Grape Solar now available in Home Depot

Grape Solar systems on display at the Costco in Eugene.

Grape Solar panels are also sold through Costco Wholesale Corp. stores and Amazon.com.

Grape Solar panels are now being sold through Home Depot Inc. stores, expanding the Eugene-based panel-maker’s national footprint.

Craig Fishel, a spokesman for the Atlanta-based chain of home improvement stores, said the Grape Solar products can be special ordered through Home Depot stores. Fishel didn’t know exactly how long Home Depot has offered Grape panels, only that it’s a recent development.

Ocean Yuan, Grape Solar’s CEO, could not be reached for comment.

The news of Grape’s expansion into Home Depot was first reported on Friday by Greentech Media.

The addition of Home Depot expands on Grape’s strategy of making solar panels more easily accessible to consumers by offering them through well-known, large-scale retail operations.

Launched two years ago as Centron Solar, the company is a consortium of several dozen Chinese manufacturers involved in the solar energy supply chain.

At its launch, Yuan, former president of Chinese cell and module-maker SolarFun Holdings Ltd.’s U.S. operations, set out on a low-cost strategy to deliver a product that appealed to cost-conscious households.

In July 2010, Grape forged a partnership with Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco Wholesale Corp., which at first offered the Grape Solar panels inside Costco Warehouse stores in nine test markets, including Washington and Oregon.

As of April the company’s partnership with Costco had expanded into several other key markets, putting the panels in more than 60 Costco stores nationwide as well as Costco.com, which featured Grape’s complete home solar power kit, a grid-tied system that includes panels, inverters and racking systems.

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@ErikSiemers | esiemers@bizjournals.com | 503-219-3418

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