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ABB Withdraws From PV Inverter Business

2019/09/02 16:11
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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ABB's 1MW PV inverter employed for a power plant with an output of about 22MW in Hokota City, Ibaraki Prefecture (source: Nikkei BP)

ABB (a Switzerland-based major heavy electric machinery manufacturer) announced July 9, 2019, that it will withdraw from the PV inverter business.

Fimer (an Italy-based PV inverter manufacturer) agreed to acquire ABB's PV inverter business on the same day.

The withdrawal of a Europe-based major heavy electric machinery manufacturer from a PV inverter business followed the case of France-based Schneider Electric (See related article). As in the case of Schneider, ABB will probably focus on monitoring/control systems using information and communications technologies (ICTs) based on knowhow that it built up through the PV inverter and heavy electric machinery businesses.

In the case of ABB, as a solar power generation-related business, the company plans to use a method that combines PV systems with smart buildings, energy storage, charging of electric vehicles, etc through advanced products/services for low- and medium-voltage systems.

The PV inverter business of ABB is run in more than 30 countries, and about 800 employees are engaged in it. Its production and research/development bases are located in Italy, India and Finland. The PV inverter business includes a business that the company acquired from the US-based Power-One in 2013.

The sales of ABB's PV inverter business was about US$290 million in 2018. Thus far, it has supplied PV inverter products, related systems and related services to solar power plants in various countries and has been the core of ABB's power business.