Trina introduces rooftop kit, aims at direct sales – interview

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With a proven track record in the large-scale solar PV sector Down Under, Trina Solar has officially launched into Australia’s mature residential market with its new Trinahome solution, eyeing a strong pipeline of opportunities.

All the components in the residential kit – the solar modules, inverter and mounting – come from Trina Solar and are backed by the company’s warranties. Trinahome comes in variations from 3 kW to 10 kW, depending on the roof size.

Overall, Trina Solar has been present in Australia since 2011, and during the time it has supplied more than 1.5 GW of solar capacity to the market.

“The Australian market is critical to Trina, as its third largest in the Asia-Pacific region. We have been doing really well in the utility-scale market, but now the residential segment became very important to us as we see significant growth opportunities,“ Jun-Heong Ku, Trina Solar senior sales director for Asia Pacific & Middle East, told pv magazine Australia

With its new “all-in-one“ kit, Trina Solar will target the residential market, but also SMEs.

“One of the unique features of Trinahome, is it will come with a hybrid inverter so you have the flexibility to feed excess electricity into the grid or use that electricity to recharge the batteries in an energy storage system,” says Ku.

Ku notes that the new kit does not represent the company’s entrance into the residential market segment, since Trina Solar modules have been supplied to the Australian rooftop market through local distributors for years. However, Trina has not been selling directly to this booming market segment and now wants to move into direct sales with Trinahome.

“The utility-market has build up momentum in 2017 and this year, and we think it will maintain the pace of growth in the next one to two years. But on the other hand, the residential market is also growing rapidly and we see that as a great opportunity for us to launch Trinahome, as the only all-in-one solution in the Australian market,” Ku said.

Speaking about the opportunities in the Australian market, Ku emphasized that for companies such as Trina, tech-savvy customers are the key to success. 

“For Trina, there are many opportunities in the Australian market. First of all, customers are easily adopting high technologies, including high efficiency cells and latest technology modules that Trina has introduced to the market. For instance, we introduced dual glass DUOMAX modules and Australian customers were the first ones to adopt it. The same was with our bifacial PERC modules,” he said.

Looking at the bigger picture, Ku said that Trina’s expectations of the Australian solar market are one of the main reasons not to be perturbed by the new Chinese government’s policy to limit subsidy support for PV installations. 

“Trina is very globalized company with 65% of sales volume outside of China, so the government policy change does not impact us at all. We have many customers outside of China, and the projected growth in Australian market this year, as well as in other regions like Latin America and eastern Europe, actually gives us many more opportunities,” Ku said.