Published on October 13th, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill1
Soligent To Acquire Conergy’s US Solar Distribution Division
October 13th, 2014 by Joshua S Hill
In a move that they hope will shake industry giants like SolarCity and Sunrun, Soligent have announced they are to acquire the US solar distribution division of Conergy, and in conjunction with a deal earlier in the year to buy SunWize’s distribution unit, Soligent now serves over 5,000 solar dealers.
Soligent exists to supply “renewable energy solutions to thousands of solar installers and contractors” across the US, and in several other countries. The company intends to provide local and smaller solar dealers with the means to match the offers made by bigger names, such as SolarCity and Sunrun, by providing access to tools they may otherwise not have access to.
[Soligent] is developing new financing programs, cloud-based applications, logistics and installation services, and other products and services that effectively provide local dealers with the same capabilities as nationally-based installers and also give them the opportunity to cut soft costs and streamline operations.
“Conergy sees great opportunity at a time in the Americas where utility-scale and distributed generation continues to grow across all markets. Throughout North America, Conergy has been able to partner with developers and building owners due to our strong balance sheet and project financing relationships,” states Anthony Fotopoulos, Americas CEO of Conergy. “With our additional resources, we can sharpen our focus and maintain our growth into additional markets in Central and South America to procure and develop new pipeline.”
The announcement comes only months after Soligent and SunWize agreed to combine their operations to form the largest provider of solar distribution and dealer services in the United States. At the time, the combined company looked to serve over 4,000 customers — Soligent’s latest acquisition now allows them to serve over 5,000 solar installers, energy efficiency firms, electrical contractors, and roofing companies.
“Soligent and SunWize, both pioneers in the industry, have been delivering solar solutions to the market for over twenty years. We are thrilled to be combining our capabilities and areas of expertise to better meet the needs of solar dealers and, ultimately, the end customer,” said CEO of Soligent, Jonathan Doochin, in March. “Our motto is ‘We stand for dealers’ and with this transaction we will deliver innovative products and services that drive our customers’ businesses forward.”
“We envision a world where solar isn’t just the cleanest choice for power, it is the obvious choice,” Doochin added this time around. “We see [our acquisition of Conergy] as an additional opportunity to give our current and future dealers — of any size or in any location — the tools they need to make a difference in the lives of people everywhere.”
In a piece written earlier this year, Jonathan Doochin wrote about the solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), questioning whether PPAs are “still the best deal for consumers”. Apparently, according to Doochin, the PPA market could be peaking.
“The PPA essentially took the financial and technology risk off of the home-owner and put it on the installer/integrator,” Doochin wrote for Solar Power World in May. “This method became highly successful. One dealer said the share of its installations linked to PPAs zoomed to more than 80% in less than two months.”
Now, however, Doochin believes the time of the solar loan is returning.
Now, solar loans can be obtained for 6% to 7%, only a few points higher than a 30-year mortgage. Interest rates will continue to inch down and become available to a variety of customers.
All of this is good news for Soligent, which works with the dealers that home-owners will now be turning to for “expert advice” for installing solar systems.
Soligent’s Solar Engine program — a suite of integrated services intended to reduce the time and expense associated with obtaining financing, managing installations, and other back office tasks — is expected to grow as a result of the recent upturn in solar loans and their recent acquisitions. According to Soligent’s press release announcing the Conergy acqusition, the Solar Engine program will add new installer partners and over 150 projects around the US.