Interesting times in the solar industry with a major player from Germany, Conergy AG, entering into insolvency proceedings on the eve of Intersolar North America (IS). We will be at IS and will be reporting at some length upon our return, but here is our brief preview.
Conergy AG is the parent company of U.S. solar distributor, Conergy America. Collectively, they comprise one of the largest distributors of solar equipment in the world. Conergy AG had been reportedly seeking an investor to take over loans held by ten banks, but one bank balked, forcing the company into insolvency. It is not clear what impact, if any, this will have on Conergy America’s business (they insist none, at least in the short term) but it is certain to be a major talking point at IS.
Enphase to Shine & Dine
One of our favorite companies, Enphase Energy, is set to announce the release of their 4th Generation microinverter during the show. Rumored to be a 250 Watt device, it will be interesting to see what other features make their way into this product – perhaps a less glaringly reflective surface (high on every installer’s wish list), or a more visible operations indicator light. We have agitated for an ability to communicate with the microinverter before the corresponding solar module is installed (perhaps as part of a debug mode). The wait will soon be over as the product will be rolled out Tuesday morning.
But Enphase is also showing their social side with a couple of events, starting by co-hosting (along with Solar Fred and Solar Power World magazine) the Annual Tweetup! This looks to be a great party, with lots of Twitter-connected solar peeps taking advantage of our sponsors’ generosity. Oh yeah, we will be there – and so should you!
Then, later that same day, Enphase will also be sponsoring the Enphase Wine Country Lounge at the Solar Summerfest. Should be a big day for our friends at Enphase and we are looking forward to raising a glass or two with them.
Storage on Display
The most buzz at the show – apart from who is going out of business – is likely to be centered around the role of storage in solar power systems. As we have reported before, IS will feature a section specifically devoted to storage systems. We are looking forward to seeing what will emerge from the vapor-ware fog as a viable solution for our clients.
USC Solar Decathlon Team to Visit
Finally, three of the whip-smart members of USC’s 2013 Solar Decathlon Team will be in the IS house. Evyn Larson, Kai Nguyen, and Alain Peschard will be at the show, looking to learn all they can and help establish long-term relationships between USC and various solar manufacturers and distributors. I will be privileged to be showing them around for at least part of the time – if you are interested in supporting USC’s program now or in the future, please let me know.
That’s it for now – by the time you read this I will be en route to the Bay Area. Hope to see lots of you over the next few days and sharing what I learn with those of you kind enough to follow this blog.