What were some of the reasons Kaco selected London, Ontario as the location for their first North American plant?
The Ontario feed in tariff conversation in 2009 prompted KACO's investigation of the area. The implementation of the program sparked the commitment of the company to open the facility. KACO also believes that the North American market is a high growth area worthy of the investment.
Will the plant serve all of North America or just Canada?
Currently the plan is to serve the North American markets from that facility and to use our partner facility in San Jose to provide additional production capability for the United States.
What do you see as some of the advantages to having manufacturing in North America and Canada?
Maintaining a position as a market leader and helping enhance KACO market share on this side of the Atlantic.
Reduced emissions from decreased shipping distances.
Reduced costs from decreased shipping distances.
Increased availability and decreased lead times.
Enhancement of local economies and communities.
Showing commitment to the north American market as KACO is fully convinced about the growth potential
When did KACO start to manufacture in London?
Production (assembly) began in October 2010.
What inverter lines are/will be produced from this facility?
The KACO residential 02xi series (1502xi, 2502xi, 3502xi, 5002xi), commercial/utility XP series (XP 83U, XP 90U, XP 100U-H6) are currently produced in London.
What is the domestically(Ontario) sourced content?
KACO Canada is a manufacturing and assembly plant. Components are mainly shipped from KACO headquarters in Neckarsulm Germany. Certain parts are found locally in Ontario. All assembly is done by members of the London community. 100% dedication to the growth of local commmunities is an important part of how KACO approaches manufacturing.
7. What is the timeline for expanding capacity at this facility and what is the planned ultimate capacity?
KACO plans to produce up to 700 MW of product in 2011 with capacity of up to 1GW. Mid - term (three year) capacity should be around 2GW
How does the cost of production compare with Kaco's plants in Germany?
Interestingly, KACO is able to offer blueplanet grid tied inverters from the London facility at a price that is comparable to the costs at our larger facilities in Neckarsulm, Germany.
Is the North American market different than Europe and if so what makes it so?
The Canadian FIT program is very similar to the German FIT program that was started their over 10 years ago. That development led to the development of the world's largest PV industry. We expect and hope for similar growth in Canada.
The US market is still a hodge podge of unrealiable incentives. Costs are declining rapidly throughout the sector - the hope is base market demand will grow regardless of the government's involvement in the incentive structure.
What do the 10 employees do? Are they all warehouse employees? Do you still think you will ramp up to 50 employees this year?
Currently all employees work on the manufacturing floor. The plan is still to employee 50 full time partners before year end.
Do you anticipate opening a manufacturing plant in the US in the future?
KACO has already contracted with a third party manufacturing specialist in San Jose, CA. This company produces the 1502xi and 2502xi residential inverters since May 2011 and will produce the full 02xi line for the US by Q4 2011.