In a major change of direction for the UK’s leading UK solar panel manufacturer, Sharp said today that is was moving away from selling stand alone components to distributing all-in one 'PV-Kit’ systems.
The new business model is part of a restructuring that is also set to see Sharp
move its German headquarters to its factory in Wrexham, Wales. The company said it wanted to partner with installers in its new business drive and would be offering financing packages and training
for installers that work with it. The change of direction is in response to changes in global market conditions in the solar
sector, said the manufacturer, which has its European headquarters based in Wrexham, Wales. The cost of solar has fallen significantly in recent years and in some parts of the world has reached 'grid parity’.
The change in direction at the manufacturer comes as figures
suggest the UK solar photovoltaic market is recovering after a massive fall in installations. Six months ago Sharp was reviewing its operations
in the UK because of uncertainty over the subsidies for solar, but today it said the UK sector was well placed to grow.
"The PV-Kit offering is a landmark move for Sharp," Andrew Lee, general manager of Solar UK at Sharp, said. "The UK solar market has been through a turbulent 18 months but, through innovating and adapting, the UK solar industry is well placed to grow. This is why we are shifting our business model to focus on PV-Kit systems, and we urge installers to work with us to get this industry back on its feet and standing tall once again."
The new kits, which have been designed using components from European solar equipment manufacturers, will be quick and easy to assemble and offer the highest standards in safety, durability and wind loading, said Sharp.
Each kit includes PV modules, an inverter and mounting system, fixings, AC & DC isolators, DC cable with connectors, an export meter and warning labels. The Sharp PV-Kit is available as standard in sizes ranging from 1.5 to four kilowatt peak, with larger systems or alternative layouts available on request.
Training and accreditation
Sharp said any installer partnering with Sharp to sell the new systems will receive training at the Sharp Academy, based in Wrexham. Installers will also benefit from being Sharp accredited, which the company said would give them access to an exclusive domestic financing package.
Sharp is also planning to launch new battery storage solutions to store solar generated electricity energy in the autumn. The batteries will have capacity of 3.5 or 5 kilowatt hours and will supported by the launch of 'Home Energy Management Systems' and LED lighting, which can be combined with or added to the PV-Kits.
This story was updated on June 13 at 14.51 to include the news that Sharp is moving its German headquarters to the UK.
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