Retailer Harvey Norman is entering the domestic solar panel market and has placed an initial order for 5 megawatts of panels from the Californian manufacturer Westingouse Solar.

Beginning in 2001, Westinghouse Solar pioneered the concept of integrating the racking, wiring and grounding directly into the solar panel. In 2009, the company introduced the first integrated AC solar panel, reducing the number of components for a rooftop solar installation by approximately 80% and lowering labour costs by approximately 50%.

In February, the Australian renewable energy company, CBD Energy Ltd, agreed to buy Westinghouse Solar Inc. The merger, which is not yet completed, will give CBD shareholders 85% of the combined company with the present owners of Westinghouse Solar holding the rest.

The Harvey Norman order is greater than the total output of Westinghouse Solar during the whole of 2011.