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Solar power to go

Ready Solar makes "Solar in a Box" to make the installation process less expensive and easier on home builders and owners.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Buying a solar panel should be like purchasing a refrigerator or hot tub, according to ReadySolar.

It should be a home product that comes ready to install in one box with simplified instructions so nearly anyone can install it. Hence the company's so-called "Solar in a Box" product it's pitching here at Launch: Silicon Valley.


ReadySolar makes a modular, prefabricated solar-panel box. The aim is to bring down the cost of solar installation and components, according to Meredith McClintock, the company's founder and president. The company does that by building a proprietary chassis in which any kind of solar panel can go.

The Solar in a Box system will be sold directly to builders and can be installed by crane in several hours with less than a dozen parts. The company says the advantage will be that builders won't need a subcontractor specifically to install solar panels.

The typical solar system can cost between $9 and $11 per watt of power, or $30,000 and $60,000 for a new home. ReadySolar says it can bring the cost down to between $4.50 and $5.50 per watt.