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First Performance Warranty Insurance provided in the U.S. for Photovoltaic Panels



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    Munich Re introduced the first insurance solution to provide an effective performance warranty for solar panels in the United States through a new plan that covers concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems manufactured by SolFocus. Munich Re, SolFocus and broker Woodruff-Sawyer & Co collaborated on this first coverage of its kind for CPV technology systems. With a view to climate change, Munich Re has devised a number of coverages that reduce the risks in renewable energy for investors and thus make such investments possible.

    “The performance and reliability of CPV has advanced to such a high level that a renowned insurer like Munich Re has offered an insurance policy,” said Mark Crowley, CEO of SolFocus.“ As the first CPV company that can provide an insured performance-warranty to its customers, we are proud to pave the way for this advanced solar technology to reach commercial status and become a trusted, bankable technology for developers, financial institutions and utilities. Providing such confidence and trust to the marketplace is critical for companies like SolFocus to deliver the capability of advanced solar technology.”

    SolFocus provides all of its customers globally with a warranty for its CPV systems of 25 years for power performance. If any product fails to meet the specifics of this warranty then the Munich Re cover attaches. In order to realize the insurance solution, Munich Re has brought in one of its specialty primary insurers. “SolFocus has achieved similar breakthroughs in proving “bankability” for developers and investors by securing the first International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) certification for performance and safety”, Crowley added.

    Prior to the agreement being signed, Munich Re had conducted an in-depth review of the SolFocus development and manufacturing processes. This CPV technology uses innovative optics to concentrate sunlight onto a small area of high-efficiency solar cell material. Munich Re already makes its unique performance-warranty insurance available to several other manufacturers of photovoltaic cells based on other technologies, but this is the first CPV offering.

    Thomas Blunck, member of Munich Re’s Board of Management added, “We are delighted to have concluded the first contract of this kind on the U.S. market with SolFocus. By coming up with this solution for the new CPV technology, we have again taken the lead after we had introduced the performance warranty insurance onto the market over a year ago. And we are also close to marketing similar performance-guarantee products for other technologies in the renewables sector such as wind or solar thermal energy.”

    By providing this insurance, Munich Re allows solar plant operators and investors greater planning security. The innovative insurance solution is thus an important milestone for the financing of photovoltaic projects, offering producers additional financial protection. Manufacturers of modules can take the long-term, technical guarantee risk off their balance sheet, thus easing the financial burden and giving their customers greater security.

    “We are proud to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Munich Re and SolFocus on this inventive and unique coverage solution” said Steve Sawyer, Executive Vice President at Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. “Both companies are leaders in innovation within their industries, and we expect this program will have a substantial impact on the continuing expansion and implementation of solar power/power production in the United States.”

    About SolFocus

    The SolFocus mission is to enable solar energy generation at a Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) competitive with traditional fossil fuel sources. To achieve this goal, SolFocus has developed leading concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology which combines high-efficiency solar cells (approaching 40%) and advanced optics to provide solar energy solutions which are scalable, dependable and capable of delivering on the promise of clean, low-cost, renewable energy. SolFocus is headquartered in Mountain View, California with European operations headquartered in Madrid, Spain, and manufacturing in Mesa, Arizona and manufacturing partners in India and China.

    About Woodruff-Sawyer & Co

    Woodruff-Sawyer is one of the largest independent insurance brokerage firms in the nation, and is an active partner of Assurex Global. For over 90 years, Woodruff-Sawyer has been partnering with clients to implement and manage cost-effective and innovative insurance, employee benefits and risk management solutions, both nationally and abroad. Headquartered in San Francisco, Woodruff-Sawyer has offices throughout California and in Portland, Oregon.
    Munich Re stands for exceptional solution-based expertise, consistent risk management, financial stability and client proximity. This is how Munich Re creates value for clients, shareholders and staff. In the financial year 2009, the Group – which pursues an integrated business model consisting of insurance and reinsurance – achieved a profit of €2.56bn on premium income of around €41bn. It operates in all lines of insurance, with around 47,000 employees throughout the world. With premium income of around €25bn from reinsurance alone, it is one of the world's leading reinsurers. Especially when clients require solutions for complex risks, Munich Re is a much sought-after risk carrier. The primary insurance operations are mainly concentrated in the ERGO Insurance Group. With premium income of over €17bn, ERGO is one of the largest insurance groups in Germany and Europe. 40 million clients in over 30 countries place their trust in the services and security it provides. In international healthcare business, Munich Re pools its insurance and reinsurance operations, as well as related services, under the Munich Health brand. Munich Re’s global investments amounting to €182bn are managed by MEAG, which also makes its competence available to private and institutional investors outside the Group.
    This media information contains forward-looking statements that are based on current assumptions and forecasts of the management of Munich Re. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the forward-looking statements given here and the actual development, in particular the results, financial situation and performance of our Company. The Company assumes no liability to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.