Coverage to be offered though subsidiary Great Lakes

German reinsurer Munich Re has launched a performance warranty insurance product for solar panels in the US, covering concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems maunfactured by solar energy firm SolFocus.

The reinsurer collaborated with SolFocus and broker Woodruff-Sawyer & Co to develop the product, which it claims is the first of its kind for CPV systems.

Under the agreement, Munich Re will insure SolFocus against the risk of its CPV systems failing to live up to the 25-year energy performance warranty that SolFocus issues to its customers globally. If any product does not meet the terms of the warranty, the insurance policy is triggered. Munich Re is offering the policy through Greak Lakes, a specialist insurance subsidiary based in the UK.

Before signing the agreement, Munich Re conducted an in-depth review of SolFocus's development and manufacturing processes. Munich Re already offers performance warranty insurance to several other manufacturers of photovoltaic cells based on other technologies, but this is the first CPV offering.

The new product is part of Munich Re's strategy of providing coverage to renewable energy products with a view to tackling climate change. The idea is to attract greater investment in renewable energy projects by insuring the risks connected with them.

Munich Re board member Thomas Blunck said in a statement that his company was "close to marketing similar performance-guarantee products for other technologies in the renewables sector such as wind or solar thermal energy".