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Mitsubishi Electric Withdraws From Production of Solar Panels Under Its Own Brand

2019/11/20 17:35
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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A mega solar plant for which Mitsubishi Electric's solar panel was employed (source: Nikkei BP)

Mitsubishi Electric Corp announced Nov 15, 2019, that it will withdraw from supplying solar power generation (PV) systems under its own brand.

Mitsubishi Electric plans to stop the production and sale of PV systems by late March 2020. For its energy-related business, the company will strengthen the proposal of its integrated solutions mainly in fields where it is possible to take advantage of the company's strengths such as ZEH (net zero energy house), ZEB (net zero energy building) and V2X (electricity transmission between electric vehicles and buildings/power grids).

In the Japanese market for solar panels, competition has been becoming more and more fierce especially in the field of industrial products since the implementation of the feed-in tariff (FIT) policy in 2012, after which many foreign manufacturers entered the market.

As a result, the relative market values of long-term reliability and capability of being installed on small roofs, which Mitsubishi Electric's products feature, are lowering. In view of this, the company decided to stop production and sale under its brand.

For the future, Mitsubishi Electric will put energy into supplying products, systems and services that enable to make effective use of renewable energy, by coordinating businesses of the Mitsubishi Electric group.

In regard to PV systems, which will become necessary for the coordination, Mitsubishi Electric will partner with Kyocera Corp, planning to propose Kyocera's products, whose reliability is highly evaluated, via Mitsubishi Electric's sales channels (Related article: Cutting-edge 'Self-consumption Mega Solar Plant' Begins Operation).

According to Mitsubishi Electric, the company will not sell Kyocera's products under Mitsubishi Electric's brand. Also, the end of the production of PV facilities under its brand does not affect its consolidated results forecast for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020.

Mitsubishi Electric produces cells at its Iida Factory (Iida City, Nagano Prefecture), a branch factory of its Nakatsugawa Factory, and assembles them into solar panels (modules) at its Kyoto Factory (Nagaokakyo City, Kyoto Prefecture). Its products feature designs that realize a high durability such as the three-layer structure of back sheet and the flame-resistant four-layer structure of parts of PV junction box (Related article: Mitsubishi Electric's Focus on Weather Resistance).