SolarEdge to Cut Workforce by 16%

Photo above: Zvi Lando, Chief Executive Officer of SolarEdge

SolarEdge Technologies announced a restructuring plan designed to reduce operating expenses and align its cost structure to current market dynamics. The workforce reduction impacts approximately 16% of the SolarEdge global workforce, or approximately 900 employees, of which approximately 550 are from the Company’s offices and a manufacturing site in Israel. The reduction follows measures which the Company has already taken to align its operations, including discontinuation of manufacturing in Mexico, reduction of manufacturing capacity in China, and termination of the Company’s light commercial vehicle e-mobility activity in Italy.

SolarEdge creates smart energy solutions for solar power market, including intelligent Inverters and Optimizers for photovoltaic (PV) systems, Storage solutions, EV charging, Batteries and Grid Services solutions. During the third quarter 2023 the company witnessed sharp and unexpected decline: Q3 revenues dropped down by 27% compared with the prior quarter to $725.3 million, and down 13% from $836.7 million in the same quarter 2022.

“The results for the third quarter are reflecting a slow market environment,” said Zvi Lando, Chief Executive Officer of SolarEdge. “During the second part of the third quarter of 2023, we experienced substantial unexpected cancellations and pushouts of existing backlog from our European distributors. We attribute these cancellations and pushouts to higher than expected inventory in the channels and slower than expected installation rates.

“In particular, installation rates for the third quarter were much slower at the end of the summer and in September where traditionally there is a rise in installation rates.” Additionally, the Company anticipates significantly lower revenues in the fourth quarter of 2023 as the inventory destocking process continues. Following the announcement of the restructure plan, SolarEgde stock in NASDAQ rose by approximately 3% and the company is traded in a evaluation of $3.9 billion.

Despite weakness in the US, global presence boost SolarEdge results

Solar stocks have recently experienced a sharp downturn, in the wake of micro-inverters manufacturer Enphase’ earning report two weeks ago. Enphase, which is the primary competitor of SolarEdge, has reported positive results, but lowered its next quarter guidance, pointing that high-interest rates are straining on demand in the US market. Analysts expected a similar outcome from SolarEdge.

Nevertheless, SolarEdge’s report presented a totally different image: record revenues, improved profitability, and a positive forecast for the second quarter. SolarEdge recorded revenues of $943.9 million for Q1, a 44% increase from Q1 2022. In addition, the gross margin, which was a little low in the past quarters, significantly improved to 31.7%, compared to 27.3% in Q1 2022 and 29.3% in Q4 2022. On the bottom line, the company recorded a net income of $136.4 million, more than three times that of Q1 2022. 

Like Enphase, SolarEdge also reported on the general decline in the US market. The company’s revenues in the US for Q1 was $255.5 million, 28.3% of the total revenue. This represents a 16% decline from the previous quarter and a 4% decline from Q1 2022.

Power outages in South Africa, incentives in Japan

How did the company accomplish such remarkable results? A record-high $577.9 million in revenue was earned in Europe, a 22% increase from the previous quarter and twice as much as was made in Q1 2022. Today, two-quarters of the company’s total revenue comes from European sales. SolarEdge recorded top revenues in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France, and strong results in the Netherlands and Italy. 

Revenues outside Europe and the US also significantly increased by 30%, with record revenues in Australia and South Africa. SolarEdge CEO, Zvi Landa, said in a conference call: “Our global presence and the opportunities in these areas are sometimes overlooked”. According to Landa, the frequency of power outages in South Africa, where the firm reported record revenue, has increased demand for solar solutions, even in the domestic market.

In Japan, new regulation in the Tokyo metropolis generates incentives for purchasing solar panels with SolarEdge inverters. “As stated previously and as demonstrated by the most recent quarter results, our presence and global infrastructure give us business stability as well as new growth opportunities,” said Landa.

SolarEdge Opens 2GWh Battery Cell Facility

SolarEdge and its subsidiary, Kokam, announced the opening of a two gigawatt-hour (GWh)  battery cell manufacturing facility in the Eumseong Innovation City of Chungcheongbuk-Do, South Korea. The facility, called “Sella 2” is currently producing test cells for certification, with ramp-up expected during the second half of 2022. Sella 2 will enable SolarEdge to have its own supply of lithium-ion batteries andto develop new battery cell chemistries and technologies.

The facility is planned to manufacture battery cells for SolarEdge’s residential solar-attached batteries as well as battery cells for a variety of industries, including mobile applications, energy stationary storage solutions (ESS) and UPS applications. It includes also the storage needs of its e-Mobility division based on the 2019 acquisition of the Italian S.M.R.E. Last year, the e-Mobility division has been selected by Fiat to supply full electrical powertrain units and batteries for the production of the Fiat E-Ducato light commercial vehicle.

Zvi Lando, CEO of SolarEdge, said that the opening of Sella 2, “Allows us to own key processes in the development and manufacturing of advanced energy storage solutions, while further securing the resilience of our supply chain.” SolarEdge provides smart energy solutions, including an intelligent inverter solutions to optimize and manage photovoltaic (PV) systems. Its 2021 revenues totalled $1.96 billion, up 34.6% compared with 2021.

Huawei and SolarEdge Patent License Agreement

Earlier this month it has concluded a four years dispute with Huawei Technologies, over claimed patent infringements made by Huawei. In 2018, SolarEdge had filed three lawsuits for patent infringement against Huawei Technologies and its distributors in Germany regarding DC optimized inverter technologies. On May 19, 2022, SolarEdge and Huawei have agreed on a global patent license agreement between the two companies. The agreement includes a cross license that covers patents relating to both companies’ products. The specific terms of the agreement are confidential, but it ends lawsuits between the companies that were pending in Germany and China.

SolarEdge’s Kokam to supply battery energy storage system to Tahiti

The South Korean lithium batteries manufacturer Kokam, which was aquired by SolarEdge in 2019, has entered into contract to supply Electricité de Tahiti (EDT), a subsidiary of ENGIE, with a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) serving as Tahiti’s first ‘Virtual Synchronous Generator (VSG)’. Comprised of a 15MW / 10.4MWh battery system with an integrated 20Mvar STATCOM, the state-of-the-art BESS will replace EDT’s spinning reserve diesel generators in order to cost-effectively reduce diesel fuel consumption, allow more renewable energy and strengthen the grid.

By incorporating more renewable generation sources and improving the performance of its diesel genset, EDT may reduce fuel costs of approximately up to ~€1.25M per annum. The VSG is also expected to increase savings in the form of reduced generator maintenance costs and the extension of generator operational lifespan.

Ike Hong, Chief Marketing Officer of Kokam, comments: “Electricité de Tahiti’s BESS demonstrates how innovative and intelligently-designed battery solutions can help utility and industrial customers lower greenhouse gas emissions while also improving their bottom line and increasing grid reliability.”

Emphasizing the critically of Kokam’s Battery Energy Storage System in reducing fuel consumption without risk to grid stability, François-Xavier de FROMENT, Chief Executive Officer of EDT, comments: “Through the VSG technology, EDT acts on its desire to decarbonize electricity production and contributes to the shift to carbon neutrality in French Polynesia.”

SolarEdge to Mass produce full EV Powertrains

Above: SolarEdge powertrain kits for buses and commercial vehicles

Since it was established in 2006, SolarEdge Technologies has built a strong reputation of a quality provider of optimized inverter solutions for photovoltaic (PV) systems, bringing it ti a total sales of $338.1 million in the third quarter 2020. But but now the company eyes a much bigger and  competitive market: full powertrain solutions for Electric Vehicles.

This week the company appointed SehWoong Jeong as Chief Executive Officer of its subsidiary, Kokam. Prior to joining SolarEdge, he served as General Manager & Executive VP for Automotive Batteries at Samsung SDI, leading a large scale lithium-ion battery and Energy Storage Systems (ESS) business. Headquartered in South Korea, Kokam is a provider of Lithium-ion battery cells, batteries and energy storage solutions. It was acquired by SolarEdge in 2018.

In June, 2020, it appointed Carsten Schmidt to General Manager of its e-Mobility Division, which was established following the acquisition of the Italian S.M.R.E in July 2019. Carsten has more than a decade of experience in the automotive industry, with a focus in electric vehicles, and has held the position of Vice President of Sales in the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Business Unit of Continental AG.

Today, SolarEdge e-mobility division brings to the market a complete powertrain kits for buses and commercial vehicles. It includs electric motors, Lithium-Ion battery modules, High Voltage DC/DC converters, On-Board-Chargers, telematics and more. During the last quarters, it had built manufacturing capacity in Italy that includes an increase in the number of employees, to be prepared to deliver the first batch of full powertrain solutions to a known automotive OEM.

During the earnings call following Q3 results report, the CEO Zvi Lando said the company has made “a meaningful step into the e-Mobility market. During 2020, 10s of electrical vehicles powered by our powertrain units went through an extensive qualification process. In the fourth quarter, we expect to deliver an additional 100-200 kits as mass production is scheduled to begin.” According to his estimation, “SolarEdge will produce thousands of units in the next 6-12 months.”

SolarEdge Opened a New UPS R&D Center


SolarEdge established a new development center for large UPS systems in the town of Modi’in, near Tel Aviv. SolarEdge plans to develop there a new generation of dedicated solutions for data centers and server farms. The center operates within the company’s Critical Power division and will employ several hundred employees. Simultaneously, the company is currently in the final stages of establishing an electronic manufacturing plant in Tsiporit (in the Upper Galilee). It is expected to open in August 2020 and to employ some 300 workers during its initial phase.

The Tsiporit production plant was Originally planned to employ about 150 workers and to begin operations in early 2019 at a 2.5-acre site that the company has rented for 10 years. Although its operation has been delayed by more than a year and a half, its capacity was doubled. The plant will provide full-scale mass production, New Product Introduction and will produce special production equipment to be used by SolarEdge’s subcontractors.

The UPS operations are founded on the Jerusalem-based Gamatronic company, which was acquired in May 2018 for $41 million. The Modi’in development center will replace the Jerusalem  R&D center built by Gamatronic. In the earning call following 2019 Annual Report, the CEO Zvi Lando revealed that SolarEdge is developing dedicated UPS systems for the commercial market. “In the last quarter, we conducted five evaluation tests of our improved commercial UPS system. The tests were successful with positive customer feedback.

“While this is still low volume from a business perspective relative to our solar business, we are encouraged by the customer response to our offerings.” The company’s stock has recovered from the influence of COVID-19, and the company is trading on Nasdaq at a value of about $7.24 billion.

SolarEdge Expects Tough Quarters Ahead


SolarEdge Technologies announced exceptional results for Q1 2020: It had achieved record revenues of more than $430 million, with gross margin of 32.5% and net income of $50.7 million. “Despite the challenges triggered by COVID-19 during the quarter, we were able to get products to our customers and satisfy demand,” said Zvi Lando, CEO of SolarEdge. But the second quarter is expected to be different: The company’s outlook for the Second Quarter 2020 is of revenues within the range of $305-$335 million and gross margin of 30%-32%.

Based in Herzliya, Israel, SolarEdge provides intelligent inverter solutions for photovoltaic (PV) systems, monitoring platform for PV installations, and other smart energy solutions. During the conference call following the report last week, Lando revealed that during the COVID-19 impacted month of March and April, installation rates of SolarEdge products outside of the US increased by 15% compared to the same period last year.

“Installations in Italy, historically a strong SolarEdge market, declined by 47%. In the last three weeks, however, the installation rates there have started to rise again. In the Netherlands, where we are the market leader, our product installations are flat when compared to March and April of last year. The most positive data comes from Germany where our product installations during this period were up 42%. In the US, during the same period, the installation rate of our products declined by 16% compared to March and April of 2019.

SolarEdge three phase inverters
SolarEdge three phase inverters

“While it is difficult to foresee how long this downturn will last, we are preparing for various scenarios. In addition, effective April 1, our senior executives voluntarily reduced their base salaries by 20%.” Ronen Faier, Chief Financial Officer, said the company plans to reduce its operating expenses to the level of Q3, 2019 (app. 20% lower): “As part of our reaction to the economic slowdown that we are already seeing from COVID-19, we have reviewed carefully our business plan for 2020 and implemented certain cost-cutting measures.

“It includes a reduction in executive management’s base salary, general halt on recruitment and freeze on salary increases, which were planned for April. In addition, we are eliminating workforce redundancies and adjusting our headcount and to the reduced level of activity in certain regions as well as renegotiating other expenses such as rental agreements and consulting services. Some of these adjustments are still ongoing and the effect will be seen in our operating expenses for Q2 and Q3.”

SolarEdge stock in NASDAQ. Source:
SolarEdge stock in NASDAQ. Source: