New Hampshire, USA — Power technology group ABB made a $1 billion solar commitment with its purchase of the number-two solar PV inverter manufacturer Power-One in April 2013. Last week, the Swiss company announced that it finalized the integration, and all Power-One components will now display ABB branding. However in the same week, RenewableEnergyWorld.com caught wind of a supposed global stop-ship on all Power-One Trio string inverters.
According to Paulo Casini, vice president of marketing, ABB has gradually shifted procedures to fully take on the Power-One brand. This year-long acquisition process was done to satisfy customers and abate market confusion. The Power-One technology will remain exactly the same, said Casini.
“We wanted to make sure the customer base knows nothing is changing in terms of the [quality] of the product…and make sure there was no misunderstanding,” explained Casini. “We allowed enough time…to change the brand, but we also have evidence that the product did not change and will still be Power-One without creating concern or distress in market.”
However, according to an ABB customer, a 60-day global stop shipment on all Power-One Trio (1000-V DC) inverters due to a “hardware-based manufacturing flaw” was implemented early last week, at exactly the same time as the rebranding announcement.
When asked about the halted shipment, Casini said that ABB “had to take care of something,” but it has “nothing to do with the ABB acquisition.” ABB has stopped shipment to ensure “the quality of the product is at an excellent level of standard to ensure that customers are not affected by any technical issues.”
“The issue has been fixed,” according to Casini, but he would not elaborate on the specific issue or whether the stop-shipment is still in effect. When ABB was asked for further information, it repeatedly refused to comment.
Casini stressed that rebranding is simply the last step in the Power-One transition process, and “ABB is in the solar market to stay…[it is] looking at solar as a key market for growing and success moving forward.”