(REPOST: Solar Power Portal)

Last month the car manufacturer announced the launch of Nissan Energy Solar, adding small-scale solar PV to its suite of energy products.

In entering the UK’s solar market Nissan said it wanted to expand on its existing xStorage domestic battery solution, but perhaps the most eye-catching detail of the launch was its price point. Nissan said it would be charging around £3,800 to supply and install a six-panel (~1.5kWp) rooftop solar system, inclusive of VAT, undercutting the similarly-launched IKEA.

Speaking to Solar Power Portal, Francisco Carranza Sierra, managing director for energy services at Nissan, said that price was an important factor in its launch plan, adding that Nissan’s wealth of supply chain experience had made it possible.

“Part of our know-how in Nissan is how can we bring technologies to the mass market, how we can push down different costs, how can we optimise the supply chain… it’s part of the value we’re bringing to this business is the democratisation of this solar energy.

“We’re going to explore how our know-how in supply chains, manufacturing, B2C and commercialising mass market products can help to make it easier for the customer to understand the value of having solar panels on their roofs,” he said.

Carranza Sierra also hinted that Nissan’s brand presence could also help it make early strides, pointing to the lack of big name installation businesses.

“We discovered many things when we started to explore this industry, and it was a little bit confusing coming from the car business. You discover people don’t perceive the technology in the same way, they don’t have the same way of changing technologies and we discovered there were not big brands standing behind these offers.

“You have local installers buying panels from Korea, China or Germany, and the big brands – those who people really expect to stand up and say we’re going to help society – there was nobody here,” he said.

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