Residential solar installer Vivint Solar announced Jan. 23 that it acquired Solmetric Corp., a developer of photovoltaic installation instruments and software products. The strategic acquisition will bring Solmetric’s services in-house for Vivint. Vivint Solar, the second largest residential solar installer behind SolarCity, now joins that company in making strategic acquisitions as the residential solar market starts to consolidate. The companies did not disclose the purchase price.
"We are thrilled to welcome Willard MacDonald and his team of executives, engineers and other employees at Solmetric to our technology team at Vivint Solar," said Greg Butterfield, CEO of Vivint Solar. "The Solmetric team has developed industry-dominant SunEye hardware and PV Designer software product lines that have maintained an impressive, satisfied customer base."
Solmetric’s instruments and software are used by solar installers to measure and make solar installations as efficient as possible. "Further in-house, advanced development of Solmetric products will help strengthen our pre-installation site assessment and CAD design process even further at this crucial market expansion time for Vivint Solar," Butterfield explained. Solmetric’s PV Designer software, for instance, shows solar installers layout and energy production estimates for a rooftop system and its PV analyzer tool is a I-V curve tracker for solar. The tools are also used to measure system performance during operations and maintenance services.
"We are pleased with the merger agreement with Vivint Solar," said Willard MacDonald, president Solmetric who joins Vivint Solar as vice president of technology development. "As part of Vivint Solar, we plan to continue to enhance our existing products line and develop even more offerings to benefit the entire industry and enable us all to install faster, low-cost and higher quality solar."
Under the agreement Utah-based Vivint Solar will retain Solmetric’s employees at their office in Sebastopol, Calif. In addition, the company’s existing sales contracts and distribution partnerships will remain under the Solmetric brand. It’s products will also continue to be called Solmetric.
Vivint Solar and its largest competitor, SolarCity, are both starting to purchase other companies to compliment their product offerings. For instance, last October SolarCity purchased racking company ZEP Solar, which makes racking and mounting equipment for solar modules that allow for faster installation of solar arrays. As 2014 starts to firm up it will be interesting to see how these solar companies move forward.