The concentrator photovoltaic sector has taken another step toward enhanced bankability with the introduction of what is being called the first insurance solution to offer an effective performance warranty for CPV panels in the United States. The new plan, which covers systems manufactured by SolFocus, is a collaboration among insurance provider Munich Re, broker Woodruff-Sawyer, and the CPV company.
SolFocus said it provides its global customers with a warranty for its CPV systems of 25 years for power performance. If any product does not meet the specifics of this warranty, then the Munich Re cover attaches. In order to facilitate the insurance solution, Munich Re brought in Woodruff-Sawyer, one of its specialty primary brokers.
Before the agreement was signed, Munich Re conducted an in-depth review of the SolFocus development and manufacturing processes. The insurance firm already makes its unique performance-warranty insurance available to several other manufacturers of photovoltaic cells, but this is the first CPV offering.
Muich Re believes this insurance allows solar plant operators and investors greater planning security. Manufacturers of modules can take the long-term, technical guarantee risk off their balance sheet, thus easing the financial burden and giving their customers greater security, according to the company.
Principals from the three participating firms were enthusiastic about the new program.
“The performance and reliability of SolFocus CPV has advanced to such a high level that a renowned insurer like Munich Re has offered an insurance policy,” said Mark Crowley, CEO of SolFocus. “As the first CPV company that can provide an insured performance-warranty to its customers, we are proud to pave the way for this advanced solar technology to reach commercial status and become a trusted, bankable technology for developers, financial institutions, and utilities. The ability to provide such an insurance policy is critical for companies such as ours in providing confidence and trust to the marketplace.”
Thomas Blunck, a member of Munich Re’s board of management, said: “We are delighted to have concluded the first contract of this kind on the U.S. market with SolFocus. By coming up with this solution for the new CPV technology, we have again taken the lead after we had introduced the performance warranty insurance onto the market over a year ago. And we are also close to marketing similar performance-guarantee products for other technologies in the renewables sector such as wind or solar thermal energy.”
“We are proud to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Munich Re and SolFocus on this inventive and unique coverage solution,” said Steve Sawyer, executive VP at Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. “Both companies are leaders in innovation within their industries, and we expect this program will have a substantial impact on the continuing expansion and implementation of solar power/power production in the United States.”