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SolarCity hopes to shine with Zep
Posted on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 13:47
SolarCity is paying USD 158.00 million for US residential photovoltaic (PV) module mounting systems provider Zep Solar, just a month after officially closing a deal to acquire the assets of Paramount Energy for USD 120.00 million.

The Californian company was established in 2009 by PV systems engineer Jack West, Christina Manansala, with whom West co-founded High Sun Engineering in 2000, and seasoned sector contractor Daniel Flanigan.

Its core approach is based on a single vision: developing and marketing solar panel frames rapidly interlocked with specialised couplings to form a solidly grounded, rigid structural grid.

Zep closed a series of funding rounds led by Aquillian Investments in 2010 and recruited Mike Miskovsky, former general manager for the US division of Canadian Solar, as president.

Miskovsky has also held the roles of vice president of sales and business development at several venture capital-backed start-ups in Boston and Silicon Valley, including Lipstream Networks, Avaki, which was sold to Sybase in 2005, and Reva Systems.

Today, Zep licences its technology to 12 PV module and power electronics manufacturers and sells its products through US and global distributors.

It claims to be the sole supplier to multiple major domestic installation companies and was one of SolarCity’s primary component providers for residential systems in 2013.

Zep’s rail-free PV system platform is touted as reducing the cost and complexity of designing, shipping, warehousing and mounting.

SolarCity noted that since using this solar panel hardware earlier this year, its installation crews have doubled the number of residential systems they can mount each day.

Chief executive Lyndon Rive told Bloomberg: “Without Zep it would take us two to three days to install a typical rooftop. With it we’re down to a single day and it looks better on the roof.”

Meanwhile, Greentech Media warned there could be some friction to come as the company is a supplier to Vivint Solar, which just happens to be the second largest solar mounting services provider behind SolarCity.

© Zephus Ltd