North Coast Solar Stocks

January 31, 2008

EMCORE Corporation Enters Into A Multi-Year Agreement To Supply Solar Concentrator Photovoltaic Systems for Utility Scale Power Projects In The Southwestern US

Filed under: EMKR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 9:00 am

EMCORE Corporation Enters Into A Multi-Year Agreement To Supply Solar Concentrator Photovoltaic Systems for Utility Scale Power Projects In The Southwestern US
EMCORE signs a memorandum of understanding with SunPeak Solar to supply up to 700 megawatt over multiple years

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, January 31, 2008 — EMCORE Corporation (EMKR), a leading provider of compound semiconductor-based components and subsystems for the broadband, fiber optic, satellite, and terrestrial solar power markets, announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding for the supply of between 200 MW and 700 MW of solar power systems that are scheduled for deployment in utility scale solar power projects under development in the southwestern region of the United States. EMCORE will supply and install turnkey solar power systems utilizing EMCORE’s concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) systems developed at its Albuquerque, NM facility. The project developer, SunPeak Solar, is securing land and grid access throughout 2008 and project construction is expected to begin in early 2009. The principals of SunPeak Solar have been successful developers of wind power projects in North America and Europe in the past decade, are well funded through the sale of certain wind power assets, and are now turning their attention to large-scale terrestrial solar energy projects in the US.

This agreement is not expected to contribute revenues until 2009 and is dependant on the renewal of the federal investment tax credit (ITC) extending into 2009 and beyond.

David Rennie, CEO of SunPeak Solar, stated “We have conducted comprehensive research on different technologies and products, including concentrating solar thermal and various solar photovoltaic solutions, and concluded that the solar CPV represents the best solution based on the project requirement and our experience. CPV is our preferred technology in many locations throughout the desert southwest. CPV has the advantage of requiring very little water during operation and CPV systems can be installed with minimal impact on the desert environment. We are very impressed that EMCORE has thought through the complete system and what is needed for successful deployments on a large scale.” Mr. Rennie also added, “We are pleased to partner with EMCORE to ensure the capacity and cost requirements for these projects as EMCORE is the only vertically integrated CPV product provider and has the capacity and commitment for such projects. And we are encouraging our congressional delegation to extend the investment tax credit for renewables, which was left out of the recent energy bill, and keep the U.S. competitive in renewable energy policy with the rest of the world.”

“We are very pleased to expand our deployment of utility-scale solar power systems in support of SunPeak Solar’s projects,” said Earl Fuller, Vice President and General Manager of EMCORE’s Solar Power Systems division. “EMCORE’s CPV systems are optimized for the lowest cost-per-watt of any utility-scale photovoltaic power system. The use of our gallium arsenide based multi-junction solar cells has the added advantage of retaining high efficiency even in the hot summers in the desert southwest. EMCORE is committed to continuous improvement on the performance of terrestrial solar cells and the cost structure of the CPV system”, added Mr. Fuller.

EMCORE’s CPV systems are powered by our industry leading high-efficiency compound semiconductor-based multi-junction solar cells that operate with 500x concentration to provide a lower cost-per-watt than competing technologies. CPV improves the performance of compound semiconductor-based solar cells, avoids the supply constraint that currently exists with silicon-based solar modules, and provides a lower cost-per-watt. EMCORE’s continued investment in high-efficiency CPV systems for utility-scale photovoltaic power systems will enable the development of a new alternative energy resource worldwide.

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Hoku Scientific Announces 3-Year Extension on SANYO Electric Polysilicon Supply Contract

Filed under: HOKU — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 8:00 am

Thursday January 31, 8:00 am ET

SANYO to Pay Hoku Up to Approximately $530 Million Over 10 Years

POCATELLO, ID–(MARKET WIRE)–Jan 31, 2008 — Hoku Materials, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU), established to manufacture and sell polysilicon for the solar market, today announced that it has amended its polysilicon supply contract with SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. to increase the term of the contract from seven to ten years. Total amounts that may be payable to Hoku Materials under the contract have increased from up to approximately $371 million for the seven year contract, to up to approximately $530 million for the amended ten year contract. Hoku Materials and SANYO also agreed to extend to May 31, 2008 the date on which either party may terminate the supply agreement if Hoku Materials is unable to complete the financing for its polysilicon production plant. The amendment also extends the dates when SANYO may terminate the agreement if Hoku Materials is unable to complete the various polysilicon production, testing, process implementation, and shipment milestones. In addition, under the amended contract, Hoku Materials will start shipments to SANYO by the beginning of 2010; however, the agreement provides that Hoku Materials may ship product to SANYO in 2009.

“Our continuing commitment of capital to the design and engineering of our plant, and to the purchase of long lead-time items such as the reactors, has enabled us to stay on schedule for first commercial product deliveries in the first half of 2009,” said Dustin Shindo, Chief Executive Officer of Hoku Scientific. “This Amendment provides us with added cushion in our construction and ramp up schedule, which improves the certainty and progress of the overall project. We remain very pleased with the strength of our relationship with SANYO, as evidenced by SANYO’s extension of the contract from seven to ten years.”

January 28, 2008

Wal-Mart Stores and SunPower Announce Solar Power Pilot Project in California

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 10:00 am

CHINO, Calif., Jan 28, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) and SunPower Corporation (SPWR), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced completion of a 390-kilowatt solar power system at the Sam’s Club store in Chino. The store is the first of seven Wal-Mart facilities in California to receive high-efficiency SunPower solar power systems, totaling 4.6 megawatts, and is part of a major purchase of solar power from SunPower and other solar power providers for approximately 22 Wal-Mart stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers in Hawaii and California. The stores included in the pilot project are expected to achieve savings over their current utility rates as soon as the first day of operation.

“We are very pleased with SunPower’s progress on the Chino solar project,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, vice president of energy for Wal-Mart. “Wal-Mart is moving forward with its commitment to conserve energy, reduce energy costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions — and this project is a step in the right direction.”

“Leading companies like Wal-Mart are turning to solar power because it makes good business sense and supports their environmental initiatives,” said Tom Werner, chief executive officer of SunPower. “Wal-Mart’s SunPower solar power systems are financed through our SunPower Access(TM) program, which is a power purchase agreement that allows our customers to take advantage of the environmental and financial benefits of solar power with no upfront capital costs. The solar electricity will be competitively priced against retail rates, providing Wal-Mart with a long-term hedge against rising peak power prices.”

Each solar power generating system installed may vary, but on average it can provide up to 30 percent of the power for the store on which it is installed. “By Wal-Mart’s estimates, installing the solar power systems will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8,000-10,000 metric tons per year,” said David Ozment, director of energy for Wal-Mart. The solar power pilot project is a major step toward Wal-Mart’s goal of being supplied 100 percent by renewable energy.

On the roof of Wal-Mart’s Chino store, SunPower installed the proprietary SunPower(R) T-10 solar roof tile, which tilts at a 10-degree angle to increase energy capture. SunPower solar panels, which are 50 percent more efficient than conventional solar panels, are used to maximize power generation and financial savings, especially on rooftops with constrained space.

Global Solar claims 10 percent efficiency for thin-film

Filed under: none — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 4:56 am

By David Ehrlich
Published January 28, 2008 – 4:56am

Tuscon, Ariz.-based Global Solar Energy announced today that its thin-film solar cells hit a milestone, reaching an average of 10 percent efficiency.

The company said its copper indium gallium diselenide cells achieved the efficiency over several production runs.

“This is the culmination of three full years of being in production and evolving our proprietary production techniques to continuously improve the efficiency and output of our production,” said Jeffrey Britt, VP of technology at Global Solar.

Global Solar said it hit the milestone in December, capping off a year in which it said it also manufactured and shipped 4 megawatts of photovoltaic material for commercial, government, military and consumer products.

Last year, the thin-film solar cell maker passed U.S. military tests, receiving MILSTD-810E certification.

The barrage of tests on the company’s P3 Portable Power Pack included immersion, vibration, and high and low temperature storage.

“Government, commercial and consumer demand for renewable-energy products and building materials are growing at a fast pace, thereby putting pressure on CIGS producers and other types of solar manufacturers to deliver high-efficiency products that are flexible-lightweight and lower cost per watt installed,” said Mike Gering, CEO of Global Solar.

The company said it started production of its CIGS thin-film solar cells on a flexible substrate in 2004.

January 24, 2008

SunPower Reports Fourth-Quarter and Year-End 2007 Results

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 8:00 am

– 2007 revenue of $774.8 million, up 227.6 percent year-on-year

– Q4 2007 revenue of $224.3 million, up 201.1 percent year-on-year

– Solar Solutions acquisition expands market position in Italy

– 14 megawatt Nellis AFB solar system completed: largest in North America

– 60 megawatts booked by SunPower Systems for solar power plants in Spain

– $200 million Project Finance Facility closed with Morgan Stanley for U.S. systems

– 8 megawatt GE Energy Financial Services financing closed serving five U.S. customers

– Fab 2 and second solar panel manufacturing facility achieve scale economies

– Next-generation T20 Trackers delivered to 18 MW Olivenza project in Spain

– First polysilicon received from DC Chemical in January 2008

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan 24, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall / — SunPower Corporation (SPWR) today announced financial results for the fourth quarter 2007, which ended December 30, 2007. This press release contains both GAAP and non- GAAP financial information. Non-GAAP figures are reconciled to the closest GAAP equivalent figures on the final page of this press release.

Revenue for the 2007 fourth quarter was $224.3 million, down 4.3 percent from prior-quarter revenue of $234.3 million and up 201.1 percent from year- ago fourth-quarter revenue of $74.5 million. The Components segment accounted for $100.4 million of fourth-quarter revenue, a 31.1 percent increase from prior-quarter revenue of $76.6 million. The Systems segment accounted for $123.9 million of fourth-quarter revenue, a 21.4 percent decrease from prior- quarter revenue of $157.7 million. Third-quarter 2007 revenue was significantly influenced by large scheduled project installations, particularly the Nellis Air Force Base project. 2007 fourth-quarter revenue growth, compared to the fourth quarter of 2006, was primarily driven by continued strong demand for SunPower products and systems across market segments and channels. For reporting purposes, the Systems segment generally represents products and services sold directly to the system owner, while the Components segment represents primarily products sold to installers and resellers. Additionally, both SunPower and third-party solar panels sold through the Systems segment channels are recorded as Systems segment revenue.

On a GAAP basis, SunPower reported total operating income of $11.2 million and diluted net income per share of $0.06. These figures include non-cash operating expenses for amortization of purchase accounting intangible assets of $7.1 million and non-cash, stock-based compensation of $14.0 million. Fourth quarter 2007 GAAP results also include a non-cash charge of $8.2 million representing the write-off of unamortized debt issuance costs related to the issuance of SunPower’s convertible debentures which became convertible in the first fiscal quarter of 2008 starting December 31, 2007. This also resulted in the reclassification of the convertible debentures from long-term to current liabilities as of December 30, 2007.

On a non-GAAP basis, adjusted to exclude non-cash charges for amortization of intangible assets, stock-based compensation, write-off of unamortized debt issuance costs, and the related tax effects, SunPower reported total operating income of $32.4 million and diluted net income per share of $0.39. This compares with prior-quarter total operating income of $27.0 million and $0.33 diluted net income per share.

Also on a non-GAAP basis, SunPower reported total gross margin for the fourth quarter 2007 of 25.3 percent, compared with total gross margin of 20.4 percent in the prior quarter. Fourth-quarter non-GAAP total gross margin was influenced by the higher gross margin in the Systems segment, which achieved gross margin of 26.8 percent, while the Components segment reported gross margin of 23.4 percent.

“SunPower achieved record operating results again in the fourth quarter of 2007,” said Tom Werner, SunPower’s CEO. “SunPower’s investments in channel development, brand building, technology, and people yielded great results this quarter. We have purposefully chosen to vertically integrate and build a portfolio of customer segments, channels and applications to leverage our proprietary high-performance solar technology. Our brand and technology platforms improve our response time to new market opportunities and limit our individual market risk. Upstream we have also followed a portfolio strategy, developing a diversified set of silicon suppliers from polysilicon to ingots and wafers. We believe that our scale and flexibility places SunPower on the leading edge of the cost reduction roadmap as we address a rapidly evolving market.

(more…)

January 23, 2008

SunPower Finalizes Acquisition of Solar Solutions

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 10:00 am

SunPower Expands its Presence into the Italian Market

Italian Version of Press Release

GENEVA, Jan. 23, 2008 – SunPower Corporation (SPWR), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced it has completed its acquisition of Solar Solutions, a solar systems integration and product distribution company based in Faenza, Italy.

Solar Solutions, now renamed SunPower Italia , offers turnkey solar power systems and standard system kits via a network of dealers throughout Italy.

“With this acquisition now completed, we look forward to expanding SunPower’s dealer network into the rapidly growing Italian market,” said Marco Northland, general manager of SunPower’s European Operations. “The strong reputation established by Solar Solutions, coupled with SunPower’s recognized business systems and skill sets, will support our rapid expansion in Italy.

“With high electricity prices and government incentives, now is the perfect time for SunPower to expand its presence in Italy,” said Luca Bandini, general manager of SunPower Italia s.r.l. “SunPower Italia offers high-efficiency solar solutions to residential and commercial customers through our existing dealer network, and provides an enhanced in-country footprint to address the rapidly-growing Italian solar power plant segment as a turnkey system provider.”

Energy Conversion Devices Announces Supply Agreement with AirTec for 25 MW of UNI-SOLAR(R) Photovoltaic Laminates

Filed under: ENER — Tags: , , — Jason @ 10:00 am

Order is part of United Solar’s continued penetration of the fast-growing South Korean solar market

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich., Jan 23, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — United Solar Ovonic LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ENER) (ECD), announced today that it has entered into an agreement with South Korea’s AirTec System Co., Ltd. (AirTec) for 25MW of UNI-SOLAR(R) brand thin-film laminates for integration into large-scale power projects. Under the terms of the agreement, AirTec will take delivery of the UNI-SOLAR laminates during calendar years 2008 and 2009 primarily for medium- to large- scale ground-mounted solar power plants and large-scale rooftop and building- integrated applications in a number of recently awarded projects in South Korea. The agreement with AirTec is structured on a “take-or-pay” basis.

“We continue to increase our presence in the South Korean solar market, one of the fastest growing photovoltaic markets in the world,” commented Mark Morelli, ECD’s president and CEO. “The Korean market clearly endorses the unique value proposition offered by our UNI-SOLAR products for rooftop systems where our product features a cost-effective solution.”

UNI-SOLAR laminates offer superior cost-effective solutions for roofing applications because they are lightweight, durable, flexible, can be integrated directly with building materials, and generate more energy in real- world conditions. They are, for example, three to five times lighter than conventional solar modules (which use glass), offering an ideal solution for low-load bearing roof applications. UNI-SOLAR laminates can be installed without any structural changes or penetrations to the roof, and provide superior wind and seismic load performance compared with conventional solar modules. UNI-SOLAR laminates do not require polysilicon, a key raw material for conventional PV products.

EMCORE Receives Additional Orders To Supply Spanish Market With Its Concentrator Solar Photovoltaic Components And Systems

Filed under: EMKR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 10:00 am

EMCORE Receives Additional Orders To Supply Spanish Market With Its Concentrator Solar Photovoltaic Components And Systems Contract awards in Spain total approximately $18 million over the next 15 months

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, January 23, 2008 — EMCORE Corporation (EMKR), a leading provider of compound semiconductor-based components and subsystems for the broadband, fiber optic, satellite, and terrestrial solar power markets, announced today that it will supply its world-leading solar Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) components and systems to the Spanish market through several agreements.

In November 2007, EMCORE was awarded a 300-kilowatt (kW) CPV system contract by Spain’s Institute of Concentrator Photovoltaics Systems (ISFOC). Established in 2006, the ISFOC is to be the center of reference on the power, reliability, and productivity of commercial CPV systems. EMCORE will have its CPV systems installed in Castilla-La Mancha, Spain by December 2008.

In January 2008, EMCORE reached an agreement to construct an 850-kW solar power park in Extremadura, Spain. EMCORE will be utilizing its CPV solar power system and provide a turn-key solution with a scope of work including engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC). This project will be completed before July 2008 in order to take advantage of the current high feed-in tariff. The success of this project will help EMCORE to build heritage as an EPC contractor in Spain.

Already recognized as a leading supplier of CPV solar cell and receiver components, EMCORE recently received a purchase order for one million CPV components from a prominent CPV system integrator. This order is expected to be completed by March 2009 with CPV products being deployed in projects within the Spanish market.

“These purchase orders from various customers mark the acceptance of our CPV technology and product solutions as high-performance and low-cost solar power system in the Spanish market, and represent a success for our business development efforts in Spain. We expect additional and larger contracts from Spain once the new feed-in tariff settles,” said Dr. Hong Hou, President and Chief Operating Officer of EMCORE. “The CPV solution is still in the early growth stages. As the world’s primary supplier of CPV components, we expect to grow our CPV business dramatically as the market is more developed and deployed,” added Dr. Hou.

EMCORE’s CPV solar cells are designed with high-efficiency compound semiconductor-based triple-junction solar cells. EMCORE obtained a 39% peak conversion efficiency under 1000x concentration in August 2007. EMCORE is supplying CPV solar cells and receivers in volume to more than twenty different customers worldwide, and as previously announced, EMCORE already has plans to supply its CPV systems to Canadian and Korean markets as well. EMCORE continues to invest in advancing the solar cell technology to a projected efficiency of greater than 45% by 2010. EMCORE’s CPV systems are powered by its industry leading solar cells that operate with a 500x concentration to provide a lower cost-per-watt than competing technologies.

Spire Semiconductor Announces Solar Concentrator Cells

Filed under: SPIR — Tags: , — Jason @ 9:00 am

Spire Semiconductor to Provide CPV System Manufacturers with Dedicated Design, Development and Production Capacity for Custom GaAs Solar Concentrator Cells

BEDFORD, Mass. — Spire Corporation (SPIR), a global solar company providing turnkey solar factories and capital equipment to manufacture photovoltaic modules worldwide, today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Spire Semiconductor, will provide dedicated, large-scale contract design and manufacturing capabilities to manufacturers of solar concentrator cells within its 50,000 square foot facility in Hudson, New Hampshire. Spire Semiconductor develops and manufactures custom high-efficiency gallium arsenide (GaAs) solar cells and specializes in high-end wafer epitaxy, foundry services, thin film products, and device fabrication for the defense, biomedical, telecommunications and consumer products markets.

“We want manufacturers and system integrators to know that they have a strong partner in Spire Semiconductor,” said Roger G. Little, Spire’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “That’s why we developed this Captive Custom Capacity initiative that leverages our decades of experience and state-of-the-art facilities. We now can offer our partners the benefits of an optimized design and manufacturing process with the potential for large-scale contract production based on their individual needs.”

Spire Semiconductor operates a complete compound semiconductor device fabrication line focused on the fabrication of custom devices, as well as development, prototyping, pilot production and volume manufacturing. Custom and production wafer processing capabilities at Spire Semiconductor range from prototype development to full production and include photolithographic processing of III-V cell structures and deposition of broadband, dual-layer AR coatings. Spire Semiconductor maintains more than 50MW of expandable capacity on multiple Veeco E450 LDM, Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) reactors in state-of-the-art clean-room space.

“Our extensive MOCVD experience and capabilities enable us to grow a wide variety of GaAs and InP epitaxial structures,” said Edward D. Gagnon, general manager of Spire Semiconductor. “Throughout our history, we’ve recognized that time-to-market is critical to our customers’ success and with this new initiative, we have committed to providing the fastest turnaround times possible. With decades of experience in the field, our epitaxy engineers work closely with customers to assure that every wafer meets their expectations.”

Spire’s original optoelectronics division was an early pioneer in using GaAs for both concentrator solar arrays and space system solar cells. Spire developed and fabricated GaAs solar cells with record levels of efficiency as early as 1985. It has recently been awarded research contracts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Energy and the Air Force to develop advanced GaAs cells for both terrestrial and outer space applications and is offering its custom solar-cell solutions to solar system integrators around the world.

January 22, 2008

Hoku Scientific, Inc. Reports Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2008 Results

Filed under: HOKU, SOLF — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 4:05 pm

Tuesday January 22, 4:05 pm ET

KAPOLEI, HI–(MARKET WIRE)–Jan 22, 2008 — Hoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU)

Highlights:
— Hoku signs major polysilicon sales contract with Solarfun Power Hong
Kong Limited
— Hoku announces plans to increase size of polysilicon plant to 3,500 MT
per year
— Hoku signs non-binding letter of intent for debt financing with
Merrill Lynch
— Hoku successfully completes Paradise Beverages and Bank of Hawaii
photovoltaic systems installations

Hoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU), a materials science company focused on clean energy technologies, today announced its financial results for its third quarter ended December 31, 2007 and provided a general update on its business.

Revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2007 was $1.3 million compared to $1.1 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2006. Revenue for the nine months ended December 31, 2007 was $2.6 million compared to $4.2 million for the nine months ended December 31, 2006. The decrease in revenue for the nine months ended December 31, 2007 compared to the same period in 2006 was primarily due to the completion of the Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. contracts in 2006 and no similar contracts in 2007. The decrease was offset by the recognition of revenue from photovoltaic, or PV, systems installations during the three months ended December 31, 2007. Deferred revenue of $355,000 at December 31, 2007 was attributable to contracts related to PV systems installations while deferred revenue of $990,000 at March 31, 2007 was attributable to contracts with the U.S. Navy, which were completed in August 2007.

Net loss, computed in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, for the quarter ended December 31, 2007 was $538,000, or $0.03 per diluted share, compared to $1.3 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, for the same quarter in 2006. Net loss, computed in accordance with GAAP, for the nine months ended December 31, 2007 was $2.2 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, compared to $635,000, or $0.04 per diluted share, for the same period in 2006.

Non-GAAP net loss for the quarter ended December 31, 2007 was $274,000, or $0.01 per diluted share, compared to $1.0 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, for the same quarter in 2006. The non-GAAP net losses for the quarters ended December 31, 2007 and 2006 exclude non-cash stock-based compensation of $264,000 and $212,000, respectively. Non-GAAP net loss for the nine months ended December 31, 2007 was $1.3 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $0, or $0.00 per diluted share, for the same period in 2006. Non-GAAP net loss for the nine months ended December 31, 2007 and net income for the nine months ended December 31, 2006 exclude non-cash stock-based compensation of $876,000 and $635,000, respectively. The accompanying schedules provide a reconciliation of net loss and net loss per share computed on a GAAP basis to net loss and net loss per share computed on a non-GAAP basis.

Dustin Shindo, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hoku Scientific, said, “We continue to make steady progress in our Hoku Solar and Hoku Materials businesses. To begin with, we signed a new polysilicon sales contract with Solarfun for approximately $306 million in polysilicon product shipments. We now have contracted future revenue with four leading solar companies from the sale of up to $1.5 billion of polysilicon over a seven to ten year period.

(more…)

Hawaiian Electric & Hoku Solar Move Ahead on Photovoltaic Project

Filed under: HOKU — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 8:05 am

Tuesday January 22, 8:05 am ET

Installation Will Be Among Largest Single-Site Sun-to-Energy Units on Oahu

HONOLULU, HI–(MARKET WIRE)–Jan 22, 2008 — Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) has filed an application with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to enter into a contract with Hoku Solar, Inc., a subsidiary of Hoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU), to purchase electricity generated by a photovoltaic (PV) power system that Hoku Solar would install.

If approved by the PUC, the system will be installed on the roof of Archer Substation at Hawaiian Electric’s Ward Avenue facility and will be rated at a minimum 167 kilowatts, one of the largest single-site PV systems on Oahu to date.

Hawaiian Electric issued a request for proposals in March 2007 and after selection of Hoku Solar, entered into formal energy purchase negotiations. The final agreement is now subject to review and approval by the commission.

Hoku Solar, a Hawaii-based company that designs, engineers, and installs turnkey PV power systems, will own and operate the system and charge Hawaiian Electric for the power generated at a fixed rate over 20 years.

This long-term, fixed energy pricing is consistent with the recent direction for Hawaiian Electric to secure renewable energy at a cost not tied to oil prices and is possible since PV is among technologies not facing costs for fuel which may vary from year to year. The utility will have an option to purchase the system from Hoku after five years. The installation is expected to be in service in 2008.

Dustin Shindo, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hoku Scientific, said, “Solar electricity makes sense in Hawaii. The agreement between Hawaiian Electric and Hoku Solar sets a great example for other businesses on how to install a PV system without incurring upfront costs in order to lock in a long-term electricity rate and support renewables. We look forward to completing this project for HECO.”

“We are pleased to be working with Hoku Solar, one of Hawaii’s leading clean energy technology companies,” said Dave Waller, Hawaiian Electric vice president for customer solutions. “There is a tremendous upsurge in photovoltaic energy worldwide, including in Hawaii. Hawaiian Electric has had demonstration projects and continues to promote Sun Power for Schools, but this will be our first utility-sited, larger-scale commercial PV project. With increased concern about energy prices and security, PV and other renewables can reduce Hawaii’s dependence on imported oil and help protect our environment.”

Campbell Company and Hoku Solar Plan to Build Oahu’s Largest Solar Farm

Filed under: HOKU — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 8:00 am

Tuesday January 22, 8:00 am ET

KAPOLEI, HI–(MARKET WIRE)–Jan 22, 2008 — The James Campbell Company has signed an agreement with Hoku Solar, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU), to plan a Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park which would be the largest photovoltaic (PV) facility on Oahu.

The Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park would be capable of generating approximately 1.5 megawatts of photovoltaic power. Over the life of the system, it would produce enough electricity to power approximately 6,700 homes for one year. This solar facility is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating 38,161 tons of carbon dioxide and saving 120,000 barrels of oil over 25 years. The solar facility will be located in the planned Kapolei Harborside industrial project on a 12-acre parcel owned by the Campbell Company next to the James Campbell Industrial Park.

The facility is part of a larger effort by the Campbell Company and Kapolei Property Development to make Kapolei a model for sustainable development. “We are fully committed to building Kapolei as a sustainable city and we look forward to working with Hoku on this innovative project,” said Campbell Company President and CEO Steve MacMillan. “This is just one of many steps we have been and will be taking to actively reduce Kapolei’s carbon footprint. We intend to do more to make Kapolei ‘green’ and are currently looking at additional sites in Kapolei that would be suitable for alternative energy projects.”

The Campbell Company has a long history of supporting sustainable growth since both Kapolei’s urban design plan and Kapolei’s role as Oahu’s next major job center promote the wise use of energy and the conservation of natural resources. Sustainable principles in practice at Kapolei include green, energy-efficient buildings, a dual water system, and an urban design plan that encourages walking and biking.

“We applaud James Campbell Company’s vision and commitment to sustainability in Hawaii,” said Dustin Shindo, chairman, president and CEO of Hoku Scientific. “We look forward to working with them as we pursue the solar farm concept.”

“This is the kind of leadership and innovation that places Kapolei in the vanguard of sustainability,” said Mayor Mufi Hannemann. “The plan has the enormous potential of making our island home sustainable and self-sufficient for future generations, which has been one of my top priorities as mayor.”

“The future is clean energy,” Lt. Governor Aiona said. “This solar facility will help capitalize on Kapolei’s natural resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency and protect the environment. That’s progress we can all support.”

The agreement is non-binding on Hoku or the Campbell Company, and subject to various conditions and government approvals related to the capped, former hazardous waste pile area on the site. The State Department of Health has oversight on the property and will be reviewing the concept to determine revised permit conditions. DOH is excited about the idea of transforming the property into a model for future renewable energy projects.

“This proposed solar facility has the potential of providing significant environmental benefits and we look forward to working with Campbell and Hoku on this promising project,” says Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Director for the Hawaii State Department of Health.

Hoku Solar provides turnkey photovoltaic system installations in Hawaii for commercial and residential applications. As the project developer and owner, Hoku Solar would be responsible for designing, engineering, financing, procuring, installing and operating the solar facility.

Hoku and Campbell are exploring various alternative uses for the electricity generated by the solar facility, which may include selling the generated power to adjacent commercial users. The Campbell Company plans to assist Hoku in marketing the availability of this power, and will work with Hoku to complete a ground lease for the 12-acre parcel. Contingent on the necessary approvals and agreements, Hoku and the Campbell Company plan to have the system installed by the end of this year.

“This is another positive step in diversifying our energy supply with renewable resources like the sun,” said Lynne Unemori, Hawaiian Electric vice president of Corporate Relations. “This large PV project and many others we know are in the planning stages confirm our view that with everyone working together, we can gain more energy security for Hawaii.”

January 18, 2008

Emcore Corp. Entry

Filed under: EMKR — Tags: , — Jason @ 12:00 am

EMKR – EMCORE Corp.

Entry Price $10.49  1/18/08

Stop Loss $7.00  Hit 3/18/08

Loss of $3.49 or 33%

January 17, 2008

M.SETEK to sell JA Solar more silicon

Filed under: JASO — Tags: , , — Jason @ 8:50 am

January 17, 2008 8:50 AM ET

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – Solar-power product maker JA Solar Holdings Co. said Thursday that M.SETEK Co. has agreed to provide it with an additional 458 metric tons (505 tons) of polysilicon this year.

JA Solar did not disclose financial terms of the agreement, which is additional to the existing supply agreement between the two companies.

“This latest supply agreement gives us added confidence in our ability to meet demand levels from new and existing customers,” Chief Executive Samuel Yang said in a statement.

LDK Solar Signs a 10-Year Agreement for the Supply of Wafers to Neo Solar Power

Filed under: LDK — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 8:00 am

Xinyu City, China and Sunnyvale, CA, January 17, 2008 – LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (LDK), a leading manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers, announced today that it has signed a ten-year contract to supply multicrystalline solar wafers to rapidly growing Taiwan-based Neo Solar Power Corp. (NSP).

Under the terms of the agreement,LDK will receive a cash deposit from NSP and pricing will be fixed for the entire contract period. During this period, LDK Solar will deliver approximately 500 MW multicrystalline solar wafers to NSP with delivery commencing in 2009.

“We are very pleased to expand our partnership with NSP through this additional wafer supply contract,” stated Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and CEO.“As a key supplier to NSP, LDK Solar is proud to contribute to their manufacturing of high-quality solar cells.”

“We are excited to further develop our working relationship with LDK,” commented Dr. Quincy Lin, Vice Chairman and CEO of NSP.“As NSP continues to grow, establishing longer term silicon supply agreements is important to the company, and we are pleased to work with LDK Solar, an industry leader.”

January 16, 2008

SunPower Signs 2500 MW of Polysilicon Agreements

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 7:00 am

New Polysilicon Plant in Saudi Arabia to Support SunPower Agreements

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan 16, 2008 /PRNewswire/ — SunPower Corporation (SPWR), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced that it has signed two polysilicon agreements to be supplied by a new polysilicon plant located in Saudi Arabia. The two agreements will support in aggregate 2500 megawatts of solar cell production.

SunPower signed a polysilicon purchase agreement with NorSun AS and another with NorSun and its partners who are forming a joint venture company to construct a new polysilicon plant in Saudi Arabia. Each agreement anticipates polysilicon delivery to begin in 2010 and extend through 2019.

“SunPower continues to develop new sources of polysilicon,” said PM Pai, chief operations officer of SunPower Corp. “We are building a diverse portfolio of intermediate and long-term silicon supply contracts that support SunPower’s cost reduction roadmap. Economies of scale in our supply chain, manufacturing and channel development will drive down installed solar system costs by 50 percent by 2012.”

Applied Materials sees solar mkt growing 30 pct/yr

Filed under: AMAT — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:11 am

Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:11am EST

Sees solar power equipment market growing at 30 pct annually * Hopes to boost staff in solar unit despite cutback plan

By Sophie Taylor

SHENZHEN, China, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Applied Materials Inc (AMAT), the world’s top supplier of tools for making microchips, sees the global solar power equipment market growing at 30 percent over the next few years, a senior executive said on Wednesday.

Declining production costs, high oil prices and government incentives would likely drive that growth and create jobs in the industry, Charles Gay, vice president of Applied Materials’ solar business group, said on the sidelines of a solar technology conference in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

“We generally are looking at growth rates on the order of about 30 percent per year,” said Gay, a graduate of the University of California, Riverside.

“The convergence of costs coming down rapidly … enable the much lower cost of this technology to become commercially viable and achievable.”

A greater awareness of climate change had fostered government policies, encouraging the use of clean energies like solar, he said.

“Capping that is terrific job creation opportunities that go with these technologies,” Gay added.

Santa Clara, California-based Applied Materials, which competes with Swiss technology group Oerlikon, sees its new solar power production lines as a key growth driver and a way of offsetting the decline in revenue from semiconductors.

On Tuesday, it said that it would reduce its workforce by 7 percent, or 1,000 jobs, affecting its semiconductor equipment and services businesses. The move is expected to result in annual savings of about $150 million for the company.

But Gay struck an upbeat note on the potential for increasing staff in Applied Material’s solar business, whose employees mainly come from previous acquisitions and internal transfers.

“A lot of the growth in the staffing of our solar group has been by employee transitions from other parts of the company into solar,” he said.

“That’s really been an enabler for us to build up the business as rapidly as we have, and I expect that if we continue to progress the way we have, we can continue to create the sorts of opportunities for job transition within the company.”

Around 700 people at Applied Materials are involved in solar, Gay said, but declined to give a forecast for how that headcount might grow in future and said it depended on the company’s customers.

Applied Materials’ solar business, which includes producing the equipment to make solar modules — panels of solar cells that can be used to power street lights or water heaters — is still “very small” compared to the company’s overall revenue, Gay said, without giving an exact figure.

Applied Materials has also introduced manufacturing lines that produce thin-film silicon solar modules, that can reduce costs of large installations by more than 20 percent.

Advances in lower-cost production methods and greater efficiency in power generation will eventually translate into cells that can produce electricity at rates competitive with traditional fossil fuels.

Last November, Applied Materials said it would pay 225 million euros to buy Italy’s Baccini in a move to expand the company’s growing role in solar energy cell production.

It has said that it had signed more than $700 million worth of solar contracts in 2007.

Gay declined to give an estimate for 2008, adding that there would be more visibility once its solar business had become more developed.

“We’re still in the growth period here,” he said.

January 14, 2008

Hoku Solar Completes PV Installations for Hawaii’s Coors and Miller Beer Distributor

Filed under: HOKU — Tags: , , — Jason @ 4:05 pm

Monday January 14, 4:05 pm ET

KAPOLEI, HI–(MARKET WIRE)–Jan 14, 2008 — Hoku Solar, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU) established to design, engineer and install photovoltaic (PV) power systems, today announced that it has completed the installation of two turnkey PV power systems for Paradise Beverages, Inc. at its Kailua-Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii, and Lihue, Kauai, facilities, respectively. Combined, the systems include approximately 100 kilowatts of PV panels, and are expected to produce over 150,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.

Paradise Beverages is the Hawaii distributor for Coors, Heineken, Corona, and Miller products, and it consumes a significant amount of electricity to operate its refrigerated and temperature controlled warehouses. Rising utility rates have motivated them to find ways to reduce their electricity costs.

“With soaring energy prices in Hawaii, particularly on the islands of Hawaii and Kauai, our partnership with Hoku Solar couldn’t have come at a better time. These systems will save us money and make a positive impact on the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Gordon Usui, Chief Financial Officer for Paradise Beverages.

“We applaud Paradise Beverages’ commitment to the environment and reducing Hawaii’s dependence on oil,” said Dustin Shindo, Chief Executive Officer of Hoku Scientific. “With the completion of these commercial installations, Hoku Solar continues to demonstrate its capabilities as a PV systems integrator, and its commitment to the Hawaii PV market.”

PV systems are a sensible way to utilize unused roof space to reduce energy costs and environmental impact. Hoku Solar offers turnkey PV solutions in Hawaii, providing design, engineering, financing, and installation services.

Paradise Beverages’ PV systems are expected to produce enough electricity over their lifetime to power the equivalent of 330 homes for one year and offset 2,300 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

About Hoku Scientific, Inc.

Hoku Scientific, Inc. (NasdaqGM:HOKU – News) is a diversified clean energy technologies company with three business units: Hoku Materials, Hoku Solar and Hoku Fuel Cells. Hoku Materials plans to manufacture, market, and sell polysilicon for the solar market from its plant currently under construction in Pocatello, Idaho. Hoku Solar is a provider of turnkey photovoltaic systems in Hawaii. Hoku Fuel Cells has developed proprietary fuel cell membranes and membrane electrode assemblies for stationary and automotive proton exchange membrane fuel cells. For more information visit http://www.hokuscientific.com.

January 10, 2008

Spire Corporation Provides Strategic Update on Solar Expansion

Filed under: SPIR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 5:00 pm

Expanded Manufacturing Facility Provides Annual Revenue Potential of $200 Million; Company Projects Approximately $80 Million in Total Revenues for 2008

BEDFORD, Mass. — Spire Corporation (SPIR), a global solar company providing turnkey solar factories and capital equipment to manufacture photovoltaic modules worldwide, today announced that its recent 53,000 square foot solar manufacturing facility expansion, together with its refocused Spire Semiconductor solar-cell concentrator operations, are on track to significantly grow the company’s revenues in the solar energy and solar capital equipment markets.

The company estimates that at full capacity, its Bedford headquarters facility can produce solar capital equipment valued at approximately $200 million in annual revenues. Based upon currently contracted backlog and anticipated delivery schedules for equipment, the company projects total revenues for 2008 to be approximately $80 million, primarily generated from the sale of solar capital equipment and turnkey solar factories.

“We’re in the midst of a historic expansion of capacity in the solar field, with manufacturers around the globe scrambling to bring factories on line to take advantage of the coming availability of silicon solar feedstocks,” said Roger Little, Spire Corporation’s Chairman and CEO. “We’ve undertaken a dramatic increase in our facility to meet this demand, nearly doubling our manufacturing square footage and more than doubling our headcount in the past year. This expansion is progressing well and we’re on track to generate roughly $80 million in total revenues for 2008, largely on the strength of our unique ability to provide a one-stop-shop for manufacturers wanting to enter the global solar market.”

“Our newly refocused Spire Semiconductor facility also will participate in this expansion by servicing the fast-growing gallium arsenide (GaAs) concentrator solar cell market,” continued Little. “This facility alone has the capacity to produce the equivalent of approximately 50 megawatts (MW) of 500-sun concentration, high efficiency multiple-junction concentrator cells. With nearly 30 years of experience in GaAs concentrators, we expect robust growth from this operation going forward.”

About Spire Corporation

Spire Corporation is a global solar company providing turnkey production lines and capital equipment to manufacture photovoltaic modules worldwide. The company’s Spire Solar subsidiary is the world’s leading supplier of turnkey photovoltaic manufacturing lines and module manufacturing equipment. Spire Semiconductor, formerly Bandwidth Semiconductor, develops and manufactures custom gallium arsenide solar cells and other related products for the commercial, biomedical and defense markets. The company’s Spire Biomedical subsidiary is a leader in hemodialysis catheters and implantable device processing services.

For corporate or product information, contact Spire Corporation, “the turnkey solar factory company,” at 781-275-6000, or visit http://www.spirecorp.com.

January 8, 2008

Energy bill troubles solar industry

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 5:00 pm

January 8, 2008 5:00 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – The omission of renewed investment tax credits for solar energy in the wide-sweeping energy bill signed by President Bush late last month has put the future health of the U.S. solar power industry in question.

The bill includes more stringent mandates for fuel economy and energy efficiency, but it doesn’t extend the investment tax credit for companies specializing in solar power systems. That credit, which amounts to 30 percent of the value of qualified residential or commercial solar equipment, is set to revert to 10 percent at the end of 2008 unless it is extended.

Solar companies also lost out because the bill didn’t include a mandate that would have required utilities to produce up to 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources. More than half the states, most of them in the Northeast and on the West Coast, already have similar requirements.

A federal mandate could have bolstered the solar industry by encouraging utilities in regions such as the Southeast, where most states don’t have renewable energy standards, to buy more energy generated by the sun.

Unless the investment tax credit is renewed before the end of the year, companies that produce solar power and related technologies in the U.S. are likely to scale back or scrap existing projects and seek more business overseas, analysts say.

“There is nothing favorable in this bill for the solar industry,” said Michael Carboy, managing director and clean energy research analyst for Signal Hill Capital Group LLC, a Baltimore-based investment bank for small and midsize companies.

Because the solar investment tax credit will fall to 10 percent at the end of 2008 unless a new bill is passed, solar companies will likely rush to complete projects before the end of the year. Projects that are on shaky financial ground without the credit are likely to be abandoned, Carboy said.

“There’s going to be a mad dash,” he said. “At the margin, there are probably some projects that won’t be pursued without the tax credit.”

Sales of photovoltaic panels and other solar equipment may begin to drop off after the first quarter if the tax credit isn’t renewed, said Rhone Resch, the president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, a Washington, D.C.-based industry group. And concentrating solar power projects, which use mirrors to focus the sun’s power, require longer lead times and may go completely dormant without the credit, Resch said.

In September, SunPower Corp., a San Jose, Calif.-based manufacturer of solar cells, panels and systems, signed an agreement with Macy’s Inc. to install rooftop solar power systems on 28 stores in California. SunPower could have entered into an even wider-ranging agreement with Macy’s if it weren’t for the tax credit’s looming expiration, said Julie Blunden, SunPower’s vice president of public policy.

“Because the current tax credit only goes through the end of this year, some customers are only contracting for projects that can be completed by the end of the year,” Blunden said.

If Congress doesn’t renew the investment tax credit in 2008, some solar companies are likely to seek business opportunities overseas instead of in the United States. In Spain, for example, the government has targeted 12 percent of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2010, with 400 megawatts to come from solar-generating capacity. China also has ambitious plans for solar energy, aiming to generate and consume about 300 megawatts of solar energy by 2010.

January 7, 2008

SunPower’s solar power plant building boom

Filed under: AKNS, SPWR, STP — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 10:00 am

serpa2.jpg

Another day, another new solar power plant. At least that’s the way it seems, given SunPower’s recent spate of deals to build multi-megawatt photovoltaic solar power stations. The latest came Friday when the Silicon Valley solar panel maker announced a contract to construct an 8-megawatt solar power plant in Spain. The agreement follows a November deal for three other solar power stations in Spain totaling 21 megawatts. That in turn was preceded by an October announcement of a contract for a 18-megawatt plant in — where else — Spain.

See a pattern here? SunPower (SPWR) now has solar power plants totaling more than 100 megawatts built or under contract in Spain. Plus it constructed an 11-megawatt solar power station in neighboring Portugal and a 10-megawatt plant in Germany. It’s sole PV power plant in the United States is a 15-megawatt station at Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas.

It’s no accident that SunPower has set its sights on Spain and other European markets. Spain and Portugal, for instance, offer simple so-called feed-in-tariffs that pay solar power plant operators a premium rate — typically for 15 to 20 years — for producing renewable energy. That makes the economics of financing and building solar power plants relatively straightforward in contrast to the patchwork of short-term state and federal green energy incentives in the U.S. (Witness the current upheaval in the industry over the crucial solar investment tax credit that expires at the end of 2008, and which Congress neglected to extend in the recently enacted energy bill.)

No wonder Europe is attracting renewable energy financiers like GE Energy Financial Services (GE), which financed SunPower’s Portugal plant (pictured above). “We truly believe utility-scale solar will be an incredible opportunity,” Kevin Walsh, managing director of GE Energy Financial Services, told Green Wombat at the opening of the Portugal plant last March. (That’s not to say that companies like GE don’t see opportunity in the U.S. market. Just this morning, GE and SunPower announced that GE Energy Financial Services will finance and own five 1-to-2.4-megawatt commercial solar arrays in California being installed by SunPower for Toyota (TM), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Agilent, Lake County, and the Rancho California Water District.)

The built-in profit margin for solar in Spain and Portugal also makes photovoltaic power plants viable. PV plants are essentially residential rooftop solar arrays writ large that track the sun and convert sunlight that strikes silicon-based cells directly into electricity. But silicon is expensive and solar panels are relatively inefficient. So absent subsidies like feed-in tariffs, few PV power stations have been built in the U.S., which has focused on large-scale solar thermal power plants that use mirrors to heat water or other liquids to create steam that drives electricity-generating industrial turbines. The beauty — literally – of a PV plant is that it contains virtually no moving parts or the bulky power blocks that contain turbines and other machinery. That means they can be built closer to urban areas and used to shoulder the load from overburdened utility substations.

Even solar panel installers are striking deals overseas. Silicon Valley-based solar installer Akeena (AKNS), for instance, developed a new solar panel system called Andalay that cuts the cost of installation for homes and businesses. The company contracted with China solar panel giant Suntech (STP) to manufacture Andalay, which will also sell the panel in Europe, Japan and Australia.

GE Unit Partners with SunPower on California Solar Projects

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 9:55 am

Multi-Project Financing Agreement Streamlines Solar Power System Implementation

STAMFORD, Conn. & SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan 07, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE (GE), announced today that it is partnering with SunPower Corporation (SPWR) — a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels, and solar systems — to provide financing for five California solar power projects. The projects, totaling approximately eight megawatts, include a system for Toyota Motor Sales’ Parts Center that will be the largest single-roof solar power installation in the United States. The companies are also collaborating on solar projects for HP, Agilent and two county and regional agencies.

Formed in the spirit of GE’s ecomagination program, the joint venture streamlines the implementation of large commercial and public solar power systems. It also helps California meet the goals of the California Solar Initiative to generate 3,000 megawatts of new, solar-produced electricity by 2017.

GE Energy Financial Services is acquiring a majority equity interest in the five solar photovoltaic projects, which SunPower will design and build, operate and maintain. GE Energy Financial Services will finance and own the systems under the SunPower Access power purchase agreement program, which allows customers to take advantage of the environmental and financial benefits of solar power with no upfront capital costs. The solar electricity will be competitively priced against retail rates, providing customers a long-term hedge against rising peak power prices. Construction of the projects is scheduled to begin in February and be completed by the end of the year. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

(more…)

Spire Corporation’s Joint Venture Wins Largest Solar PV Installation for a Manufacturer in Connecticut

Filed under: SPIR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 8:30 am

Gloria Spire Solar Installing a 308kW Solar System for The Lee Company; One of the Largest Solar Projects in New England

BEDFORD, Mass. — Gloria Spire Solar, LLC, a joint venture company formed by solar industry leaders Spire Corporation (Nasdaq: SPIR) and Gloria Solar Co., Ltd., today announced that it has won a contract to design and install a 308-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) solar electric system at The Lee Company’s manufacturing facility in Westbrook, Connecticut. This is the largest solar electric system to be installed for a manufacturing company in Connecticut, and one of the largest in New England.

The system, consisting of 1,760 photovoltaic panels on the roof of the newly constructed facility, is approximately half the size of a football field, covering nearly 29,000 square feet of roof space. At peak power, the system will generate enough electricity to cleanly provide 17 percent of the manufacturing facility’s power consumption. This is equivalent to the power usage of 34 homes for one full year. In addition, this installation will eliminate the emission of 282 tons of carbon dioxide associated with combusting conventional fossil fuels.

For more than 50 years, The Lee Company has been a pioneer in the development of miniature fluid control components for aerospace and other industrial applications. The company employs nearly 800 people in Connecticut and more than 100 at its Westbrook facility. The installation of the 308-kilowatt system will play a crucial role in the company’s plans for new facilities and jobs in the area.

“We are committed to employing renewable energy sources to lower costs while reducing the environmental impact of our operations in Connecticut,” said William Lee, CFO of The Lee Company. “We chose Gloria Spire Solar because they are a recognized leader in providing turnkey solar systems and because they have the proven capability to manage the entire project from system design to installation and commissioning.”

Gloria Spire Solar has installed a variety of PV systems across the Unites States, and The Lee Company project reflects the joint venture’s current emphasis on large-scale business, government, and utility solar energy solutions.

Mark Goodreau, CEO of Gloria Spire Solar, LLC, said, “We are pleased that The Lee Company selected Gloria Spire for this substantial project. Solar is an attractive option for any company looking to utilize clean renewable energy while lowering their electricity costs. Gloria Spire Solar is unique in its ability to not only manage the entire design and installation process, but to work directly with government agencies and utilities to ensure a smooth approval process, as well as maximizing available grants, rebates, and other solar incentives.”

“This is precisely the type of project we were targeting when we formed the Gloria Spire Solar joint venture,” said Roger Little, Spire Corporation’s chairman and CEO. “Spire is dedicated to making solar energy as prolific and cost-effective as possible. The strengths and focused efforts of Spire Corporation, Gloria Solar, and Gloria Spire Solar will help us to do just that.”

The Lee Company solar energy project is made possible, in part, by a $1.2 million grant from Connecticut Innovations, which will defray approximately half of the cost of the photovoltaic system. Connecticut Innovations is a quasi-public organization dedicated to stimulating high-tech growth and clean energy initiatives.

About Gloria Spire Solar, LLC

Gloria Spire Solar is a full-service photovoltaic (PV) system integrator that provides turnkey solar solutions – everything from system design through module manufacturing, installation, commissioning, and ongoing maintenance. For more information, visit http://www.gloriaspire.com or contact us at 781-275-6000.

About Spire Corporation

Spire Corporation is a global solar company providing turnkey production lines and capital equipment to manufacture photovoltaic modules worldwide. The company’s Spire Solar subsidiary is the world’s leading supplier of turnkey photovoltaic manufacturing lines and module manufacturing equipment. Spire Semiconductor, formerly Bandwidth Semiconductor, develops and manufactures custom gallium arsenide solar cells and other related products for the commercial, biomedical and defense markets. For corporate or product information, contact Spire Corporation, “the turnkey solar factory company,” at 781-275-6000, or visit http://www.spirecorp.com.

JA Solar Announces 3-For-1 ADS Split

Filed under: JASO — Tags: — Jason @ 7:22 am

Monday January 7, 7:22 am ET

HEBEI, China, Jan. 7, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) — JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (“JA Solar,” “the Company”) (JASO) announced today that its Board of Directors has approved a change of ratio from 1 American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”): 3 Ordinary Shares, to 1 ADS: 1 Ordinary Share, resulting in a three-for-one split (or 200% distribution) of the Company’s ADSs to be effected on February 7, 2008. Each shareholder of record at the close of business on February 6, 2008 will receive two additional ADSs for every ADS held on the record date. Trading on the split-adjusted price resulting from the change of ratio will be effected on February 8, 2008. For JA Solar’s ADS holders, this ratio change will have the same effect as a three-for-one ADS split. There will be no change to JA Solar’s underlying ordinary shares. No action is required by ADS holders to effect the ratio change.

About JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd.

Based in Hebei, China, JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. is an emerging and fast-growing manufacturer of high-performance solar cells. The Company sells its products to solar module manufacturers who assemble and integrate its solar cells into modules and systems that convert sunlight into electricity. For more information, please visit http://www.jasolar.com.

January 4, 2008

SunPower to Build 8 Megawatt Solar Power Plant in Spain

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 10:02 am

Naturener Expands SunPower Deployment to Approximately 30 Megawatts

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan 04, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWR), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced that its Spanish subsidiary will engineer, procure equipment for and construct an approximately 8 megawatt solar electric power plant in the Extremadura region of Spain.

A corporate affiliate of The Naturener Group, a Spanish-based company, will own the solar power plant, and SunPower expects the system will begin operating in September 2008.

“Once again we are teaming with Naturener to deliver clean, reliable solar power to the rapidly expanding Spanish market,” said Marco Antonio Northland, general manager of SunPower’s European operations. “By using the industry-leading SunPower(R) Tracker technology, Naturener will maximize the solar plant’s energy delivery, while optimizing land use and reducing related costs.”

“SunPower’s engineering, procurement and construction expertise will be key to meeting our budget and schedule targets,” said Rafael Sanchez-Castillo, CEO of The Naturener Group. “We are pleased to continue the solar power segment of our renewable energy portfolio in Spain.”

About SunPower

SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq: SPWR) designs, manufactures and delivers high-performance solar electric systems worldwide for residential, commercial and utility-scale power plant customers. SunPower high-efficiency solar cells and solar panels generate up to 50 percent more power than conventional solar technologies and have a uniquely attractive, all-black appearance. With headquarters in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit http://www.sunpowercorp.com. SunPower is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY).

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