Centennial Global Technology: North America’s one-stop shop for eco-friendly solar products
By: Mudeeha Yousaf
Renewable energy is often overlooked in North America’s oil-driven economy, however Centennial Global Technology Inc. is celebrating its 10thyear as Canada’s leading solar panel distributor. Expanding its business to over 26 countries and continents including Europe, Africa, South America and Asia, the Montreal-born company revels its unique position as a Solar Photovoltaic’s — a technology that converts sunlight into electricity — manufacturer.
From its inception in 2003, the environmentally-friendly company was driven to expand to international markets. Ajoy Das, CEO and founder of the company, was determined to “get into the market with our knowledge and meet the customers’ needs.” Das brought the company into being on a promise that renewable energy would reach Canadian homes and become more readily accessible. “Business was good in the beginning then came down, [it was a] tough challenge for me but we’re doing well.”
The company got its start from working with Montreal Universities, like Concordia and McGill, supplying custom-made solar panels, and working on local parking meters. Their goal was to “get better, unique products that not a lot of bigger companies can offer.” The company went on to establishing its own production facility for the manufacturing of custom PV solar panels in 2003, the most effective in the marketplace today.
As business gradually boomed and the international markets were interested in the company’s unique product line, the ecological producers made a strategic decision to move to central Kingston, Ontario in 2010 into a 30,000 square feet manufacturing space and is rapidly growing its operations. With more manpower, a staff of 25 and an abundance of space, the company now stands as the leading national solar panel distributor and the largest North American Company to provide to global markets.
Centennial GT offers complete power solutions including pre-assembled and custom-engineered systems for commercial, industrial and governmental applications. Their products range from 2 watts to 300+ watts, and their production line consists of four different cell technologies, becoming the only manufacturer in the world to do so. As well, they specialize in solar charges for OEM (original equipment manufacturer) requirements, and their main production of solar panels range from 5watts to 240watts and are IEC61215, IEC61730 and UL certified. Offering a full line of products inimitable to their brand, such as Custom Photovoltaic Energy Solutions, the company sets itself apart from its competitors.
To be positioned as the leading supplier of solar panels worldwide, the core values for the corporation stem from safe transactions. Exclusively hiring licensed electricians, the company emphasizes that all installers hold a PV technicians certificate. They are fully certified from the international body for the quality of their solar panels and its life span and “it is common practice to be regularly checked by the proper authorities every quarter.
“Everything we sell out of our factory is recorded… after 10 years if a customer has any problems, we ask for the panel serial number and replace it,” says Das. A 25-year linear warranty is given to every product and they rejoice in hiring skilled workers to guarantee quality results, making customer satisfaction an asset for the company.
Centennial GT has strong Canadian roots, even though the majority of their exports occur internationally. The demand for solar panels in Canada is a relatively new marketplace, starting roughly 2-3 years ago, and most prominent in Ontario.
Many international markets are undertaking advantages of PV solar panels in order to drive renewable energy products. Albeit an increase of awareness in Canada regarding eco- friendly energy methods, the adoption of renewable solar energy has yet to be fully established.
“[In the] last 2 years we were most concentrated in the domestic markets which are not there to support any manufacturing in Canada… We want to export to many markets [and] have a big contract signed in Brazil and Mexico,” says Das. “People are more aware of green energy and willing to spend money but not in Canada.”
As the first PV/solar panel manufacturing company in Canada and the largest North American provider for the global markets, Centennial GT has a decade of manufacturing experience. While keeping over-heads lower, and revenues higher, the company thrives on a business-model catering to its domestic and international partnerships. Their competitive edge comes from their positioning as a privately held manufacturing firm, allowing them the ability to customize their products and services to meet the demands of their niche market.
The company has accomplished many projects during the course of its life and “got into the market with our knowledge and to meet the customer’s needs.” The global companies’ expectations had been exceeded when they were asked to supply the solar panels for the roof of the soccer world cup in Brazil. They are also leading suppliers for many projects in Italy, and hold strong relationships with McMaster and Queens University in Ontario.
CEO, Das says, “We are a proud Canadian company… we honor the best quality product in Canada and always take care of our customers in a way that we shows them proper service and make sure any problem they have gets handled in a proper manner,”