Schneider Electric, Paris, expanded in solar and wind power inverters with an agreement to acquire all the common shares of Xantrex Technology Inc., Burnaby, British Columbia The transaction is expected to close by October 2008.

Xantrex is among the top three global players in the solar and wind inverter market with strong growth potential, including leadership in the promising North American solar inverter market and expansions in Europe, particularly Germany and Spain, according to the Schneider announcement. Xantrex offers a broad product portfolio in one- and three-phase power technology, with dedicated market access through specialized distributors, system integrators and original equipment manufacturers.

Xantrex will reinforce Schneider Electric's growing position in solutions for renewable energies, the company says. The renewable business is poised for continued high growth, with an expected 2006-2012 annual growth rate of around 30 percent and 20 percent for solar and wind, respectively. Demand is expected to remain strong, driven mainly by increasing costs of fossil energies, societal sensitivity to environmental concerns and financial incentives in many countries.

Inverters are the key entry point for solar and wind systems solutions, which efficiently converts raw electrical power from renewable energy generators (such as solar photovoltaic panels and wind turbines) into high quality, grid-worthy power.

“We are proud to join Schneider,” Mossadiq Umedaly, chairman of Xantrex, says. “It's the best way to develop our business, taking advantage of our technology, products, market knowledge, and distribution channels together with Schneider's global sales, service, supply chain, and solutions capabilities.”