As Australians continue to install solar panels in droves, global module manufacturers are looking to grow their slice of the market. In the latest moves, Norway’s REC Group and China’s Risen Energy have expanded their distribution networks as they seek to launch new PV products into the rapidly growing market.
Based on the new partnership agreement, RFI will distribute REC Group’s range of premium, high-efficiency solar panels, including the REC N-Peak and the Alpha series range, set for official launch in the Australian market mid-October.
The N-Peak Series, the world’s first n-type mono-cSi solar panel with half-cut cells and a twin panel design, was unveiled at the last year’s Intersolar Europe show in Munich. The module achieves an output of up to 330W, and with the twin panel design – effectively splitting the module into two parts – offers improved performance in shaded conditions. With REC traditionally focused on multicrystaline silicon products, the N-Peak Series was its first step into monocrystalline production.
In May, REC launched its new module series Alpha. The module deploys heterojunction cell technology – with Swiss production equipment supplier Meyer Burger in the process of supplying cell and module tools to REC’s Singapore production site. The Alpha module can achieve 380W power output in a 60-cell format.
Under the new deal, RFI has become REC Group’s fourth distribution partner in the Australian market. In July, the company partnered with Solar Juice in particular to target commercial and industrial customers.
REC’s two other distribution partners in Australia are Baywa r.e. Solar Solutions and Sol Distribution. Both are currently facing legal action instigated by Hanwha Q Cells in Australia, facing claims REC infringed on the Korean manufacturer’s IP regarding cell passivation technology. The latest partnership announcement made no mention of the legal action currently underway.
Risen’s new partner
Coming hot on the heels of an unprecedented 120 MW rooftop panel sales in a one-year period, Risen has announced a large-scale exclusive distribution agreement with One Stop Warehouse (OSW), one of Australia’s largest solar distributors. OSW will have exclusive rights to sell Risen’s recently launched Jaeger 330W module, featuring 120 mono PERC half-cut cells. The deal represent Risen’s largest contract signed with an Australian distributor to date.
Risen currently ranks third in Australia’s rooftop PV distribution market, accounting for approximately 10%, and expects this number to grow at a rapid rate in the years ahead. Signing a large-scale contract with OSW is viewed as a milestone for the manufacturer as it seeks to strengthen its position as one of the leading PV panel makers in the rooftop sector.
“One Stop Warehouse is a key partner for us in terms of achieving our sales goals, and this contract solidifies their importance to us”, said Eric Lee, Risen General Manager, said at a signing ceremony held last month. On the same occasion, OSW inked two more distribution deals with Germany’ Aleo Solar and China’s Tongwei Solar to distribute their products exclusively in the Australian market. For Tongwei, this was its first distribution deal in Australia.