld brand name on certain modules but will manufacture its own high-efficiency modules out of the Oregon plant. SunPower hopes the government looks favorably on this acquisition and grants the tariff exemption, because the company still needs it. By restructuring its focus from large-scale project development to manufacturing, SunPower believes the tariff exemption will allow it to spend more money on R&D to produce a world-leading solar panel.

Losing R&D dollars

Solaria feels similar woes. The U.S. company manufactures the majority of its panels in South Korea but was already expanding its U.S. lines (right now at 40 MW capacity) before the tariffs were announced. Solaria produces a high-efficiency PowerXT module that is constantly being retooled for higher outputs. The current models top out around 350 W, but CEO Suvi Sharma said the company wants to push past 400 W. If only they didn’t have to pay tariffs on their Korean modules, they could invest more money state-side.

“Ironically for a U.S. company, it’s been quite disruptive for us,” Sharma said of the tariffs. “We’re writing checks to the U.S. government instead of investing in R&D. We have an aggressive technology and product roadmap. To meet that, we have had significant growth plans in R&D expenditure. Paying the tariffs has reduced money available for that. This is an unintended consequence of the tariffs. U.S. companies reducing R&D makes us less competitive in the long-term.”

There has always been special interest in Solaria’s product as it’s a premium U.S. module, but Sharma said there hasn’t been any more significant or meaningful interest since the tariffs were put in place. This may also be because Solaria caters to a residential and commercial crowd that hasn’t felt the pinch of the tariffs yet.

Distributor outlook

Maybe no one is looking for un-tariffed American modules because there are still plenty of pre-tariffed foreign modules in warehouses, waiting to be installed. Before the tariff went into effect, many distributors and installers imported large quantities of modules.

“We have been actively working on reducing our inventory levels as we believe that there is current oversupply in the market,” said Thomas Enzendorfer, president of distributor Soligent. “We see pricing for Q2 and Q3 deliveries to come in below pre-tariff product.”

Enzendorfer said the industry is currently reassessing the term “American-made,” and installers aren’t sure what the go-to brand is anymore. There are successful American panels that distributors have available, but they’re not well known enough to be requested as an American option.

“As more players such as Panasonic, JinkoSolar and others are setting up U.S. production sites, it will be a while before a clear and new ‘American panel’ will emerge on the market,” he said.

 

Inside SolarTech’s Florida facility

American-made in the residential market

Florida’s SolarTech Universal is trying its best to become that go-to brand. Director of marketing Nathan Rosenstein said the company plans to increase its original 80-MW manufacturing lines to 280 MW, a direct result of the tariff and increased interest in its high-efficiency modules.

“Premium modules have suffered due to the tariff, and we feel that a premium American-made module will help to bridge some of those market gaps,” Rosenstein said. SolarTech Universal is also working out a plan with an unspecified U.S. cell manufacturer for product starting in September. Although the 2.5-GW solar cell exclusion is more than enough to fuel U.S. manufacturers (until Hanwha and other new plants get going), SolarTech still wants a fully American product.

National residential installer Green Solar Technologies has always tried to install American panels and has a good relationship with SolarWorld that COO Edward Harner said he hopes continues as SunPower’s acquisition is completed.

“We’ve seen zero effect of the tariffs,” Harner said. “It’s been good for our business. We can go after the consumers who are more pro-American manufacturing and say we were part of this from the beginning.”

Green Solar Technologies testified in favor of the tariffs at an International Trade Commission hearing and still stands by its decision. Harner said the company installs SolarWorld on 90% of its projects, and when it does have to use imported panels, a total project increase of $1,000 on a 5-kW system barely registers with the customers. It appears to be business as usual for the residential market.

So here’s a tally, four months in to the tariffs:

Losers: utility-scale installers, module R&D

Neutral parties: residential installers

Winners: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

April 19th: Grand Opening Party for New Sacramento Warehouse

Opening Party Graphic without Sponsor Logos.jpg

In celebration of our new Sacramento warehouse, we will be hosting a Grand Opening Event on Thursday, April 19th from 1 pm to 6 pm!  

Attend and have a chance to win $500 credits towards your next order and free equipment for a 6kW system! Equipment is provided by Solaria, SMA, and IronRidge. Raffle to be held at 5pm. (Note: presence not required at 5pm to be eligible to win).

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Come grab a bite to eat from our food trucks, browse tables of swag, literature and demo products from our sponsoring suppliers: IronRidge, Solaria, SMA, Enphase, SolarEdge, Fronius, Outback, Chilicon, Quick Mount PV, Pro Solar, Panasonic, Canadian Solar and SolarWorld. 

Behind the scenes tours of the warehouse will also be offered at 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm.  Be sure to sign up when registering! 

Members of our Executive Team will be present to meet and greet you. Please come see our new place and celebrate with us! We'd love to see you there.
  
What: Grand Opening

Where: Soligent's Sacramento Warehouse

Address: 4291 Pell Dr, Suite C, Sacramento, CA 95838

Date: Thursday, April 19th

Time: 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Soligent to stock Solaria 350W in 2018

  Solaria 230s installed by Auburn Solar - Auburn, CA

Solaria 230s installed by Auburn Solar - Auburn, CA


 

Solaria Introduces PowerXT® 350Wp Module for Residential Rooftops to Soligent’s 5,000 Solar Installer Network

Solaria’s Patented Technology Provides Best-in-Class Efficiency – and Delivers Outstanding Performance and Profitability
 

FREMONT & PETALUMA, CA, DEC. 20, 2017 - Soligent Distribution the largest distribution channel for solar in the Americas, and Solaria Corporation, a global provider of solar module technologies, announced that they are introducing the PowerXT® 350Wp, optimized for residential deployment, to Soligent’s network of 5,000 solar installers in the U.S. and across 45 countries.

Delivering high power and highly aesthetically-pleasing PV panels, Solaria’s patented PowerXT 350W modules maximize system power and performance. “The PowerXT 350 is the latest evolution in Solaria’s industry-leading efficiency roadmap,” said Solaria CEO Suvi Sharma. 

Invaleon Solar Technologies, a Soligent Dealer who has installed over 25MW of solar projects in Massachusetts in the last year alone, will be the first to install the new Solaria 350W modules after several successful installs with Solaria 325W and 330W modules.

“Our customer demand for premium high density panels has been growing and options have been limited,” said Sven Amirian, VP of Sales at Invaleon Solar. “Before Solaria, Invaleon used other manufacturers’ modules, but they were less desirable black on white modules, and generally more expensive than Solaria’s,” Amirian noted. “The 25-year product warranty gives our customers peace of mind; while the true, all black module provides an elegant appearance without sacrificing production or performance. For Invaleon, Solaria 350 modules continue to present new possibilities for our business, extending Invaleon’s product offering and shortening the customer payback time and increasing profitability.”

Solaria PowerXT 350W modules build on the success of the Solaria PowerXT 325W and 330W which have been in high demand among Soligent installers. For Peggy Matson, owner of Auburn Solar, a certified Gold Soligent Elite Dealer operating Northeast of Sacramento, looks matter. “Most of our customers want something on their roof that looks really sharp,” she said. “Solaria is great looking, highly efficient, and priced right so we can offer very competitive deals to our customers – often beating our competitors by thousands of dollars,” added Matson.

“Solaria’s PowerXT 350W panels ensure labor savings on racking and system components over other lower wattage modules,” says Jonathan Doochin, CEO of Soligent. “Soligent, through our partnerships, is providing U.S. distributors, installers and customers with the most efficient, aesthetic and cost-effective solar products on the market today.”

Solaria’s high output PowerXT 350 modules –60 cell equivalent, with a black back sheet– are built on the company’s proprietary technology, which utilizes advanced cell interconnect and module production processes. Through these patented technology / techniques, Solaria has created a new standard in PV module efficiency and reduction in system costs. PowerXT significantly boosts power generation while eliminating reliability challenges that can reduce conventional PV modules’ long-term performance. This ensures that solar installers maximize power deployment on customer roofs – enabling them to install attractive, cost-effective distributed power plants that accelerate payback period and profitability. 

“Visionary distributors and installers such as Soligent and their network are delivering the best value in solar with the help of PowerXT’s innovations,” noted Sharma.

Solaria PowerXT 350Wp modules will be available for installation in Q1 2018 via Soligent. Solaria PowerXT 330Wp modules are currently available through Soligent.

Greentech Media: Read the full press release here

Solar Power World: 350-W Solaria modules to be stocked by Soligent

SOLARPRO: Solaria Introduces PowerXT® 350Wp Module for Residential Rooftops to Soligent’s 5,000 Solar Installer Network

Solar Novus Today: Solaria PowerXT 350Wp Module Available to Soligent's Installer Network

Solaria & Soligent Partnership

Solaria Corporation, global provider of solar module technologies, today announced that its Solaria PowerXT® residential solar modules are now being distributed by Soligent, the largest pure play solar distributor in the Americas, headquartered in Petaluma, California. Solaria’s high-efficiency PowerXT 330Wp residential module is one of the industry’s most bankable solar products.

The PowerXT module line offers homeowners and businesses a 20% higher energy yield over conventional modules. Thanks to a patented cell cutting and module assembly process, Solaria PowerXT solar modules provide high power with a sleek design. The 330W panels mean labor savings on racking and system components over other lower wattage modules. With Solaria expanding its PowerXT solar cell and module manufacturing line at its headquarters in Fremont, California, it will provide U.S. installers with a top offering of products.

Read full GTM Press Release here.

JLM & Soligent Partnership

JLM Energy, Inc., a leading energy technology company, announced it has recently signed an agreement with Soligent Distribution, the largest pure-play solar distributor in the Americas. The partnership provides Soligent dealers access to deploying, configuring, and integrating JLM's top-of-the-line technology, which includes solar, energy storage and smart energy monitoring software.

Read full press release here.

 

Ygrene Soligent Partnership

Ygrene Soligent Partnership to Boost Solar Sales in California and Florida

Ygrene Energy Fund, Inc., the leading provider of residential, multifamily and commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and Soligent, the largest pure play solar distributor in the U.S., today announced a strategic agreement to expand services and increase access to affordable materials and solar financing. The partnership provides participating contractors access to Soligent's Tier 1 pricing and credit lines, enabling them to offer property owners quality solar equipment with industry beating prices and no money down, 100% financing through the YgreneWorksTM PACE program.

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CleanFund and Soligent Partner

Helping Solar Installers Sell More Solar Energy Systems to Commercial Building Owners

CleanFund, the #1 specialty direct provider of long-term PACE financing for renewable energy, energy efficiency, water conservation and seismic improvements to commercial properties in the U.S., and Soligent, the largest-volume B-to-B pure play distributor of solar system products in the U.S., have entered a partnership to help solar equipment dealers sell more solar energy systems to commercial building owners.

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