What new companies and longtime Exhibitors made a splash at Solar Power International 2013 (SPI)?
I started writing this article on Halloween which focuses on booth tricks and treats. What I can say about SPI 2013 is that it was a complete treat. The only trick was for those that thought SPI 2013 was not going to have an excellent showing, they were wrong. Developer’s, EPC’s and financial institutions were in abundance. Most booths were filled with attendees looking for product upgrades and innovation in products and cost reductions.
Four Companies that stood out
Four companies that stood out was RECOM, Power-One/ABB, Cinnamon Solar & Firestone. What makes these companies stand out from the rest? RECOM was the most impressive, first as a new-comer to the North American market, they advertised with huge signs throughout the Exhibition hall and under the aisle numbers. They hired two North American solar veterans, Isabelle Christianson and Robert Benedict (me). Along with the marketing and sales team they brought European designed, European quality and service to enhance the PV industry. Instead of manufacturing in China they manufacture in Malaysia with Taiwanese cells.
Because quality manufacturing is important to RECOM they have manufacturing management and engineering from their team in Europe overseeing the manufacturing in Malaysia. The most impressive aspect of RECOM is they are making a net profit. If your watch the financial health of the other PV crystalline companies you know none of them are making a net profit. Most of the large Chinese companies are publicly traded so they use the funds from their shareholders to keep the companies propped up artificially.
European quality and manufacturing
RECOM’s attention to profit, European quality and manufacturing management sets them apart from their competition. When you combine this with excellent pricing you have a winning newcomer to the North American market. Another company that has the winning combination of quality products, service and making a profit is Power-One. Recently Power-One merged with ABB Inc. What makes Power-One a company you want to work with and watch is their wide range of inverter products. Whether you are looking for inverters for residential, commercial/C&I and or utility scale projects Power-One has a solution.
Power-One has established itself as the world’s second largest provider of solar inverters. Additionally, they are one of the world’s ten largest providers of power conversion and power management solutions, Power-One is one of the few companies with the product breadth to support every step in the refinement of utility-grade AC into the various DC voltages required to power high-availability infrastructure systems at the site, system, and semiconductor levels. They are increasing the availability of their renewable energy solar and wind inverter products featuring industry-leading features and performance, while offering easier installation, better customer service, unmatched applications flexibility, and field-proven reliability.
Newest product at SPI
The newest product that was at SPI 3013 was presented by Barry Cinnamon who has been an innovator within solar for many years. The product is an integrated module racking system. This product was designed to fill the residential gap that was created when Zep was purchased by SolarCity. To get more information about this product please contact Barry Cinnamon: firstname.lastname@example.org .
The last company I wanted to mention is Firestone. With the Platinum PV Program, Firestone Building Products pairs its roofing systems with leading PV technology to provide a complete rooftop solar installation that minimizes risk and maximizes investment. Firestone Building Products are equipped to reduce the potential for leaks and provide a more durable platform under all types of PV systems including: ballasted racking systems.
“Firestone Building Products focus on the performance of the entire building envelope from roots to rooftops. SPI 2013 was a venue for them to discuss and demonstrate the benefits of their PV systems which contributes to increased commercial building performance,” says Gary Thompson, general manager of Innovative Products and Services (IPAS), at Firestone Building Products. “Rooftop solar is a viable alternative for the green building industry. However, because some rooftop solar arrays require the roofing system to become an integral support for PV, it is crucial to work with a knowledgeable contractor who can recommend and supply a responsible, integrated solution.”
In closing I believe the companies to watch from now and for the next few years are RECOM, Power-One/ABB, Cinnamon Solar and Firestone. If you would like more information on any of these companies please contact me at email@example.com or 916-284-8841. A special note: as mentioned above, I do work directly for RECOM. This is a necessary disclosure. For those of you that know me, know that even though I work for RECOM, I tell it like it is.