Large-scale solar developers see promise in C&I, distributed solar market

Two announcements this week
show that larger renewable energy developers, particularly large-scale solar
developers, are looking to expand their operations into smaller-scale project

Global renewable energy
developer BayWa r.e. said on Wednesday that it has acquired Enable Energy Inc.
(EEI), a U.S.-based commercial and industrial (C&I) solar and energy
storage solutions provider that provides engineering, procurement and
construction (EPC) and operations and maintenance (O&M) support.  

The acquisition is the latest
move in BayWa r.e.’s growth and expansion strategy in the Americas, it said.
With 750 megawatts (MW) of solar and wind projects under construction in
California, North Carolina, Texas and Mexico, BayWa r.e. will pass 1 gigawatt
(GW) of utility-scale installations in the Americas by the end of 2020. The
addition of EEI’s pipeline will push BayWa r.e.’s total pipeline of solar and
wind projects to more than 5 GW in the region.

BayWa r.e. sees multiple
synergies resulting from the acquisition of EEI, in particular those resulting
from its capabilities in serving enterprise C&I customers and utilities.
EEI’s full-service operations and maintenance support, as well as its national
leadership in commercial and utility-scale energy storage solutions, also
enhance BayWa r.e.’s offering to its own global key accounts, said the company.

“The addition of EEI to the
BayWa r.e. Americas family will create multiple collaborative opportunities
with our existing businesses and improve our position in strategic regional and
vertical markets, such as commercial solar-plus-storage,” said Axel
Veeser, Managing Director, BayWa r.e.

EEI has worked with local and
regional businesses, Fortune 500 companies and federal government entities on a
variety of projects in California, Hawaii and other locations to build more
than 76 MW of rooftop and ground-mount commercial, industrial, and utility
solar projects since the company was founded in 2014. EEI has also emerged as a
leader in the behind-the-meter and front-of-meter energy storage EPC
sectors, with completed installations of over 70 megawatt-hours (MWh) in
2019 alone. 

In related news, Kinect Solar,
a solar equipment distributor announced that it will be selling First Solar
series 6 modules to distributed solar project developers. Arizona-headquartered
First Solar is America’s largest PV module producer, shipping over 25 gigawatts
(GW) of solar technology to over 45 countries around the world, exclusively for
large-scale projects.

With the new partnership, First
Solar’s high-performance thin-film modules are now available for US DG projects
through Kinect Solar.

Lauren Carson, Kinect Solar
CEO, emphasizes that this partnership will “allow developers and EPCs in the DG
sector to access First Solar innovation and quality at a previously
unattainable scale. The pairing of First Solar’s cutting-edge technology with
Kinect’s expertise in distribution, logistics, and customer service will
benefit customers throughout the solar industry.”

Darin Green, First Solar’s Senior
Director of Business Development, states: “We are excited to work with Kinect
Solar to help bring First Solar’s utility-grade quality and execution certainty
to the DG market. Kinect Solar can engage a diverse set of customers with the
robust support and technical expertise required for success in distributed
markets. Critically, Kinect can offer clients an unmatched customer-centric
experience that arms DG solar players with the confidence to bid and build
projects on schedule at the agreed upon bin and price.”


  1. ^ Jennifer Runyon (
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