If you follow the C&I solar and storage markets you have heard of Hanwa Q Cells. Hanwa Q Cells is one of the largest providers of solar modules into the C&I market owning roughly 26% of the market.
Naturally with the move towards more solar + storage systems we are seeing more and more manufacturers vertically integrate to keep margins increasing. Hence this past week we saw Hanwa Q Cells buy one of the last standing battery optimization software companies – Geli OS.
This move allows the fast growing Hanwa to continue to provide a dominant and fully integrated solar + storage system to C&I property owners. This provides increased margin and a stronger competitive advantage when distributing this anywhere in the Americas.
Hanwa isn’t the only one making moves however. With companies like SunPower moving out of manufacturing to focus on their installation business – we are seeing companies like First Solar move out of the O&M business to focus on manufacturing and deploying utility scale solar only.
The complexity of profitably building an energy business that manufactures its own equipment, builds the systems and then owns and operates those sites is immensely challenging.
First Solar selling their O&M business to the PE firm SunPower dealt with on their manufacturing sale shows that groups in the solar business are starting to consolidate into one of those 3 verticals. Manufacturing & Deployment, Own & Operate, Design & Build.
About The Author
Swarnav S Pujari
Founder of The Impact
Swarnav has over 10 years of experience in the energy & climate tech space, holds 2 patents and is active in the tech, climate and media industries. He specializes in Product/Product Innovation as well as Go-To-Market and Growth Strategy.
By training he’s a Materials Engineer with a background in research from his time at Georgia Tech and University of Illinois (UIUC).
He founded TouchLight a utility backed energy company focused on developing IP for utilities and startups pushing electrification forward. He also serves as the appointed Chairman for the Town of Yorktown’s Climate Smart Communities Task Force, where he helps with drafting legislation and enabling sustainability efforts within the town.
Concurrently, Swarnav founded The Impact to help investors, emerging founders and driven climate enthusiasts discover and identify new climate-tech startups, technologies and opportunities before they hit the traditional media sources.