Vertical integration has been talked about a lot recently with regards to large solar companies. SolarCity is currently the largest residential installer, and with its acquisition of Silevo is now also a manufacturer. Likewise, Direct Energy acquired Astrum Solar in July, and is pushing into the residential solar market. The benefits of vertical integration cannot be denied. A company can control every aspect of the sales and manufacturing cycle while reducing costs and increasing profits.
Palmetto Energy PLC, part of Charleston based clean-energy investment firm The Palmetto Group, is taking a different approach in an attempt to vertically integrate. Today they secured a joint venture partnership with Louisiana-based Sader Power Enterprises LLC., which they plan to use to create one of the largest vertically integrated solar installation companies in the United States.
“This joint venture puts us on track to realize our ambitions of investing $10 billion in clean energy projects by 2020,” said Chris Kemper, CEO and Founder of The Palmetto Group. “The combination of the unique, highly disruptive technologies that Sader has created combined with The Palmetto Group’s proven ability to fund large-scale renewable energy projects will enable us to become a substantial, highly competitive entity in the burgeoning US clean energy sector,” he continued.
“We have the technology and methods to develop the largest power company in the world in less than 20 years, providing enough capacity to satisfy the demand for electricity nationwide whilst at the same time replacing the grid,” said Jon Sader, Founder and CEO of Sader Power Enterprises. “We are excited about the prospects of working closely with Palmetto whose clean energy finance expertise will enable us to get one step closer to our ambition of putting a solar array on every rooftop in America,” he continued.
It will be worth watching to see how this joint venture between Palmetto Group and Sader plays out. They face stiff competition, but have taken a unique approach to integration, which may work out in their favor.