Enphase opens $4.4m R&D facility in New Zealand

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Enphase Energy has opened a $4.4 million research and development (R&D) facility in Christchurch, New Zealand, as the company looks to expand its global innovation and testing hubs.

Officially opened by new Zealand’s minister of science and innovation Steven Joyce MP, the R&D facility is expected to further Enphase’s compliance testing and verification capabilities for its microinverters, as well as expanding the firm’s development of its AC battery modular energy storage system.

Both components form a key part of the Enphase Home Energy Solution, which the company is rolling out into Australia and New Zealand towards the end of this year. The Enphase Home Energy Solution comprises an integrated solar system, energy control, and plug-and-play storage capability.

The New Zealand R&D facility is Enphase’s second largest, after its lead engineering hub in Petaluma, California, and has the capacity for further expansion, the company confirmed.

"Over the years, our engineering team in Christchurch has strategically contributed toward the design, development and testing of Enphase microinverters sold in Asia-Pacific and Europe," said Enphase VP of engineering, Greg Steele. "By making a further investment in New Zealand, Enphase is now poised for future growth as we continue to build a world-class engineering team that will work in tandem with the team in California to develop future generations of the Enphase Home Energy Solution."

Christchurch was first identified as a hub for Enphase in 2011, when the U.S. company opened a power electronics engineering team there in order to design, develop and test microinverters bound for Enphase’s Asia-Pacific and European markets. This new facility will focus on collaborating with engineers at the Petaluma facility to develop Enphase’s fourth, fifth and sixth generation microinverters, and will also add the development of the Home Energy Solution to its product roadmap.

According to Enphase’s Asia-Pacific MD Nathan Dunn, New Zealand has become an important market for the Enphase Home Energy Solution. "As a country with a significant proportion of renewable energy in its grid, relatively low solar uptake and a tremendous desire for energy independence, we’ve observed a keen interest from New Zealanders in the upcoming launch of our home energy solution," he said.