Here are some more detailed facts about the recent disclosure that RadianGEN has been able to gather:
- Despite exiting the solar industry, AE has stated it will continue to support warranty and service obligations.
- Publicly, AE has retained its technical service organization and field services team for warranty claims and intends to keep a reasonable level of trained staff on board to service its warranties.
- AE will not be offering extended warranties (10 years) on its existing unsold inventory.
The solar industry is a young and dynamic space where market entrances and exits are a relatively common occurrence. While exits have generally been under more dire circumstances (e.g. Astropower, Evergreen, Satcon, etc.), the AE announcement is just one more example. This reality complicates the operations of assets with expected lifespans measured in decades.
With this in mind, here are some questions that solar project owners may want to consider:
- Have you confirmed your relationships with manufacturers and service providers to ensure the right technicians and support will be available for you when issues arise?
Using AE as an example, any service work must completed by an AE certified technician to maintain a valid warranty. Previously, AE had offered a field service technician training program at its factory where one could become certified on the technology. Effective the day AE announced its exit from the industry, AE stopped offering the certification program along with any remote or other training services. Radian recommends that owners confirm their relationships with qualified staff for servicing AE inverters.