Photovoltaics microinverter innovator Enphase Energy has landed $22.5 million in new financing. The funding round, which was led by Madrone Capital Partners, also includes new investor Bay Partners as well as existing investors Third Point Ventures, RockPort Capital Partners, and Applied Ventures. Jamie McJunkin, general partner of Madrone, will join the Enphase board.
“We are experiencing exceptional demand for our microinverter systems,” said Paul Nahi, Enphase CEO. “This financing will be used to ramp up manufacturing, accelerate new product development, and expand into new geographic markets.”
“The Enphase Energy team has demonstrated extraordinary innovation and execution, and we’re excited to be an investor in a company that is poised to extend its leadership in solar inverters,” said Madrone’s McJunkin. “This capital will give Enphase the resources necessary to further accelerate its growth.”
Enphase says it has already sold tens of thousands of microinverters–which convert the DC output of each solar module into AC power and can be monitored at the module level–into hundreds of residential and commercial installations. Since demand for the devices has been high, the Petaluma, CA-based company has signed sales and distribution agreements with major partners and distributors.
At Greentech Media’s recent solar industry summit, Enphase’s VP of marketing, Raghu Belur, said that the company has gone into volume production with the microinverters, and that the devices have already passed the 15 million unit-hours mark in the field.
Belur also detailed improvements in the second-generation microinverter, which has a 96% efficiency rating, an operating temperature of -40°C to 65°C, better than 99.8% system availability, mean time between failures rated at >300 years, and a smaller footprint than the first-generation device.
He also showed data comparing the microinverter energy harvesting performance against a traditional inverter, with the module-level device providing an average kilowatt-hour energy improvement of 10.7%.
The company claims a system-level internal rate of return gain of 24.5% when the microinverters are deployed, factoring in metrics such as system uptime, performance, and balance of systems/labor costs.