Rooftop racking specialist Renusol signs deal with South Africa wholesaler

Renusol's PS10 mounting system for commercial rooftops. Image: Renusol.

German mounting systems maker Renusol has made its entry into the South African market, where the company’s CEO has said there are opportunities in the rooftop market and few competitors.

The company, which is owned by US roofing and ground-mount solar racking specialist RBI, said today that it is selling rooftop mounting systems into the country through a local wholesaler, Lumax Energy.

Lumax apparently chose Renusol from a range of possible suppliers and said it will be using Renusol’s racking systems exclusively. Its other suppliers for PV installations are module manufacturer Trina Solar and inverter, automation and power electronics makers ABB and Schneider Electric.

South Africa has risen to prominence as buoyant market for PV, with SunEdison winning 371MW of projects in June and Enel constructing a 82MW plant, among other announcements from global players. In announcing the Lumax-Renusol deal, Lumax representative Frans-Willem Vermaak quoted Council for Scientific and Industrial Research figures that said the country could install 500MW of PV annually.

Renusol appointed a new CEO, Sven Kuenzel, late last year. Kuenzel told PV Tech that the company had been “looking strongly at South Africa”. He agreed with an assertion that South Africa was interesting as a PV market due to high electricity prices and a relatively unreliable grid, versus the good levels of solar irradiance enjoyed, making solar a competitive source of energy.

“It’s pretty competitive [with fossil fuels] and for some reason there are not many competitors in the rooftop section, in the racking section, down there yet.”

Going further, Kuenzel said, the company was also interested for 2016 in another rising market, Turkey, where the CEO said an early stage industry focussed on ground mount plants was expected to diversify into more rooftop solar this year. He also said the company would be pushing into Japan, including an appearance at this year’s PV Expo in Tokyo and had signed distributor deals in Poland and Brazil.