Enphase Energy, located in Petaluma, is on a trajectory of rapid growth. Last year the company captured significant market share in the U.S., and it broke into the Australian market as well.

Enphase developed and sells microinverters that help optimize solar installations. The microinverter converts electricity from the direct current (DC) power generated by the panels to alternating current (AC) power that can be utilized in the household.

The company says that their microinverter increases energy production, simplifies design and installation, improves system uptime and reliability, reduces fire safety risk and provides a platform for intelligent energy management. Their system converts energy at the individual solar module level compared to traditional centralized inverters. This distinctive technology produces a more efficient and reliable solar energy system.

"Our microinverter technology offers production performance at the individual module level, making each panel in essence its own system, and enabling a more efficient adaptation to environmental conditions," said Raghu Belur, co-founder and vice president of products and strategic initiatives for Enphase. "We have eliminated the issue of a single point of failure seen in most traditional inverters, so if one panel or microinverter begins to decrease in efficiency, the rest of the system will continue to perform optimally."

Enphase is clearly doing something right. In 2012, Enphase was the number one residential PV inverter supplier in the Americas with 53.5 percent market share, according to IHS Research in its PV Inverter World Market Report - 2013. In the same report, Enphase was the leading vendor of single-phase PV inverters in the Americas with 42.2 percent share of revenue.

"We are thrilled to be recognized as the top inverter supplier in the Americas," said Paul Nahi, Enphase CEO. "Seeing our microinverter surpass traditional inverters for the first time is an important milestone for us as a company as we strive to establish microinverter technology as the new norm in rooftop solar worldwide."

Last year the company began distribution of its Enphase Microinverter System in Australia in partnership with RFI Solar, a leading distributor of solar photovoltaic products in Australia. Through the RFI Solar network, Enphase’s products will be available across Australia.

 In just over six years, Enphase has introduced and commercialized its microinverter system and has shipped over 5 million units into eleven countries across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

 There is every reason to believe that future sales will continue to be robust. "The U.S. solar industry witnessed a record breaking year for 2013, and the current state of the PV market has made going solar easier than ever before. According to Solar Energy Industry Association, the price of a completed system has dropped by 33 percent since 2011," said Belur. "With solar accounting for 29 percent of all new energy generation capacity this past year alone, we have seen a growing trend toward rooftop solar that will continue to rise as more people take advantage of the different financing options available."...

Barry Vesser is coordinator of Business for Clean Energy,  a project of the Climate Protection Campaign. BCE is producing this column to highlight businesses that are helping to build the clean energy economy.