The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) is looking to expand its reach in the Australian rooftop PV sector on the back of a new partnership with US microinverter maker Enphase Energy. The deal is part of an RACV initiative to cater to the consumer demand for safe, flexible and quality products in the residential and commercial PV market segments.
Established in 1903, the Australian insurer made a major push into the solar sector last year with the acquisition of one of Victoria’s biggest solar retailers, Gippsland Solar. The move came after RACV unveiled plans to transition to 100% renewables at all its Victorian clubs, resorts, and office buildings after signing a five-year deal with Snowy Hydro’s energy retailer Red Energy. Under the deal, RACV will purchase 21 GWh of renewable electricity from Red Energy annually, which will combine with power generated from PV installed on several of RACV’s properties, including more than 1640 solar panels on its Torquay resort and almost 2,000 solar panels on the roof of the Noble Park office.
RACV Solar, and its commercial arm Gippsland Solar, say they have selected Enphase IQ microinverters with a growing focus on the provision of safe and more energy-efficient solar solutions. “After a recent tour of the Enphase facility in Fremont, California, it was clear that to cater to the Australian consumer’s ever-increasing demands for solar safety, flexibility, and quality, Enphase technology is the perfect fit for our product range,” said Andy McCarthy, CEO at RACV Solar and Gippsland Solar.
RACV Solar and Gippsland Solar say they will utilize Enphase IQ 7 and IQ 7+ microinverters to simplify solar installations, maximize energy production and deliver a complete AC system that ensures neither installers nor homeowners are exposed to high-voltage DC, providing a safe solar solution for homeowners and commercial sites. The IQ 7 microinverters can be used with 60-cell modules with 235-350 W input power in the standard product and with between 235-440 W, 60- and 72-cell modules in the IQ 7+ version.
Launched in the Australian market in 2018, the IQ 7 and IQ 7+ replaced the S-Series model as almost 50% lighter solution, offering easier handling on the roof. In Australia, the Enphase microinverters are backed by a 10-year warranty, which can be extended for a fee to 15, 20, or 25 years by the homeowner.
The move to the IQ 6 and IQ 7 microinverter units was attributed to Enphase’s substantial reduction in financial losses in 2018. The company is still going strong and recording enormous jumps in revenue.