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Wednesday, April 14, 2010
And from this distributor that is trying to work with several solar panel installers in their local area: “We contacted a ‘manufacturer’ for a commercial job for a quote, job gets let and the contractor is awarded the job, places the order for the panels, and all of a sudden the contractor is approached with a direct sale from a solar panel broker completely out of my market area with a price that is anywhere from 30-50% below MY COST. We compared specs and in three jobs the specs are the same. So where is the money in this for a distributor? What we do know is that it is not in my market place.”
As another distributor put it “ This whole solar thing is screwed up, it is stupid! We have a manufacturer up here in New England (Evergreen Solar) that received all sorts of grants (state and federal) to create American jobs. They took the grant money and found out they couldn’t manufacturer here in America at the cost they needed and then shipped a large number of jobs to China. While this ‘manufacturer’ maybe within the letter of the grant, the reality is that they couldn’t manufacturer a competitive product here in the USA. So they shipped the jobs offshore. On our end we are left with trying to serve a market place and they can’t get product in a reasonable time frame that is competitive.”
Could it be that “solar distribution” is in a situation where the technology is changing so fast that prices may not stabilize for sometime? Or is this a regional marketing issue? How do your view this in your market place?