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Massachusetts solar company acquires Inovus Solar

Inovus Solar sells and installs solar powered lights to areas that don't have the pre-existing infrastructure for traditional street lights. Photo courtesy of Inovus Solar.

Inovus Solar sells and installs solar powered lights to areas that don’t have the pre-existing infrastructure for traditional street lights and areas seeking alternative power options. Photo courtesy of Inovus Solar.

The Massachusetts company SolarOne, a manufacturer and distributor of solar-powered city and building lights, has acquired Boise-based Inovus Solar.

Inovus was founded in the former business incubator The Water Cooler in 2007 and has been selling solar-powered street lights since 2008.

Inovus’ nine employees will stay on with SolarOne and the new partnership between the companies will help the Boise solar company to sell into new markets around the world — specifically the Middle East, said Nic Kawaguchi, director of marketing at Inovus.

SolarOne was interested in acquiring Inovus because it will expand the company’s offerings, said Moneer Azzam, CEO of SolarOne, in an announcement of the deal Feb. 16.

Inovus’ products are more expensive because they have larger battery capacity and architectural flourishes, whereas SolarOne’s products are built more for industrial scale and are cheaper per unit, Kawaguchi said.

“We got introduced to them by a vendor we had in common and our chief technology officer met with their vice president of sales and marketing at a trade show and they just had a lot of strengths and weaknesses that aligned with our company,” Kawaguchi said. “For example, they sell a lot of product overseas, specifically in the Middle East, and we have always wanted to get into those markets.”

“We will both be able to offer a wider breadth of products to our customers through this,” he said.

The size of the combined companies is about 20 people. SolarOne will now have offices in Needham, Mass. and Boise.

About Benton Alexander Smith

Benton Alexander Smith is a reporter for the Idaho Business Review, covering the Idaho Legislature, new business, technology and financial services.

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