PETALUMA -- Solar microinverter systems maker Enphase Energy today announced the opening of offices in France and Italy and appointment of two country managers there.

Enphase, which has shipped more than 500,000 microinverters in North America, wants to capture a growing share of the worldwide market.

[caption id="attachment_30507" align="alignleft" width="448" caption="Enphase's microinverter helps increase energy efficiency of photovoltaic panels. (photo courtesy of Enphase Energy)"][/caption]

Microinverter sales are expected to grow dramatically in Europe, and Enphase is one of a few vendors vying for CE and VDE marks of approval for its products.

France, Italy and the Benelux region of Western Europe are gaining momentum in solar installations and are poised to rapidly adopt microinverters as a proven alternative to larger, centralized inverter systems popular in Germany, according to Ephase market research.

"With our system designed to surpass the European standards for solar electrical equipment, now is the time to build a local sales and support team to develop and commercialize this significant opportunity," said Chief Executive Officer Paul Nahi.

Olivier Jacques was appointed as managing director of Enphase Energy France. He was previously  country manager at Danfoss and managing director at Solar Total France, Europe’s largest solar contractor.

Roberto Colombo was hired as the managing director of Enphase Energy Italy. A veteran of the rewable energy industry, he was also sales director for southern Europe at Korber Schleifring Italy.

Enphase Energy was founded in 2006 and currently employs over 100 in its Petaluma headquarters.