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  • Solar Plus Storage
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SolarEdge Charges Toward the Integrated DER Market

Roberto Rodriguez Labastida
Feb 15, 2019


As subsidies expire, solar installers need to extract more value from their installations to entice new customers. This can be done by integrating other distributed energy resources (DER) technologies like batteries, home energy management systems, or EV chargers into their offerings. SolarEdge's latest investment looks to be aimed at providing a single shop for all the equipment needed.

SolarEdge Making Moves

On January 7, 2019, SolarEdge announced it is acquiring SMRE, a provider of integrated powertrain technology and electronics for EVs. With this move, SolarEdge continues its transition from a pure residential solar and small commercial value chain player toward being an integrated DER player in the same segments.

SolarEdge was actively involved in product development and acquisition last year. In 2018, SolarEdge launched StorEdge, a residential battery focused product, as well as its EV Charging Single Phase Invertera charger that uses a rooftop solar installation to reduce charging times. It also acquired Gamatronic and Kokam, suppliers of uninterruptible power supply and batteries, respectively, and launched its grid services and virtual power plant solution.

What Are Other OEMs Doing?

Other OEMs that also focus on the residential and small commercial markets have moved in the same direction, but by using partnerships instead of acquisitions. sonnen, the German battery marker, offers batteries and EV chargers but leaves the solar inverter to its installation partners and relies on external platforms for DER asset management needs.

Another German company, SOLARWATT, offers solar modules, its own batteries, and an energy management platform, but partners with other companies like BMW to provide EV chargers to customers. SOLARWATT offers this solution directly to end customers or as a white label solution to other installers.

How Does SolarEdge Differ?

SolarEdge’s investments put it in a unique position in the market. These investments mean it can offer a single solution to installers of solar systems. This allows SolarEdge to simplify its installations, therefore reducing costs and simultaneously increasing its revenue per installation. It can provide energy storage systems, EV chargers, and the management systemwith the associated operations and maintenance coststo customers.

In the US, the solar installer Sunrun has pieced together a series of partnerships to offer an integrated DER solution. It uses LGChem batteries, SolarEdge’s inverters, and a third-party home energy management system. With SolarEdge, smaller installers could replicate the solution Sunrun has in the market without having to deal with several suppliers or having to fiddle with different software solutions, communication protocols, and more.

Integrated DER solutions like what SolarEdge is creating will be key to help the solar industry to evolve into an integrated DER industry.