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Generac buys up Panasonic US inverter partner Pika

Panasonic-Pika energy storage solution on display at last year's Solar Power International show in Anaheim, California. Image: Andy Colthorpe

Pika, a manufacturer of home energy storage systems headquartered in Maine, US, has been bought up by power generation equipment manufacturer Generac.

The company makes a line of ‘smart’ battery storage products, including the Coral smart battery, an ‘entry-level’ system for households scalable up to 8kW. The system is based on AGM (absorbent glass mat) lead-acid battery technology and promises to aid integration of solar and provide backup power in the event of outages.

The company also makes energy storage systems using Panasonic’s batteries, with Pika’s inverters showcased at last year’s Solar Power International in California in September, paired with Panasonic equipment. Pika’s Harbor ‘smart battery’ can go up to 10kW / 17kWh using the Japanese company’s lithium-ion battery modules.

The company has been marketing backup power products to regions including Puerto Rico recently, where, in the wake of recent disasters and the territory’s island geography, backup power is considered a big value-add feature for energy storage systems.

Generac, in the power solutions business since 1959 when it first started making and selling residential backup generators, makes a wide range of power products up to industrial scale and transfer switching and backup power equipment for applications up to 2MW.

Generac announced last week that with the acquisition of Pika, Generac has “entered the home energy storage market”. A Generac press release said that Pika has expertise in developing power electronics, software and controls for “smart energy storage and management”, while the integrated nature of the solutions help reduce costs and minimise disruption to the grid. The acquisition closed on 26 April. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Energy-Storage.news approached Pika for comment but did not receive a reply at time of going to press. Ben Polito’ Pika’s CEO and co-founder was quoted by the Generac release as saying that: “Generac is dedicated to providing people with innovative and forward-thinking solutions to power their homes and businesses. Pika energy storage technology, combined with Generac’s distribution strength and demand creation capabilities, will make this solution immediately available to more users.”

“Pika, now together with Generac and Neurio, a leading energy management technology company recently acquired by Generac, share a vision to develop groundbreaking technologies that modernize the way electricity is generated, stored, and used in homes,” Generac CEO and president Aaron Jagdfeld said.

“By combining Generac’s expertise in power products; Neurio’s unprecedented insight into home energy use; and Pika’s expertise in battery storage, we can bring to market the first truly intelligent home energy management system.”

Generac is not the first portable generator company to acquire an energy storage company in order to combine capabilities, with mobile industrial and commercial generator supplier Aggreko's acquisition of Younicos perhaps the most prominent recent example. In other, somewhat related news, yesterday, Energy-Storage.news reported that HelioSage Energy, a subsidiary of Panasonic-owned Coronal Energy, has been bought by Denmark’s Ørsted.

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