SolarWorld rallies its Installers

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SolarWorld’s authorized installers gather for a two-day annual summit, titled ‘Stronger Together’, to review the latest product, manufacturing, and marketing advances.

 More than 250 people from every region of the United States and nearby islands are convened for a two-day annual meeting of SolarWorld’s authorized installers last week, where they are reviewing the latest product, manufacturing, and marketing advances.

Paula Mints, founder and chief market research analyst of SPV Research, provided an overview of world industry trends on Thursday. Mints, who has studied the solar industry for 16 years, said aggressive pricing beginning in 2009 has squeezed manufacturers’ margins, limiting money for research and development as well as quality controls. According to Mints, the pressures have resulted in business failures among U.S. and European manufacturers. A healthy solar industry needs diversified regional markets and domestic manufacturing, she said.

Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas, the company’s commercial unit for the Americas, awarded SolarWorld Globe Awards to three authorized installers:

  • Pacific Energy, based in San Luis Obispo, CA, for its loyalty to SolarWorld’s U.S. operations since 1980.
  • Louisiana’s Gunn Solar Energy Systems for its high customer satisfaction and its success marketing solar solutions in the U.S. state with the second lowest electricity rates.
  • Pacific Solar & Photovoltaics for coming the greatest distance –over 5,500 miles from Guam– to attend the summit.

Kilkelly also honored Water Missions International, a South Carolina nonprofit, for its use of the company’s solar panels to power clean, safe water systems within poor communities in the developing world

Attending installers gathered Thursday in Portland, Oregon. Friday, they convened at SolarWorld’s U.S. manufacturing operations in Hillsboro, OR, where they took in-depth tours of the facility, the largest solar-manufacturing plant in the Western Hemisphere.