Morgan Stanley unit MSS Solar Solutions has chosen Akeena Solar to be the exclusive solar panel supplier for projects resulting from MSSS’ efforts to deploy PV power systems on low-income households throughout the United States. MSSS will also have the option to purchase the PV installation company’s Andalay AC panels for its sales efforts to large tract homebuilders.
The two-year deal specifies that Akeena will provide its panels to MSSS for the low-income market, and in turn, MSSS will buy all of its solar panel requirements for projects related to low-income housing from Akeena.
MSSS will partner with governmental and local community groups to install the systems to provide solar-generated electricity to low-income families. Power purchase agreements, handled by MSSS, will allow families to lock in a low, fixed rate for the renewable energy.
The agreement also offers MSSS the option to buy Andalay AC panels from Akeena or its manufacturers, with Akeena receiving a royalty payment.
MSSS is targeting hundreds of low-income housing installations in a number of states over the next two years. The first low-income project, involving some 200 homes, is scheduled to begin construction in California in April.
Andalay AC panels are well suited for workers who are unfamiliar with installing high-voltage DC power systems, according to Akeena. The integrated AC panel design eliminates the complicated racking, DC wiring, and high-voltage components found with ordinary solar systems, while reducing the overall system parts count by up to 80% and cutting the installation time in half.
In addition, the Enphase microinverters built into each prefabricated panel will reduce the effects of shading and panel mismatch–which can increase overall energy output by 5 to 25%.
“We’re excited to have found the ideal solar panel solution for these projects with Akeena Solar’s Andalay AC solar panels,” said Morgan Stanley VP Martin Mobley. “Andalay’s simplified and fully integrated design provides households with reliable green power while also enabling us to efficiently train ordinary workers to install them.”
Akeena CEO Barry Cinnamon explained that the partnership with MSSS “allows Akeena Solar to expand our distribution of Andalay panels and reach market segments we would not otherwise be able to scalably address as an installer. Together we are able to make clean, renewable energy a reality for low-income residents who could not otherwise benefit from it–an important facet of both Akeena Solar’s and MS Solar Solution’s goal of furthering solar energy adoption.”