SunPower’s Maxeon spin-off and Enphase partner for new AC module

The AC module will feature seventh-generation Enphase IQ microinverter. Image: Enphase Energy.

SunPower’s planned Maxeon Solar Technologies spin-off and Enphase Energy have announced a collaboration to produce a new AC module, dubbed the 'Enphase Energized Maxeon AC Module'. 

Featuring a factory-integrated seventh-generation Enphase IQ microinverter, the AC module will be commercialised by Maxeon for residential customers in key international markets from Q4 2020.

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The module will be compatible with the full suite of Enphase IQ products: the lighter two-wire Enphase Q Cable, the Enphase IQ Envoy and the Enphase Enlighten monitoring and analysis software.

In a joint statement, the companies said the new modules will provide SunPower global installers with improved capital management, simplified logistics and operations, accelerated design and faster and more cost-effective installation.

Maxeon CEO Jeff Waters said the module is a first step to pave the way for a more dynamic business model beyond the roof, offering smart energy solutions to global distributed generation markets.

“We believe that the winning combination of the Enphase microinverter-based energy management system with our superior solar technology and leading downstream sales network is an unparalleled way to address customer needs and new demand dynamics in markets like Europe and Australia,” he added.

The deal comes weeks after Enphase announced a similar collaboration with module producer Q CELLS to develop an AC module aimed at the US residential solar market. Combining Enphase’s IQ microinverters and Q CELLS’ ‘Q.ANTUM DUO’ monocrystalline half-cell technology, the new Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G6+/AC modules began shipping this month.

Badri Kothandaraman, president and CEO at Enphase Energy, believes the company’s latest AC module partnership is validation of the effectiveness of both the AC module concept and Enphase microinverter technology.

“Our partnership harnesses the strengths of both companies to offer a high-quality, easy-to-use and high-volume mainstream AC module solution,” he said. “Together with Maxeon Solar Technologies, we are proud to be able to deliver smart home energy solutions and an outstanding customer experience to homeowners in key international markets.”

SunPower revealed last year it would spin off most of its manufacturing operations into Maxeon Solar Technologies, a Singapore-headquartered entity that is its exclusive supplier of solar panels. SunPower expects to close the spin-off in Q3 despite delays in finalising financing due to COVID-19.

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