Global trends in solar indicate a bright future for 1.5kV solar technology. With higher photovoltaic (PV) modules per string and increased efficiency compared to 1-kilovolt technology, GE (NYSE: GE) and Looop are at the forefront of making the Japanese solar industry among the most advanced in the world. According to GTM Research, an estimated 92.7 percent of future global projects will be based on 1.5-kilovolt technology. In the first pilot project, GE will provide two 1-megawatt, 1.5kV LV5 inverters to Looop Co., Ltd. With this initial project in Ibaraki, Japan, Looop will become the first company to actively use 1.5kV technology in Japan. GE is a leading player in this field with its LV5 1.5kV solar inverters having already being installed at the heart of numerous solar installations around the world.
Soichiro Nakamura, president of Looop Co., Ltd. said, “In becoming the first 1.5kV PV systems’ builder and owner in Japan, we are excited to be partnering with GE, who has been at the forefront of introducing this technology to the global solar industry. We are confident that through this collaboration and by working together with one of the leading industrial companies, we will help the Japanese solar industry leap forward into a new era.” GE’s Power Conversion business’ LV5 1.5kV inverters provide a host of benefits compared to the current standard market offering of 1kV inverters. As a result of the higher DC voltage, GE’s technology enables a reduced number of electrical components, thereby reducing the infrastructure, deployment and running costs of a solar plant—which is critical when Japan is facing a shrinking feed-in-tariff scheme. The LV5 product has been designed and tested for high reliability with reduced maintenance and replacement of components required in the inverter over a solar plant’s lifetime of more than 20 years.
“GE is delighted to be introducing the Japanese solar industry to the future of solar inverter technology. Our 1.5kV solar inverters have been well received in diverse markets in North America and beyond. We are convinced that working together with Looop, we will be successful in generating significant interest for our new technology in Japan,” said Peter Oram, global renewables sales leader, GE’s Power Conversion business.