Maxeon to offer IBC solar panels in the US


Maxeon Solar Technologies announced an expanded push in the US commercial and industrial (C&I) solar market, entering an agreement with performance and protection plan provider Omnidian. The company will sell its integrated back contact (IBC) solar panels with an attached performance assurance product from Omnidian. The move builds on Maxeon’s current presence in the US as a utility-scale solar developer.

The IBC solar cells feature back contact energy conversion, allowing the entire front of the cell to absorb sunlight without any shading from metal ribbons like the ones found PERC cells.

Seattle-based Omnidian said it will bundle one year of its Shield plan for commercial systems larger than 250 kW sold by Maxeon, with the option to extend coverage for multiple years. The partnership is expected to facilitate access for Maxeon to reach Omnidian’s C&I customers.

“With responsibility for the oversight of over 1,800 Megawatts of U.S. solar capacity, Omnidian is a formidable and pioneering force in the industry and has gained extensive expertise in protecting and accelerating investments in clean energy,” said Jeff Waters, CEO of Maxeon Solar Technologies.

The Omnidian Shield plan includes system protection, preventative maintenance, covered corrective maintenance, monitoring, and a 95% forecasted energy cash-back guarantee. The support included 24/7 monitoring, intelligent system diagnostics, and real-time symptom detection. The company said its cash-back guarantee shifts risks away from the solar asset owners and helps address uncertainty with weather.

Omnidian CEO Mark Liffman hailed Maxeon’s product reliability upon the partnership. “An in-depth analysis of the degradation of Maxeon IBC panels revealed a significantly lower rate of degradation relative to other manufacturers enabling us to offer plans with lower degradation under this partnership,” he said.

Headquartered in Singapore, Maxeon designs and manufactures both Maxeon and SunPower brand solar panels, with operations in over 100 countries. In November, the company’s chief revenue officer Mark Babcock joined pv magazine to announce the launch of its pencil-thin adhesive back contact Air panels in Europe. The lightweight panels are designed for the large number of low-load commercial and industrial roofs on older buildings throughout western Europe.

Babcock also said the company was mulling a potential US cell manufacturing facility, but the company is waiting on a handful of policy changes first. He said a 3 GW cell fab would depend on the approval of a US Department of Energy loan, the passing of Sen. Jon Ossoff’s (D-GA) Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, and the possible passing of the climate portion of the Biden administration’s Build Back Better Act. Pending these conditions, Maxeon said it may begin producing cells in the US as soon as 2023.

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