By acquiring SolarBridge, a provider of integrated microinverter technologies for the solar industry, SunPower will expand its product portfolio for its residential customers. SunPower will utilize this technology, which converts DC generated by a single solar PV panel into 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.
"SunPower's acquisition of SolarBridge and its high performance microinverter technology will allow us to develop a differentiated product specifically optimized for our high efficiency solar panels," said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO. "This is the beginning of integrating electronics into our solar panel technology. In this case, the combined result will provide our residential customers with an elegant, reliable and complete solution that fits their home specifications, including system design flexibility, ease of installation and maintenance and improved overall aesthetics."
With AC solar panels, the power generated by the solar system is optimized and monitored at each solar panel to ensure maximum energy production. They provide design and installation flexibility, and are suited for a wide variety of system and rooftop configurations. AC solar panels also help reduce soft costs associated with residential photovoltaic solar installations, including labor, permitting and customer acquisition costs, which represent a significant portion of the overall system cost. SolarBridge microinverter technology offers a design life in excess of 25 years.