PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PV AMERICA 2011
Grape Solar announced today that it has launched its home solar power systems with Costco Wholesale Corporation, a major on-line wholesaler that offers a selection of branded and private label products in a range of merchandise categories in no-frills, self-service warehouse facilities. The featured solar kits are located under the “Hardware - Generators & Backup Power” Category of www.costo.com. “For the first time, a leading retailer with numerous locations, quality recognition and tens of millions of loyal customers has made it possible for end users to buy high-quality solar products at great prices and have the products delivered directly to their homes in a matter of days,” comments Ocean Yuan, President of Grape Solar, a leading solar panel manufacturer located in Eugene, Oregon.
This venture started with test markets in Costco Warehouses throughout Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico in July, 2010. Since that time, the program has expanded to other high-demand solar markets such as Texas, Alabama and Florida, with dozens more to come online shortly. With their unique business model, superior customer service and network of qualified installers, Grape Solar is the perfect choice for assisting Costco in making solar power generation available to the general public. Costco members have a choice to purchase a variety of system sizes: 880W, 2300W, 3680W or 5060W ready to install kits at member prices.
In order to make this tremendous undertaking possible, and bring such a complex product to consumers, Grape Solar has established a network of 5000+ installers across the country to provide local customer support. “At first I was concerned that Grape Solar was undercutting us by taking such a direct approach to the end user, but with the increased customer awareness and the steady stream of referrals, our business has been booming,” says Ray Baxter, General Manager of Arizona Power-save, an Arizona-area installer.
The Home Solar Power kits are grid-tied systems that include Grape Solar panels, inverters, and racking systems that are ready to install onto a home or other roofed structure. This easy to install kit is designed with the potential for future expansion in mind. The consumer is able to start small, and generate a portion of their own power consumption, or upgrade and make the power company pay them by generating additional power that is sold back onto the utility grid. Users can create larger systems by linking more of the easily connected kits to one another.
Unlike traditional generators, these solar powered systems are entirely self sustaining, and require no fuel or petroleum products. There are no mechanical moving components in the Grape Solar grid-tied kits; therefore, maintenance is virtually non-existent. Grape Solar panels come with a 25-year warranty on power output and a 10-year warranty on materials and workmanship. The inverters have a 10-year warranty and so do the racking systems. All of the home solar power kits are eligible for federal, state and local utility rebate and incentive programs.
“Costco.com provides us with a borderless platform to offer their customers with a wide selection of solar panels and related products at prices that finally make economic sense for the average American home owner,” says Yuan.