RBI Solar integrates, literally and figuratively, SolarBOS

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If a purchase is to occur, then a solar racking company buying an solar balance of system company makes absolute sense. The engineers designing the wire harnesses at SolarBOS were probably quite experienced laying out their wares across RBI Solar racking structures. Now, they’ll change polo shirts and keep doing the same work – with a little different focus, maybe.

The parent company of RBI Solar, Gibraltar Industries founded in 1993, has announced a purchase of SolarBOS. Gibraltar Industries is a manufacturer and distributor of building products. They supply a broad set of roofing materials, foundation products, ventilation, parcel storage (mailboxes), as well services such as renovation, and roadway related construction, and further.

The press release noted SolarBOS expertises in disconnect combiners and recombiners, Arc Fault Circuit Interruption (AFCI) Combiners, fast shutdown options, AC combiners, wire harnesses, and overmolds. RBI Solar notes a focus on design, engineering, manufacturing and installation of the most efficient ground mount, canopy, roof mount and ballasted racking systems.

SolarBOS has offices in both Michigan and California, while RBI Solar has offices in Ohio and California.

RBI Solar installation

The purchase price for SolarBOS wasn’t stated, however it was noted as an all cash purchase and that SolarBOS generated $13.5 million in revenue over the last 12 months. The purchase is being noted as ‘accretive’ by Gibraltar, meaning they believe it will add more value than it costs, beginning in 2019.

And while the headlines and storylines might not be as much fun when talking about the nuts and bolts like racking and wiring, compared to the scene stealing solar panels and oh so intelligent inverters, we’re now in a time of soft costs being greater than hardware costs for many installation types. And if we save a penny or three due to innovation while the smart folks at RBI and SolarBOS figure out how to minimize the number of steps a human needs to take while laying cable and racking, then we’re all the better.