SunPower is headed to the land of freshly minted carbon regulation, didgeridoos and wombats with its acquisition of Australian Solar Sales, announced late yesterday. Solar Sales, a solar systems integrator and distributor, has been a customer of the Silicon Valley-based maker of high efficiency solar cells for several years.
The acquisition gives SunPower access to a distribution network of 30 dealers throughout Australia. Solar Sales has been installing residential and utility-scale solar systems for 25 years, with many of their projects powering off-grid projects scattered across the outback. Solar Sales sells inverters as well as panels for off-grid power systems that mix solar and wind generation, which require different inverters.
Australia, with its expansive, sun-baked outback, could have as much as 22,000 megawatts of solar capacity by 2020, with the right incentives. But recently the Australian solar industry, which has produced startups like Ausra, has seen its prospects threatened by political fiddling of its rebates, a problem SunPower and the U.S. solar industry faces as well.