ISAV Portfolio Company: PVpallet

Rethinking solar shipping

ISA Ventures is making a $1 million investment into PVpallet, which manufactures a patented pallet made out of recycled plastic used for moving solar panels. Today, millions of solar panels move from manufacturers to installation points on wooden pallets - which are then discarded. They’re also impossible to stack, and often cause breakage in transit or while moving around the installation site. PVpallet’s product solves these problems: allowing panels to be stacked conveniently and dramatically reducing the risk of breakage, saving millions of dollars for the solar industry. And, it makes this green technology even greener by reducing unnecessary waste of the wooden pallets. 

There are several reasons ISA Ventures led this investment, including: 

  1. The team: Founder Luke Phelps is a veteran solar installer, having owned his own installation business before selling it earlier this year. He and his team have substantial expertise & valuable connections in the solar industry.

  2. Industry tailwind: The solar industry is growing at more than 20% per year, and solar prices are dropping quickly. Additionally, millions of solar panels are soon nearing the end of their 25-30 year lifespans, needing decommissioning - and transportation for recycling. Under the Biden administration and green-friendly Democrats controlling Washington, favorable legislation and solar-friendly policy is likely. 

  3. Solving a crucial industry problem: The team has used their extensive connections to design and develop the product, with many manufacturers already expressing interest in purchasing and using the PVpallet products.  

  4. Growth potential: In addition to serving the global solar industry market, their patented product can also be used in numerous other industries, potentially becoming a transportation and logistics platform for a wide array of products.  

ISA Venture’s investment into PVpallet has allowed them to relocate their company to Iowa and establish their manufacturing partnership to bring this product to market, with an anticipated launch date later this fall. Originally based in Missouri, PVpallet decided to relocate the company to Iowa due to the immense resources available for building and scaling their company. They’re leveraging our region’s manufacturing expertise, working with Cedar Rapids-based MSI Mold Builders to develop the molds for the pallet, amongst others. 

The PVpallet team will be joining Iowa Startup Accelerator’s Scaleup program, to plug them into Iowa’s startup community and support them on their entrepreneurial journey. 

Here’s a short video of an early prototype showing how the product will work: