SMA takes 50% Australian inverter market share, dominates large scale

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SMA Solar Technology is cementing its place as a leader in supplying inverters to the Australian marketplace. In a statement yesterday, the company reported supplying over 2 GW of utility scale projects to date, across every mainland Australian state and territory.

SMA reports that it has supplied 1.8 GW of solar inverters to Australia in 2018 – to the utility scale segment alone.  This represents over 50% total Australian inverter market share. Australian solar market analyst SunWiz expects commissioned installations to reach around 3.4 GW in 2018, including around 1.5 GW of rooftop and 1.9 GW of utility scale PV projects.

Remarkably, the figures from SMA has it supplying a whopping 95% of large scale projects in Australia.

Given the result, Australia is shaping as one of the most important markets globally for the German inverter maker. As of Q3 2018, SMA had reported inverter sales of 6.2 GW. For the full year, SMA is expected to achieve around 8 GW of installations – meaning that the Australian market alone should account for almost one quarter of the company’s global shipments in 2018.

“In the month of September alone, over 1 GW of SMA central inverters were actively commissioned,” said SMA’s John Susa, the company’s Executive Vice President of Sales for APAC and North America, in a statement. “The uptake in the utility segment has added 10 permanent staff members to our local service team in Australia and has resulted in 15 additional local employees being subcontracted to work on these projects for the duration of the plants’ life.”

SMA currently employs 54 permanent staff in Australia.

In July, SMA announced plans to assemble its Power Skid central inverter platform in Australia – through a partnership with the Wilson Transformer Company (WTC). The Victorian company says that it is investing in new plant, equipment and hiring staff to produce up to 35-50 MW of Power Skids per week.

“We have invested in new facilities and equipment in order to meet the demand from the renewable energy sector,” WTC Managing Director told pv magazine Australia. “30 additional staff are being recruited to support this investment in Wodonga, and we have a similar number that have been recruited in Melbourne for the increase in work relating to Power Transformers.”

SMA is not the only central-European power electronics supplier to be having success in Australia. Austrian string inverter supplier Fronius expects to supply 600 MW of inverters to the market in 2018 – representing a market share of 40%.

This article was amended on 28/11/2018 to reflect that the 1.8 GW of shipments applies only to the utility scale market segment.