Consolidating Trends in Downstream Solar
Last week, Vivint Solar, a Utah-based developer of residential solar PV systems, acquired Solmetric, a CA-based manufacturer of PV installation tools and software products, for $12 million. The merger will enable Vivint Solar to offer Solmetric’s flagship products such as SunEye, PV Designer, and PV Analyzer to its customers. The newly added services would help facilitate the pre-installation site assessment and the CAD process, allowing Vivint Solar to provide more comprehensive solutions to savvy solar customers. One of the top competitors, SolarCity, also made a significant move earlier this year when it acquired Common Assets, a CA-based developer of crowd-funding systems. The company offers a web-based investment platform that allows individuals and organizations to invest in solar projectsand is expected to attract more individuals and smaller organizations interested in financing solar assets.
In another example to increase market share in solar, Proinso, a Spanish supplier of solar panels and system components, has partnered with OXIS Energy, a UK-based developer of Lithium-ion batteries, to create a new solar energy storage system. The company expects to focus on the grid-connected storage market and plans to roll out the new product this year. These mergers and partnerships in downstream solar are clear signs that the companies are looking for innovative approaches to secure a bigger market share. In today’s competitive market, it is increasingly becoming difficult to be a leader with only a downstream business. As solar becomes more accessible, customers are seeking more diversified and comprehensive PV solutions. With this trend, it is likely that we will continue to see more M&A and strategic partnerships in downstream solar.