The market channels for distributing solar equipment are still evolving, and they look quite a bit different from what you see in the mainstream electrical wholesaling industry. Some roofing distributors are all over this market, and one of them, Allied Building Products Corp., East Rutherford, N.J., a 200-branch giant, recently inked a deal with Siemens to sell that company's microinverters to solar contractors nationwide from its stocking locations in Hawaii and New Jersey.

“Working with the right partners is key in this industry,” said Barry Contrael, director of Low Voltage Electronics for Siemens Infrastructure and Cities. “Siemens has a wide variety of products and services, but distributors like Allied Building Products are critical in filling the necessary gaps as well as maintaining relationships with the vast number of contractors and tradesmen in this country. By teaming up we can provide an entire solution now to address the needs of the solar industry, with a reputation and financial stability few can match.”

Allied's Solar Division supplies solar panels, mounting hardware, inverters and monitoring systems to qualified solar contractors.