Enphase just announced their largest commercial system ever with 9000 inverters on one production system. Naturally, there is no mention of this on this message board. Why does this project matter so much?
IMHO it matters for two reasons, it shows that micro-inverters do have a place in large installations after much debate over the financial logic in using ENPH micros on big solar farms. The second reason is because it’s a non-domestic commercial installation. Most commercial micro-inverter installations to-date have been U.S. projects.
They made this announcement following a pretty darn good and very unexpected financial report. Their non-U.S. sales growth was the most positive and unexpected part of that report-IMHO.
Meanwhile, SMA just announced that they’ve lost over half their sales volume compared to two years ago and their new micro-inverter is designed to work only with one of their own string inverter controllers which have fallen sharply in demand - oops.
ReneSola (SOL) is cash strapped and trying desperately to raise cash just to meet the payments on their debt obligations. Oh well, at least the Power-one micro-inverters never made the big splash that ABB hoped they would. And I humbly admit thet I never thought I’d see Enphase eat Enecsys’ lunch in their own country when incentive headwinds are stronger than ever in the U.K.; but it’s been happening right before our eyes.
As perplexed as I am with these successes, there is only one basic element that can lead to the above facts; superior market demand. Superior demand can only occur for a product that has gained recognition as a better solution to most grid tied systems.
I will resist responding to the usual suspects on the ancient debate regarding “string vs. micro”. Evidently, the new debate is now micro vs. micro based on which has the best monitoring processes so save your breath for that discussion and please have some reality exposure to the industry.
This is in response to the comment that SMA is still a threat to Enphase. Thank you Rocinonte for the comment.
I agree that SMA is a threat, perhaps even more so with their “new” microinverter. They have always sold their micro as something to use only in combination with their string systems. It doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to use them without an associated string system, it just means SMA knows it would be pointless on the basis of cost and practicality. SMA is a bigger threat simply because they have excellent brand recognition, they own German distributors and they can package with optimizers for largish projects.
The bigger threat to Enphase IMHO are:
1-Reduced Global Incentives. If they all went away, who would survive in the industry and at what energy cost does it still make sense for consumers to solarize without any FIT’s or other incentives?
2- The really cheap stuff i.e., ReneSola. ReneSola will be forced to severely undercut Enphase in price in order to survive. All they have to do to hurt Enphase is reduce Enphase’s sales volume.
3-Optimizers. I personally see no logic in using them over micros but they have powerful marketing and a lot of opportunity waiting in the form of existing string systems or packaging with new string installs. They cost over half the price of a micro and you still haven’t inverted anything.
You might want to check your facts WRT SMA's new micro inverter, the SMA 240 US.
(there is no such device as a "string inverter controller"). The SMA micro inverter works with a microgate, which is a communications device as far as I can see. The system has nothing to do with string inverters, which SMA is the world's largest maker of. Don't think that SMA isn't a threat to Enphase. May the better inverter win.
I bought this stock after I got enphase inverters installed on my house. I have a friend with a Sunny Boy string inverter, and he wants the setup I have with the envoy. It's awesome. I dont know a whole lot about the competitor's web monitoring etc. but thanks again for posting.
Thanks. No worries, there’s always some tool willing to help me prove my point. Not one original or useful contribution.
Congrats on your Enphase system. 3 ½ years for mine and running great. There is certainly no lack of information coming out of those things.
I just read the minutes from the recent presentation by CFO and CEO at the Jefferies Industrials Conference on Monday. These guys were straight up and transparent. They’ve got their credit card in the freezer and they’ve kept expenses flat. Even better margins coming with gen 4 product. Nothing earth shattering. Just solid, consistent progress. That event immediately preceded our current run up but who knows . . .