We sat down recently with Mike August from IronRidge to learn more about the California-based, solar racking manufacturer’s 20+ year history.
alte: We are here with Mike from IronRidge. Could you give us a little bit of an overview about IronRidge as a company?
Mike: IronRidge has been around for about 20 years. We are a solar racking manufacturer based out of Hayward, California. We have about 50 people in that area and another 10 throughout the US – so about 60 to 70 in the US now. Like I said, we’ve been making the stuff for 20 years, so we can really stand behind our 20 year warranty – we know the product and we are really confident that we can support it.
We do about 90% residential and then a fair bit of commercial, as well, but the bulk of our stuff is residential. We are an ISO 9000 organization and we really stand behind our quality and the warranty is a part of that. You know, managing everything from the supply chain all the way out to when it gets to the customer, we really want to support it, so we have taken the steps to make sure that you guys don’t run out of product and that we can support the product.
alte: Talking about supporting and having product available – you make in California and you have distribution elsewhere?
Mike: Yeah. We have 20 suppliers in the US actually, so we can extrude seven different plants in the US. As the industry has grown tremendously, we’ve had to keep extending the amount of extrusion we do in the US. All that is trying to get it to the customer efficiently; we’re trying to do it cost-efficiently but also fuel-efficiently, as well. We can’t be making a green product and be shipping it back and forth and back and forth, so to have extrusion around the US is a really happy circumstance of our business plan to do that kind of the model.
alte: In addition to the roof mount products, what other product lines do you have?
Mike: So have our roof mount product, which is probably 90% of our business. We do have a ground mount product, which is based off the same architecture of our roof mount product, but instead of putting it on a house or building, you’re going to be building a structure in a field or your front yard and putting the solar on top of that instead. Maybe your roof is not perfect for solar or maybe you have a lot of land and you don’t need to use your house as a structure, so you can use that product – it comes with all the engineering needed to get your solar up and running.
alte: You’ve also got some pole mounts?
Mike: Yeah. We have a side of pole mount, top of pole mount for more of an off-grid solar application. It’s usually a fewer number of solar panels than a rooftop system. We also do carry some of the products that would go along with a rooftop system – we have a flash foot, it’s a flashed offering that helps you mount to a roof. That’s a newer product for us and it’s doing really well.
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