SONOMA COUNTY – Three Sonoma County businesses will profit from a distribution deal inked between Gridlock Solar Security in Santa Rosa and DC Power Systems in Healdsburg.
The exclusive distribution agreement gives Gridlock exposure to DC Power's extensive network of solar contractors throughout North and South America, and its manufacturing partner, Machine Design Solutions of Santa Rosa, is ready to ramp up production.
"Our products will be featured in DC Power's catalogs, which go out to about 10,000 contractors," said Tyson Berg, Gridlock's director of business development. "We have our own page on their Web site."
Launched this year, Gridlock has the only theft prevention system that detects attempts to remove panels from their frames and sends out alerts over radio frequency, cellular, satellite or landline networks, as well as activating lights and a piercing siren on the site.
Solar panel theft is on the rise because it's easy money; installations on roofs or remote sites can be accessed by thieves with bolt cutters at night, the panels removed and sold to systems manufacturers or owners through eBay or craigslist.
Schools and empty buildings are the most vulnerable, said Mr. Berg.
Thieves that take $135,000 worth of panels, which is common, will probably get $30,000 to $40,000 for them, he said.
The cost of Gridlock's system is well under 1 percent of the total cost of an installation.
The company has about 60 systems in operation now. Machine Design, whose owner Jon Morris serves as vice president of engineering for Gridlock, has the capacity to ramp up production to about eight systems a day, said Mr. Berg.
"It's a groundbreaking product, and we like groundbreaking products at DC Power," said Chris Phipps, DC Power director of marketing.
"Exposing our huge network of dealers to the Gridlock system will go a long way toward ending the rising epidemic of module theft," he said.