Power-One Inc., the maker of electrical inverters whose stock has more than quadrupled in a year, plans to ship its first U.S.-made units to solar power developers Dec. 1, anticipating growth in its home market.
The California manufacturer, whose production is largely in Italy, is hiring workers and expanding factory capacity there and in the U.S. and China to profit from surging demand for the equipment that connects solar panels and wind turbines to utility grids, Chief Executive Officer Richard Thompson said.
The Camarillo-based company expects to boost its capacity to 6,000 megawatts next year, Thompson said yesterday in an interview at the Solar Power International conference in Los Angeles. That’s about one-third of the global market for solar panels in 2011, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“We’re not the largest yet, but we’re working on it,” he said. The inverters are efficient, “which means lower-cost electricity,” Thompson said.
Power-One’s factory in China will begin production on Jan. 1 and reduce shipping costs for equipment that can weigh as much as 9 tons, Thompson said. Setting up production lines in new regions increases overhead costs less than it reduces shipping costs, he said.
Thompson is also expanding production of inverters for offshore wind turbines and plans to introduce micro-inverters that can be attached directly to individual solar panels for the residential rooftop market next year.
Power-One climbed 28 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $11.15 as of 2:13 p.m. in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. The shares have more than quadrupled in the last 12 months and lead the 20- member Bloomberg Americas Electrical Components & Equipment Index, which has gained 19 percent in the period.
Last week, Power-One bought software developer Fat Spaniel Technologies Inc. to improve communication between utility grids and renewable energy sources and better manage production.
Sales for the third quarter will be in the range of $250 million to $270 million, he said. The company was expected to have revenue of $263.4 million, the average estimate of eight analysts compiled by Bloomberg. The company plans to report third-quarter results after the close of trading on Oct. 28.
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