Enphase Energy Debuts on Nasdaq Today

Enphase Energy (Nasdaq: ENPH), the leader in micro-solar inverters, had its IPO today. 

The Petaluma, California-based company cut its opening price in half a few days ago, to $6-$7. It raised $54 million in the IPO, selling 9 million shares, a couple million more than expected. The stock is one of the top gainers today, rising 36%.

Microinverters convert DC current to AC current for each individual solar module in contrast to traditional inverters, which convert the output of the entire solar array. Microinverters offer greater efficiency, greater flexibility in design and enable more detailed monitoring. 

Enphase uses design and manufacturing approaches more commonly seen in the high tech electronics industry. For example, its microinverters are digitally controlled by a custom semiconductor chip, which also provides built-in monitoring and networking capabilities.

Enphase has a distribution agreement with Siemens. "We believe the combination of Enphase Energy’s Microinverter System, integrated with our electrical distribution and safety products will set the stage for Siemens to become the premier provider of solar photovoltaic power solutions for businesses, homeowners and builders," says Barry Contrael, director, Siemens Low Voltage Business Unit.  

Although Enphase has had the microinverter niche to itself since its founding in 2006, a number of competitors have brought products to the market in the last year, including SolarBridge, Azuray and SolarEdge

Enphase has yet to make a profit.

There’s been a dearth of cleantech IPOs this year, but that may be changing. Upcoming IPOs include Brightsource Energy, Luca Technologies, and Enerkem.

Last year, there were 54 cleantech IPOs (raised $9.6 billion) and in 2010 there were 98 (raised $16.4 billion), mostly in China, according to research firm Kachan & Co.

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