Schneider Electric pulls out of the utility-scale PV business

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French multinational Schneider Electric has confirmed to pv magazine it will pull out of the utility scale PV inverter business. In response to inquiries about the matter, a company spokesperson said: “After a careful analysis of the renewables market, Schneider Electric has updated its strategy.”

To date, the company has been active in all PV market segments. In utility scale, Schneider has two central inverter solutions: the Conext Core XC 1000V and Conext SmartGen 1500V systems. Additionally, Schneider offers string inverters for its utility-scale business with 60 kW and 125-kW ratings at a voltage of 1,000 V and 1,500 V, respectively.

Schneider also provides large-scale storage solutions and a range of power electronics such as LV Switchboards and the PV Minera transformer for substations, as well as integrated substation solutions. The PV Box product combining an inverter, combiner box, MV/LV-transformer and switchgear in an integrated container could also be pulled from the market in the wake of the strategic change of focus. According to company information, the product was initially designed for commercial and industrial and utility scale plants, with smaller options of 500 kW and 750 kW available.

Still in the PV game

“Schneider Electric will stop serving the utility scale segment,” the company spokesperson said. However, that does not mean farewell to the entire PV market. Schneider said it is seeking to position itself in the “renewables space towards the residential and C&I segments, leveraging the full Ecostruxxure portfolio”, in reference to the company’s internet of things platform.

Regarding current projects and associated services, the spokesperson stressed all commitments will be “maintained and fulfilled”. In December, Schneider announced it would deliver its Conext SmartGen central inverters and provide operations and maintenance services to the 45 MW Minami and 70 MW Bizen projects in Japan. Construction on both projects is scheduled to start this year.

In terms of distributed generation, Schneider offers a range of solutions for mining and other C&I applications as well as for island and mini-grids. It believes such applications leverage its Ecostruxxure platform.