What Does President Elect Donald Trump Mean to Solar?

Wow – What a day Tuesday was, huh?  I will leave most of the political out of this, mostly because it doesn’t belong here.  What is relevant here, though, is how will this election affect the solar industry today and going forward?

When trying to project the future of a product, I head immediately to the stock market.  People smarter than me act immediately on things like this.  Let’s look at Wednesday, 11/9/16, results of some well-known solar companies.

SolarCity (SCTY) = -4%

Vivent (VSLR) = -6.2%

Canadian Solar (CSIQ) = -13.4%

SolarEdge (SEDG) = – 5.4%

SunPower (SPWR) = -14%

It wasn’t a good day to be invested in solar stocks as a whole, especially if you favor those on foreign soil.  It was ugly, but not a complete disaster (except Canadian Solar), as solar is pretty volatile anyway.  But overall, those people that are paid to evaluate the future of public companies and those with shares thought this was bad news from Washington.

One of Donald Trump’s main talking points throughout the year was that we (Americans) were losing jobs to outside countries, and he was going to bring the jobs back.  Looking back at the stock market performance, I think we can see part of this in play.  All solar stocks took a hit, as Trump is most likely a coal guy (more on this later), but the companies outside of the US got hit harder.  Is this maybe going to be good news for Solarworld, Suniva, and other US manufacturers?  Perhaps.

Donald Trump is thought (known?) to be into more traditional energy, like oil, gas, and coal.  In fact, Trump has vowed to revive the coal industry as one way to create more American jobs and drive the economy.  This seems to be neutral at best for solar, but if there is dollar shuffling to support one industry or the other, it seems traditional would get this support.

So where are we?  We know that Trump favors more traditional energy sources and jobs, as well as Wall Street reacting very negatively to Trump heading to the White House.  Are we doomed?  Is the tax credit going to be torn up?  Well, one place I keep coming back to is JOBS.  Donald Trump wants to create jobs.  Solar creates jobs!  Let’s dig in:

According to the National Solar Jobs Census, solar is adding workers at a rate of nearly 12 times faster than the overall economy!  Solar industry employment has grown by 123% in the past 6 years, or >115K jobs!  That is significant.  Solar had a 20.2% growth rate from 2014 to 2015, and was expected to continue a similar increase from 2015 to 2016!  JOBS!  This is a big advantage for solar – Trump and his advisors must evaluate the cost and resulting job creation from solar versus the cost and job creation in other energy sectors.  Basically, even if it is a wash in cost, does it make sense to eliminate X number of jobs in solar to increase by the same X somewhere else?  It seems like solar is a proven growing industry, providing US jobs, and sure doesn’t seem to be low hanging fruit.

One more large issue – the elephant in the room – is the ITC.  As you most likely know, Congress voted to extend the ITC through 2019, with decreased returns in 2020 and again in 2021.  This federal tax credit is responsible for helping offset the large initial cost of solar installations, thus driving the market.  Will Trump tear it up entirely?  End it early?  I think at this point, there is no way to know.  We do know it creates a lot of jobs, so we have that in our corner.  But, yeah, eliminating that sure would put a damper on things.

For anyone to predict what Donald Trump is going to do in the White House is just guessing at this point.  I have seen some other sites use this as a way to drive sales by using the Trump start day as a deadline.  We are not going to push this agenda, though we are more than happy to help you if you are thinking this way.  I think we are just trying to make sense of it all, and use the information at our disposal to try to make educated decisions about tomorrow and the next.

Thank you for visiting Tandem Solar.

New Canadian Solar Modules Making Unique Mark | Tandem Solar

The new line of Canadian Solar Mono Panels have hit the market, and they are now in space that is relatively unoccupied. They are filling a need in the market, and we are moving a ton of them as a result. Let me explain what is happening.

The Canadian Solar 275W Mono Black Frame Panel, part number CS6K-275M, has arrived and it looks great. This 270W-290W Mono 60 Cell market has long been dominated by Solarworld, sitting around the $0.90/W range. The Solarworld 60 cell panels pair nicely with the Enphase or AP Systems line of micro inverters, and have remained at the top of our best seller list.

When we first got word that Canadian Solar was going to put out mono panels in that same wattage range, we were definitely intrigued by a less expensive Solarworld alternative. However, when the pricing came across in the $0.70’s/ W, we were shocked at the value for the price. There is just nothing on the market that can compare to this line of panels.

Also, as with most Solar manufacturers and their warranties, the viability of the company always plays a large role. Well, Canadian Solar is one of the most consistent and profitable solar companies in the industry. They seem to be incredibly well managed, and they consistently turn a profit (looking at you Enphase!). The bankability of the company is another strong consideration with these panels.

To quickly summarize, the new Canadian Solar line of Mono panels has arrived, and it is a hit! To add fuel to the fire, we have just launched a summer sales promotion with these panels, with a sales price at $0.74/W. That’s right – $0.74/W for a 275W Mono Black frame panel. To take it one step further, we are running a special with AP Systems micro inverters, that pair very nicely with these panels. The cost of materials for the value using these two products will be something not seen before in the industry. It’s time to take advantage!

As always, thank you for your interest and business with Tandem Solar.

AP Systems “Summer of $16K” Promotion | Tandem Solar

ap systems microinvertersAP Systems has officially launched their “Summer of $16K” rebate program, and it’s a good one. Here is a summary of the program details:

_____________________________

Purchase and install at least 20 AP Systems microinverters (all models are eligible) and then register your installation(s). Rewards are based on tiers and as you install more systems, your total grows and your rebate grows with it.

Start out with a $20 rebate per microinverter, and once you reach 50 units installed, you’re getting $30 for each additional microinverter you install.

Will you do more than 15 residential installations this summer? If so, you might hit the top tier! After 250 micros installed, you’re getting $40 back per unit – that’s $560 in your pocket on an average residential installation. And if that wasn’t enough, you can also get an additional $500 for trying out the APsystems YC1000 three phase microinverter (min. 15kw system).

That brings the summer’s rewards to $16,000 from APsystems!

See the rebate registration website at www.summer16k.aplus-rewards.com for complete program details, terms and conditions, or email aplus@APsystems.com. If you’re not already registered, visit usa.apsystems.com/resources training for next steps on becoming a certified APsystems installer.

_____________________________

Like I said, the program is great. If you were on the fence about AP Systems, and still stuck spending more money installing Enphase, now is a great time to give AP Systems a shot.

For more information on AP Systems, please give us a call at 855-385-4007.

Panasonic HIT 325 Now Available

panasonic325

Panasonic Solar Panels have finally arrived.

When we heard that Panasonic had a product that was going to battle LG and Sunpower at the pinnacle of the solar module market, we were skeptical. Not to say that the previous Panasonic panels were bad – they were not. We have a couple customers that were very happy with the Panasonic product in the past, and used them on most of their installations. However, it now seems that they are now ready to play with the big boys, like the Sunpower 330W and the LG 320W.

The new Panasonic N325 HIT, feature a 325W 96 cell module, in the same shell as a conventional 60 cell panel. The VBHN325SA16 come in a slightly larger shell than the LG 320, but come equipped with a 19.7% module efficiency, along with a 15yr workmanship, 25 year output warranty. The complete specification detail is available on this datasheet.

The price is coming in a bit higher than the LG320, and will likely need to close the gap to take off in the current market like LG has. However, it’s great news that another major company has entered the market with a good product – one that we can select with security that the warranty will be covered through the duration with bankability.

Shop For Solar Modules

As always, thank you for your interest and business with Tandem Solar.

SOLARWORLD 300w MONO NOW AVAILABLE!

SW 300 60 cell monoAs the winter thaws away in most of the country, we are seeing the solar market heat up yet again.  One trend that we are seeing early in 2016, continuing what began in late 2015, is a market shift to the higher efficiency/ bankable solar panel products.  Module manufacturers like LG and Solarworld are becoming more desirable as their quality and price points make sense for more customers and installations.

Solarworld recently brought the Solarworld 290W Mono panels to market.  While the sales were good, there were rumors of a Solarworld Sunmodule 300W Mono (33mm frame, 5 busbar) coming soon.  If Solarworld were able to get 300W from their 60 cell footprint, it would be a great success.  Unfortunately, we were not able to confirm.

That is… until now!  We are pleased to announce that we received our first container of the Solarworld 300W Mono panels.  They are currently in stock and available immediately.  That being said, we are selling on a first come, first serve basis, as we cannot guarantee inventory.  This is common when new hot products are released, as it takes a while for supply to ramp up to demand.  However, today, we have them!

Please contact us today to run a quote for you on these, or any other products.

As always, thank you for visiting Tandem Solar!

NEW Sunny Boy 5.0-US and 6.0-US In Stock

Sunny-Boy-5.0-US_6.0-US-PRPiggy-backing on the awesome news of the Solarworld 300W Mono panels being available, we are very pleased to announce that the first release of the new Sunny Boy line from SMA is available as well!

The Sunny Boy 5.0-US and Sunny Boy 6.0-US offer many outstanding new features and enhancements, even when compared to the -22 line of inverters.  Already known as the industry leader in quality and customer support, the new line of SMA Sunny Boy inverters will add the following features:

  • Secure Power Supply up to 2000W

In the event of a grid outage, the Secure Power Supply provides 2000W of opportunity power during a sunny day, allowing operation of large electrical loads

  • Integrated DC Disconnect

The new integrated DC disconnect simplifies installation, shipping, and improves overall appeal

  • Multiple Independent MPPTs

Increases flexibility for system design/ installation

  • Integrated Webserver and WLAN

Interfaces directly with smartphone, tablet or notebook without the extra components and cost for wireless monitoring

  • Complete Grid-Management Capabilities

The line of residential inverters now have complete grid-management capabilities, ensuring utility compliant solution for customers in any market

 

Other improvements, such as enhanced AFCI technology and the new OptiTrac Global Peak shade mitigation, continue to push the new SMA line to the head of the inverter class.

Thank you for visiting Tandem Solar!

Solarworld 325W Panels Now Available | Tandem Solar Systems

Solarworld 325W Panels Now Available!

After last year’s inconsistent supply on Solarworld’s 72 cell panels, we weren’t sure what to expect this year.  As a solar wholesale distributor, it’s very important for us to have steady supply of material.  If an installer confirms stock when submitting a permit, and then we are out when he is ready for it, we have failed him.  We understand this, and thus, approached 2016 very carefully with Solarworld 325W panels.  As of last week, we weren’t even sure we were going to offer Solarworld 325W panels this year.

After much discussion, and with new assurances, we are prepared to make the SolarWorld 325W XL Mono available immediately.  The panel is beautiful, with the quality that we expect and receive from Solarworld.  With 16.3% efficiency, and a very good price point, Solarworld again is a great blend of price and value.

 

Aside from the Solarworld 325W Monos, we will continue to stock their full line of products:

–       Solarworld 260W Poly Black (Made in US)

–       Solarworld 280W Mono Black

–       Solarworld 285W Mono Silver and Black

–       Solarworld 290W Mono

Please let us know if you have any questions or if we can quote your next job for you using the Solarworld 325 Monos.

Thanks, as always, for visiting Tandem Solar.

LG Solar Panel Prices

The LG Solar Panel market continues to pick up steam.  Looking back on sales figures for the past 6 months, we have sold nearly triple the number of LG Solar Panels than we had for the previous 6 months, even factoring in the uptick in overall business.  If our wholesale business is any indication, then LG is gaining market share, and gaining it quickly.  This is a very good development for LG, but also for us and for you as well!

If you are unfamiliar with LG Solar Panels, their panels are some of the highest efficiency/ highest quality in the industry, with a price that is far less than their SunPower competition.  As the price for the LG Solar panels continues to come down, it will be hard to go in another direction for your solar panel requirements.

We were lucky to partner with LG early, and carry inventory of their full-line of panels.  Furthermore, our pricing on LG panels is considered the lowest on the internet.  Please find a snapshot of the models, with datasheets, and pricing below:

LG275N1C-G3 NeON 275W: $250

LG280N1C-G3 NeON 280W: $273

LG300N1K-G4 NeoN 300 Mono BLK/BLK: $336

LG310N1C-G4 NeON 310W Mono: $346

LG315N1C-G4 NeON 315W Mono: $350

Please contact us at any time to get more information on this outstanding line of solar modules or to lock in your purchase.

 

Thanks for visiting Tandem Solar!

LG 320W SOLAR PANELS NOW AVAILABLE

LG-commercial-solar-LG320N1C-G4In 2015, LG panels quickly catapulted to become one of our bestselling panels.  Their combination of technology and efficiency, and with a favorable price point, made the LG panels a very hot commodity.  Through our partnership, we carried the LG 280W, LG 300 Black, LG 305 and LG 310 Watt panels.  Towards the end of the year, we were bombarded with questions about the new LG 320W solar panel release.  Today, I am happy to announce that we now have limited stock of the LG 320w NeON 2 (LG320N1C-G4) high efficiency solar panel.

The LG LG320N1C-G4 is the latest success story from LG.  Known as a global leader in everything “electronics”, the efficiency, quality, and durability from their solar panel line is fueling their rapid growth.  Due to our early partnering with LG, we historically have offered the very lowest pricing on LG panels.  We are pleased to announce that our pricing on the LG 320’s will not only be competitive, but will again be the lowest in the industry.  Our unique partnership makes this possible, and we then are happy to pass the savings along to our customers.

Anyway, we are pleased to announce that the wait is over.  Please call us today to reserve your requirements of the LG320N1C’s before they are all gone.

Buy LG 320 NeON 2

SOLAR DESIGN SERVICES

When Tandem Solar Systems was created, our customer base consisted of about 99% solar installers. We did not exclude “DIY’s”, but there just weren’t very many of them. Only a few years ago, the average consumer was new to solar, and most had to be educated about solar before the discussion began of putting it on their homes.
Well, times have sure changed. Phone calls and emails from DIY’s have grown considerably, and the common consumer knows, at minimum, the basics of solar. They know their preferred panel, after doing research, as well as the specific inverters and racking they want. They have watched Youtube videos and read installation manuals, and they are ready to give it a shot. However, there is a common problem that most run into… they need a solar design to submit for a patent.
In the past, for some of our installers, we had a sub-contractor that would assist with the design process. This worked for a while, but at a typical cost of $700+, and a leadtime of 1-2 weeks, it became unsustainable in today’s market for our installers, due to the competitive landscape. We needed a new solution for our customers.
NOW WE HAVE FOUND IT!
After a lengthy process, we have secured our own, full-time, solar design service. This service is available for both installers and DIY’s alike, with coverage throughout the United States. Most of our designs are completed within 3 days. Best of all, this service is available at $300 per design! For $300, you will have specific plans to take to the permitting office to come away with a permit.
COMPLETE SOLAR DESIGN FOR $300
There is not a lot of small print here, but obviously, this is for standard residential projects. Also, we will work with you on changes, but will have to charge after 2 free changes/ alterations. Other than these two items, you can have your solar project designed for only $300!
We are very excited to offer this service, and look forward to be working with you on your projects. If you are interested, please follow the link below, fill out the information, and email the document back to sales@tandem-solar.com.
Thanks again for visiting Tandem Solar!

Enphase S280 is Here!

A New Toy

If you ever need a reminder of what pure excitement looks like, watch a child open a birthday present to reveal the one item that they had been praying for day and night.  This happened recently for me as my son had been obsessing over the new Darth Vader “large” action figure.  When I say obsessing, I mean a very severe case of it.  At other times of the year, he would do household chores relentlessly until he saved up enough money to buy it himself.  However, when it’s his birthday month, he is not allowed to buy anything for himself.  Instead, he could only resort to joining me in every trip to Target to make sure they were still there and to play with the action figure (in its box) up and down the aisles of Target.

At last, his birthday had arrived and it was present time.  He had made quite an impressive stack of presents, mostly from his birthday party friends, but it was easy to see he wasn’t completely satisfied.  You see, the “large” Darth Vader action figure was a large item, and the box was very specific.  None of these boxes matched the dimensions he was looking for, and I watched him scan the gifts in the pile again and again.  Finally, he asked me, “Is everything here?”  I told him there might be another one or two later.  His eyes lit up again, just as they did in the aisles of Target.

Needless to say, he played the part very well of a boy who was thankful for every present and that every present was better than the last.  However, when his friends cleared out and only a mess of bloated family stuffed with pizza and cake and wrapping paper and empty boxes remained, we brought out the prize.  He opened it and loved it instantly.  It was his, and his happiness was overwhelming.  I was so happy for him.  I was so happy that he could feel that much happiness.  I tried to remember the last time I felt that myself.

I tell this brief story because we shipped our first batch of Enphase S280s yesterday, and a customer called us this morning basically tripping over himself.  He said it was like Christmas morning when UPS arrived at his shop today.  He has an installation to do tomorrow and this weekend with them, but today he was just going to admire it.

We have sold over 600 of our 1000pcs already, and we are actively shipping them.  If you want to be the first kid on your street with this new toy, please make sure to get your order in soon.  It is an awesome product.

Thank you for visiting Tandem Solar.

LG Solar Modules | Great Stock at a Great Price

LG300N1K-G4After a few sessions of researching washing machines on Amazon.com, reading countless reviews (That may or may not be real), I was ready to head to Best Buy to see and touch some of the machines I had been reviewing.  Most of the major players were represented at Best Buy, and I looked at them, machine by machine, while checking my smartphone at the same time to remind myself of the reviews.

I found myself gravitating towards certain brands while dismissing others, somewhat driven by reviews, but also some internal biases I carry with me.  For example, Electrolux is very well reviewed, and it looked great while checking all the boxes (warranty, capacity, etc).  However, I used to work for a company of whom Electrolux was a customer, and I remember them gouging us on pricing more than any other customer.  Bad taste… dismiss.  Then there was Samsung, whom had some of the best reviews.  I remember my Dad fixing an old Samsung receiver in the garage many Saturdays during my youth, cursing the “cheap machine” over and over again.  My Dad would work 50 hours per week, and on weekends he wanted to listen to The Stones while decompressing.  But these days, he would be fixing this Samsung receiver.  So, Samsung, you are out, too.

I kept coming back to the LG washing machines.  They were reviewed well, like many of their competitors, but somehow I knew that this was the right choice.  I had an LG dryer a few years ago, and I never had any issues with it.  I think I retired it due to old age, but nothing against the machine.  And now, that reliability was what I wanted with my new washing machine.  I had them deliver the LG the next week.

Fast forward to today, in the solar business, and we have a great partnership with LG and carry their entire line of LG MonoX and NeON solar panels.

In the solar industry, as you likely know, things are very fluid.  A couple years ago, Yingli was the largest panel manufacturer in the world.  This last financial quarter, they appear to be on the verge of insolvency.  These things change quickly.  Additionally, there are a lot of start-up panel manufacturers that jump into the market with dirt cheap panels, and then disappear within a year or two.

This is not an issue with LG.  LG will be there in the morning when you wake up.

Many of our installers have moved over to LG in the past few months.  Why?

“Efficiency and size”

“Name Brand”

“You always have them in stock”

The last comment from an installer in Arizona made me laugh, but it’s so true.  While we struggle to understand when we will have stock of Solarworld, Q-Cells, and others, LG delivers to us when they say they will.  Our customers have noticed.

Anyway, if you haven’t looked at LG panels before, take a quick look.  Their Neon line of mono panels is a great combination of performance/efficiency and price.

As always, we are here to answer your questions about LG panels or anything else solar.

Thank you for visiting Tandem Solar.