Andalay Solar Congratulates SolarCity on Zep Solar Acquisition

Andalay Solar, Inc. today congratulates SolarCity Corp. on its acquisition of Zep Solar, Inc., a provider of solar mounting systems in the U.S. As previously announced on October 9, 2013, SolarCity and Zep Solar entered into a definitive agreement for SolarCity to acquire Zep Solar, Inc. for approximately $158 million.

Margaret Randazzo, CEO of Andalay Solar, commented, "SolarCity's acquisition of Zep Solar affirms the value of integrated solar mounting systems in the market place. As the cost of solar panels has dropped, the costs of balance of system components and labor have become a larger portion of the overall system. The integration strategy minimizes the number of parts that must be purchased, kitted and assembled in the field. As a result of this integration, direct labor (rooftop and on-site work) and indirect labor (design, engineering, purchasing, warehouse and logistics) are reduced, significantly reducing total installation costs. By reducing direct and indirect labor costs, integrated mounting systems can be less expensive than ordinary rack-mounted panels. Also, since these systems are largely factory assembled versus field assembled, system reliability is increased."

Andalay Solar was the first to develop, patent and release a fully integrated DC and AC solar panel solution for homes and business. Shortly after the company was founded in 2001, the company developed technology that makes solar panels more of a "plug and play" appliance — integrating the racking, wiring and grounding directly into the solar panel frame — instead of a complicated collection of components and fasteners. The vision of Andalay Solar's engineers was that by reducing the number of parts, installation of solar panels could be greatly simplified and also more aesthetically pleasing. Andalay Solar's patented technology introduces a panel-to-panel interconnection system using "splices" that enhances structural integrity, eliminates the need for mounting rails, and provides the electrical grounding connection between solar modules. The panels have undergone engineering analysis and mechanical load testing by an independent test laboratory achieving 7,800 Pa, well beyond the industry standard of 5,400 Pa, allowing for installations in conditions up to 170 mph high wind zones in accordance with American Society of Civil Engineers Standard 7-10.

Andalay Solar filed the Company's first patent covering its solar mounting technology in 2004. Today, the Company has over 30 U.S. and foreign issued patents and pending patent applications. In 2009, Andalay Solar introduced the first integrated AC solar panel (with microinverters) on the market further reducing the number of parts and design and installation time, and enhancing the safety, performance and reliability of its systems. The Company introduced its newest generation of product, Instant Connect®, in 2012 which provides enhanced integrated wiring allowing for streamlined wire management, one of the most time consuming jobs on the roof. The Company's most recent patent was granted in August 2013, entitled, "Minimally Ballasted Surface Mounting System and Method" supporting the Company's flat roof mounting system ideal for the commercial market.

Thousands of Andalay Solar power systems have been installed across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Caribbean and South America. The Company sells its products to solar installers and do-it-yourself customers through distribution partnerships, its dealer network and retail outlets. Andalay Solar's Instant Connect® AC Solar Power Systems are currently available and shipping to customers.


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