Last week, the energy and electronics giant Westinghouse entered the solar game by partnering with Andalay Solar, a company that sells integrated AC solar systems. The Andalay panel – which the company says reduces the installed cost of solar by 10 percent – was developed by California installer Akeena Solar in 2007.
Last year, Akeena began selling the panel to the “Do-it-yourself” community in Lowe’s Home Improvement stores. Now, Westinghouse is licensing its historically-significant name to Andalay, making it Westinghouse Solar. The move is big for Andalay – it makes the panels instantly recognizable to millions of Americans. Combine that with the shelf space being provided by Lowes, and you have a “mainstream” product.
This is certainly an important direction for solar. Good for Akeena for recognizing the trend and pushing hard to be in front. I think this will help bring a lot of credibility to the (former) Andalay brand. For a great interview on this important branding effort, watch this video interview with Gary Mull of Westinghouse Solar. This was one of our many interviews from last week’s ASES National Solar Conference in Phoenix. See our video section for dozens more…..