North Coast Solar Stocks

April 17, 2008

ReneSola Increases Full Year Production Output and Revenue Guidance

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

April 17, 2008 9:00 AM ET

PR Newswire

Company Also Announces Six-Year Wafer Supply Agreement with Topray Solar

JIASHAN, China, April 17 /Xinhua-PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — ReneSola Ltd (“ReneSola” or the “Company”), a leading Chinese manufacturer of solar wafers, today announced the Company is increasing its previously issued full year production output and revenue guidance for 2008. Full year production output for 2008 is now expected to be in the range of 310 megawatts (MW) to 320 MW, up from the Company’s previously issued guidance of 300 MW. Net revenues for 2008 are expected to be in the range of US$530 million to US$550 million, as compared to the Company’s previously issued guidance of US$480 million.

ReneSola also announced it has signed a six-year wafer supply agreement with Shenzhen Topray Solar Co., Ltd. (“Topray Solar”). Under the terms of agreement, ReneSola will supply Topray Solar with 105 MW of solar wafers over a six-year period commencing in mid-2008. Topray Solar is a China-listed manufacturer of solar cells, modules and other photovoltaic products with its headquarters in Shenzhen, China.

“Demand for ReneSola’s solar wafers continues to grow, as evidenced by our recently announced wafer supply agreements,” said Mr. Xianshou Li, ReneSola’s chief executive officer. “Measures to increase our wafer production capacity remain on schedule and our secured feedstock supports our planned output. As we maintain a positive outlook for 2008, we are upwardly revising our production output and revenue guidance.”

The agreement with Topray Solar follows the Company’s recently announced wafer supply agreements with Ningbo Solar and Eoplly New Energy. ReneSola has agreed to provide the three companies with a total of 315 MW of solar wafers over the next six years.

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SunPower Reports First-Quarter 2008 Results

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

Company Raises FY 2008 Guidance
– Generated first quarter 2008 revenue of $274 million, up 92% year-on-year
– Achieved $0.15 GAAP net income share, $0.39 Non-GAAP
– Extended VAR dealer network by more than 50 dealers in Germany, Italy and Spain
– Expanded relationships to further penetrate both the Japanese and Korean markets
– Received silicon from M.Setek and DC Chemical on target

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 17, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — SunPower Corporation (SPWR) today announced financial results for the first quarter 2008, which ended March 30, 2008. 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. Please note that the company has posted additional, supplemental information related to its first quarter 2008 performance on the Events and Presentations section of the Investor Relations page on the SunPower website.

Revenue for the 2008 first quarter was $273.7 million, up 22% from prior-quarter revenue of $224.3 million and up 92% from year-ago first-quarter revenue of $142.3 million. The Components and Systems segments accounted for 35% and 65% of first-quarter revenue, respectively.

For reporting purposes, the Systems segment generally represents products and services sold directly to the system owner, while the Components segment primarily represents 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 gross margin of 19.5%, total operating income of $14.8 million and diluted net income per share of $0.15. These figures include non-cash operating expenses for amortization of purchase accounting intangible assets of $4.3 million and non-cash, stock-based compensation of $14.5 million. Additionally, for the three months ended March 30, 2008, GAAP cost of revenue includes $2.2 million of one-time asset impairment charges relating to the discontinuation of our imaging detector product line and $3.3 million for write-offs of certain solar manufacturing equipment which became obsolete due to new processes.

On a non-GAAP basis, adjusted to exclude non-cash charges for amortization of intangible assets, stock-based compensation, asset impairments and equipment write-offs, SunPower reported total gross margin of 24.0%, operating income of $39.1 million and diluted net income per share of $0.39. This compares with prior-quarter non-GAAP gross margin of 25.3%, total operating income of $32.4 million and $0.39 diluted net income per share. The first quarter’s non-GAAP gross margin was influenced by a higher mix of revenue from our Systems segment which posted a gross margin of 23.3% for that quarter and our Component segment’s 200 basis points sequential improvement over the 2007 fourth quarter gross margin to 25.4%. Our Component segment’s gross margin benefitted from higher volume and modestly higher average selling prices. The increase in Components gross margin was tempered by stable silicon costs, rather than expected slightly declining silicon costs, as we secured incremental silicon supply to improve factory linearity in the first and second quarters of 2008. Looking forward to the second quarter, we expect our first meaningful reduction in average silicon cost which will contribute to our estimated 510 to 610 basis point improvement in our Component segment’s gross margin.

“Our first quarter performance reflects the value our customers attribute to SunPower’s high-performance solar solutions,” said Tom Werner, SunPower’s CEO. “SunPower’s market leadership will continue to be driven through our focus on brand, technology, cost and people. We are building a strong brand based on sound fundamentals: the world’s highest performance solar technology, deployed aggressively across the leading global markets using scalable, responsive channel platforms.

(more…)

April 16, 2008

The First Solar Stock ETF has arrived

Filed under: CSIQ, CSUN, EMKR, ENER, ESLR, FSLR, JASO, LDK, SOLF, SPWR, STP, TAN, TSL, WFR, YGE — Tags: — Jason @ 11:54 am

Top Fund Holdings as of 4/15/08

Name Weighting
FIRST SOLAR INC 8.96 %
RENEWABLE ENERGY CORP AS 7.80 %
Q-CELLS AG 6.49 %
SUNTECH POWER HOLDINGS ADR 6.08 %
JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD 5.30 %
SOLARWORLD AG 5.24 %
SUNPOWER CORP-A 5.20 %
LDK SOLAR CO LTD-ADR 4.73 %
MEMC ELECTRONIC MATERIALS INC 4.54 %
YINGLI GREEN ENERGY – ADR 4.21 %
SOLARIA ENERGIA Y MEDIO AMBIENTE SA 3.72 %
TRINA SOLAR LTD-SPON ADR 3.38 %
EVERGREEN SOLAR INC 3.25 %
CENTROTHERM PHOTOVOLTAICS 3.19 %
ENERGY CONVERSION DEVICES 3.16 %
SOLARFUN POWER HOLDINGS CO 3.11 %
ERSOL SOLAR ENERGY AG 3.08 %
CANADIAN SOLAR INC 3.00 %
SOLON AG FUER SOLARTECHNI 2.80 %
MEYER BURGER TECHNOLOGY A 2.61 %
CONERGY AG 2.40 %
CHINA SUNERGY CO LTD 2.06 %
MANZ AUTOMATION AG 1.98 %
ROTH & RAU AG 1.96 %
EMCORE CORP 1.73 %
http://claymore.com/fund/Overview.aspx?ID=11826d7d-09e0-4dc4-8bbc-9a7400a521de

April 15, 2008

ReneSola Signs Six-Year Wafer Supply Agreements with Ningbo Solar and Eoplly New Energy

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

Tuesday April 15, 8:30 am ET

JIASHAN, China, April 15 /Xinhua-PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — ReneSola Ltd (“ReneSola” or the “Company”), a leading Chinese manufacturer of solar wafers, today announced that it has signed six-year wafer supply contracts with Ningbo Solar Electric Power Co., Ltd. (“Ningbo Solar”) and Eoplly New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. (“Eoplly”).

Under the terms of the Ningbo Solar contract, ReneSola will supply Ningbo Solar with 105 MW of solar wafers over a six-year period commencing in mid- 2008. Ningbo Solar is a Chinese manufacturer of solar cells and modules headquartered in Zhejiang Province, China.

ReneSola has also agreed to supply Eoplly with 105 MW of solar wafers over a six-year period commencing in mid-2008. Headquartered in Jiangsu Province, China, Eoplly is a Chinese manufacturer of solar cells, solar modules and photovoltaic (PV) systems.

“The signing of these wafer supply contracts further demonstrates continuing strong demand for our quality wafer products,” commented Mr. Xianshou Li, ReneSola’s chief executive officer. “Our large-scale, cost- effective manufacturing and strong technology development capabilities are well recognized within the industry and we are very pleased to broaden our customer base with these latest wafer supply agreements.”

April 10, 2008

EMCORE Corporation to Deploy Concentrator Solar Photovoltaic Systems with XinAo Group in China

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

Albuquerque, NM, April 10, 2008—EMCORE Corporation (EMKR) a leading provider of semiconductor-based components and subsystems for the broadband, fiber-optic, satellite and terrestrial solar power markets, announced today that it has agreed to supply CPV systems to XinAo Group in China. XinAo Group is one of China’s largest energy companies and is well known for its clean-energy technologies. The program will start with the delivery of a 50 kilowatt (kW) concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) system to be installed in Langfang, China. This system will be used for test and evaluation purposes. Once the expected reliability and performance metrics have been demonstrated, XinAo plans to install CPV systems to provide electric power for its innovative coal gasification project, which is estimated to have a requirement of 60 megawatts (MW) of power. XinAo believes that EMCORE’s CPV technology will provide a cost-effective solution for its energy needs.

In addition, XinAo intends to build a manufacturing plant in China, jointly owned by EMCORE, to manufacture CPV systems designed and certified by EMCORE for the Chinese market.

Earl Fuller, Vice President and General Manager of EMCORE’s Solar Power Division stated, “We are pleased to be recognized as a leading supplier of CPV systems for cost-effective electric power generation for XinAo’s innovative energy synthesis applications for zero carbon emission. This kind of distributed energy application is a strategic focus for EMCORE. Through our wholly-owned subsidiary, EMCORE China, located in the same city as XinAo, we will be able to form an efficient and cost-effective manufacturing capability to serve XinAo and other demands in the Chinese market.”

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.

April 9, 2008

Solar Makes Headlines

Filed under: none — Tags: , — Jason @ 5:24 pm

Solar is in the news a lot these days.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans to install solar panels on city-owned buildings in all five boroughs.

Southern California Edison — which is owned by Edison International (EIX) — said it will install solar panels on commercial rooftops in Southern California.

In five years these panels will generate 250 megawatts (MW) of electricity. That’s enough to power 162,000 homes, and is equal to the amount generated by a small coal-powered plant. Additionally, this project will use more solar cells than the United States’ entire production in 2006.

This $875 million project is the first time a major American utility has made this type of commitment.

Why now? Because it makes financial sense.

This project is going to start a snowball effect as economies of scales start to come into play. Manufacturers can commit to and start to build extra capacity, which will lower costs, which, in turn, creates financial incentive to carry out more commercial and consumer projects.

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) — a Fortune 500 company — plans to build a 250-megawatt solar plant in the Mojave Dessert.

This just goes to show you that solar power is no longer being driven by ex-hippies living in Vermont.

Companies like FPL have one goal: To make money.

Did Someone Say ‘Stimulus’?

The real key to making the Solar Wave a tsunami is a piece of legislation called the Clean Energy Tax Stimulus Act of 2008, which is currently tied up in Congress.

This bill has bipartisan support, including that of GOP members who opposed a similar bill in 2007. (I think I’ve discovered the key to getting a bill through the House and Senate: Make sure you have the word “stimulus” in the title.)

The Clean Energy Tax Stimulus Act will really ramp up solar by:

* Extending the energy-efficient new homes credit to the year 2010.

* Extending the solar energy and fuel cell investment tax credit through 2016.

* Extending the 30% residential energy-efficient solar property credit through 2009.

* Extending the energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction and increasing the maximum deduction amount from $1.80 to $2.25 per square foot.

* Authorizing an additional $400 million of Clean Renewable Energy Bonds and extending authority to issue such bonds through 2009.

As you can see, this bill really sets the stage for a wave of solar installations.

April 2, 2008

LDK Solar signs 10-year wafer supply agreement

Filed under: LDK, TSL — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 5:25 pm

Wed Apr 2, 2008 5:21pm EDT

NEW YORK, April 2 (Reuters) – Chinese solar wafer maker LDK Solar Co Ltd (LDK) said on Wednesday it signed a 10-year wafer supply agreement with India’s Moser Baer Photo Voltaic Ltd.

Earlier, Trina Solar Ltd (TSL) said it had signed an eight-year polysilicon supply agreement with a unit of GCL Silicon Technology Holdings Ltd.

That announcement sent shares of all solar wafer makers soaring. LDK stock closed 9.4 percent higher at $30.09 on the New York Stock Exchange and rose to $32.60 in after-hours trading. Trina stock closed 15.2 percent higher at $37.75.

LDK Solar, which is based in Xinyu City, China and Sunnyvale, California, said it had signed a 10-year contract to supply multicrystalline solar wafers to Moser Baer Photo Voltaic (MBPV), a subsidiary of Moser Baer India Ltd.

Under terms of the agreement, LDK Solar will deliver 640 megawats of multicrystalline solar wafers commencing in mid-2008 through 2017. MBPV will make a suitable advance payment reflecting the contract value, LDK Solar said.

Trina said its contract, which begins this month, will supply it with virgin polysilicon sufficient to produce about 2,600 megawatts of solar modules.

The company now has secured about 95 percent of its silicon requirements for 2008, or about 195 MW of production. The company has a 2008 module production target of 200 to 210 MW.

Tightness in polysilicon supplies has driven higher prices for the material that turns sunlight into electricity inside solar cells, although supplies are expected to become more ample over the course of 2008.

New solar CIGS cells creep up on silicon

Filed under: ASTI, DSTI, FSLR — Tags: , — Jason @ 1:05 pm

Wed Apr 2, 2008 1:00pm EDT

By Matt Daily

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Silicon cells have been the mainstay of the solar photovoltaic industry, but advances in competing technologies could give those manufacturers a toehold in the rapidly growing renewable power market.

Last week, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory said they had achieved a new efficiency record for one of those promising technologies, putting it within reach of the silicon cell mark.

The new technology uses copper indium gallium selenide, or CIGS, to turn sunlight into electricity inside a thin-film solar cell that is generally less expensive than versions relying on polysilicon.

CIGS technology converts 19.9 percent of the sunlight hitting the cell into power, beating the previous mark of 19.5 percent and nearing the multicrystaline silicon cell record of 20.3 percent.

Although the increase in efficiency looks modest, it would represent a 3 percent rise in production capacity for a company putting out one megawatt of electricity per year, said Ingrid Repins, a researcher on the NREL team. One megawatt can power about 850 homes.

Silicon-based solar cells held 94 percent of the global market in 2006, according NREL data, with the remaining 6 percent split among thin-film companies, including CIGS makers.

But that thin-film market share appears to be growing rapidly, helped by the opening of plants by companies such as First Solar, which uses different materials to construct its cells.

Just a few years ago, CIGS cells’ efficiency stood near 15 percent, Repins said, and the technology is probably capable of reaching 23 percent in coming years.

Global Solar, a privately held company that licenses CIGS technology from the NREL, last month opened an Arizona plant that will be capable of producing 40 MW of thin-film solar cells per year, and it plans to open another in Germany later this year.

Other companies using CIGS technology include NanoSolar, which sparked market interest last year with its promise to make low-cost cells, as well as Ascent Solar Technologies, Miasole, International Solar Electric Technology Inc, SoloPower Inc and Solyndra.

Analysts do not expect many public offerings from the sector in the near-term because of market turmoil that has caused shares of even the largest solar companies to swing wildly.

Daystar, one of the only publicly listed CIGS makers, has seen its stock sink by about half this year to around $3.40 as it moves toward putting its production plant on line.

LAB TO FACTORY FLOOR

Natixis Bleichroeder analyst Mark Manley said the CIGS producers still needed to prove they could turn technological advances into viable products.

“What you can do in the lab is one thing, but what you do in commercial production is another,” he said. “What matters ultimately in solar from the economic standpoint is how many kilowatt hours you can produce for your dollar.”

Global Solar cells’ efficiency is about 10 percent, or half the level NREL achieved on a small scale in the lab.

The company’s long-range goal is to mass-produce cells with 15 percent efficiency, said Chief Technology Officer Jeff Britt.

“We have to develop manufacturing processes that are much faster … and we have to coat many square meters (with the CIGS semiconducting material),” he said.

Under their nonexclusive pact, the NREL provides Global Solar with updates on its technological advances.

“In many cases, we’re able to emulate the changes that they made in our own production,” Britt said. “It’s very helpful.”

Trina Leads Solar Higher

Filed under: FSLR, TSL — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 11:45 am

Wednesday April 2, 11:41 am ET

Trina Leads Solar Sector Higher on Polysilicon Deal; Analyst Predicts Tight Supply Into ’09

NEW YORK (AP) — Trina Solar Ltd. led the solar-power sector higher on Wednesday after the company reported an eight-year polysilicon supply agreement.

Trina gained $3.22, or 9.8 percent, to $35.97 in morning trading.

Other stocks also rose as a solar-power conference in Germany kicked off. Analysts attending the Munich Photon Expo indicated that polysilicon supplies may remain tight through next year, but that companies are moving aggressively to bring the cost of solar power on par with traditional electricity.

Currently solar energy costs about three times as much as coal and natural gas to produce electricity.

Lehman Brothers analyst Vishal Shah said in a note Wednesday that conference attendees indicated polysilicon spot prices are up sharply this quarter. Spot prices are about 20 percent higher than during the fourth quarter, Shah said.

“Although there is a lot of talk of new supply coming into the market, the issue in our view is that most of the new capacity is likely to come online in late 2009,” Shah wrote.

Trina’s deal was seen as favorable because the prices are predetermined and bring the company’s secured supply level up to 95 percent.

Calyon Securities analyst Kelly Dougherty noted that more companies are expecting grid-parity solar-power pricing over the next couple of years. First Solar Inc. had been alone in predicting the industry could reach that goal by 2010 to 2012, but “sentiment in Munich now seems to be turning increasingly to 2010 as a likely timeframe,” Dougherty wrote.

Spire Receives Contract for Combined Solar Module and Cell Line in China

Filed under: SPIR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 9:31 am

Wednesday April 2, 9:31 am ET

Spire Establishes Leadership Position in China with Integrated Solar Factory for Jiangxi Gemei Sci-Tech LTD

BEDFORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Spire Corporation (SPIR), a global solar company providing turnkey solar factories and capital equipment to manufacture photovoltaic modules worldwide, today announced it has won a contract in China for a combined solar module and solar cell facility. This order includes a 25-megawatt (MW) module factory and an adjacent 25MW solar cell factory designed to produce high efficiency multi-crystalline cells.

“We are delighted to be selected, after a very competitive bidding process, by Jiangxi Gemei Sci-Tech LTD for this groundbreaking project. Spire’s ability to provide a superior integrated solution in both solar module and solar cell manufacturing gives our customers the benefit of immediate vertical integration with a factory that has been designed from the ground up to be rapidly expandable,” said Roger G. Little, Spire’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

China is among the fastest growing countries for manufacturers of both solar cells and modules. In addition to the large export market, photovoltaic demand in China is expected to grow exponentially in the near future. The stated goal of the Chinese government is to have 450MW of photovoltaic power installed by 2010, up from approximately 75MW cumulatively installed in 2005. Furthering demand for solar power, the Chinese government passed legislation in 2005 mandating the use of renewable energy resources for 10 percent of China’s energy consumption by the year 2020.

Mr. Zheng Weixing, Chairman of Jiangxi Gemei Sci-Tech LTD, said, “We recognize the need to enter the rapidly growing solar market in China with a high volume, vertically integrated manufacturing solution. Spire’s leadership position and ability to handle a project of this size sets them apart from competitors. It is critical to enter this dynamic market quickly and effectively. We are extremely pleased to select Spire as our long-term partner.”

“A key marketplace advantage of the Spire turnkey factory is its design that is easily adaptable for vertically integrated manufacturing, and is readily expandable to meet growing demand,” said Little. “This gives our customers the ability to buy the capacity they need now without paying an expansion penalty later.”

Jiangxi Gemei Sci-Tech expects that its vertically integrated solar facility will form the cornerstone of a new science and technology-manufacturing center in Jiangxi, a southern province in China. This area is currently home to a number of other solar energy manufacturers.

EMCORE Corporation Receives $4.6 Million Follow-on Order for Concentrator Solar Cell Receiver Assemblies from Concentration Solar la Mancha

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

Albuquerque, NM, April 2, 2008 — EMCORE Corporation (EMKR) a leading provider of semiconductor-based components and subsystems for the broadband, fiber-optic, satellite and terrestrial solar power markets, announced today that it has been awarded a $4.6 million follow-on production order for solar cell receiver assemblies from Concentration Solar la Mancha of Manzanares (Ciudad Real), Spain. The receivers will be incorporated into CS la Mancha’s 500X concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) system and will be deployed throughout Spain and other locations in fully licensed and funded projects. Shipments are scheduled to commence in the September quarter and complete in early 2009. CS la Mancha, part of Renovalia Energy, a renewable energy company in Spain, has been developing the CPV system for nearly two years, and has recently started production and volume deployment.

David Danzilio, Vice President and General Manager of EMCORE’s Photovoltaics Division stated, “We are pleased to be awarded this follow-on production order from CS la Mancha. This order affirms EMCORE’s position as the supplier of choice for high performance CPV components that enable our customers’ systems to generate renewable energy at the lowest cost per kw-hr.” David Danzilio added, “Our CPV receiver assembly continues to penetrate the market and we see increasing global demand for this product line. This order diversifies our customer base, a trend we expect will continue, as they transition their CPV systems from development to full-scale production. We are currently expanding our production capacity for both solar cells and receiver assemblies at our Albuquerque facility and expect our second receiver production line to be operational in the June quarter. EMCORE’s continued technology and capacity investments will provide customers with an assured supply of this critical PV engine.”

Dr. Jeffrey Nelson, Manager of Concentrated Solar Power Group of Sandia National Laboratories commented, “This demonstrates once again that CPV is being established as a cost-competitive and commercially-viable technology for solar power applications. EMCORE is a world leader of CPV technology and products. They are well positioned to capture the rapid growth of the CPV market as a viable alternative for grid-tied solar power utility applications.”

EMCORE has introduced a line of integrated solar cell receiver assemblies optimized for operation from 500X to 1000X concentration that provide terrestrial systems integrators with a complete solution for the PV section of their system. EMCORE’s unique CPV receiver assembly is easily integrated into existing concentrating PV systems and has emerged as an industry standard. By choosing EMCORE’s complete, high reliability receiver solution, CPV system developers are able to focus their full efforts on advancing their optical design and optimizing the balance of the system, significantly reducing their time to market

Trina Solar Inks 8-Year Polysilicon Deal

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

Wednesday April 2, 8:53 am ET

Trina Solar Enters 8-Year Contract to Get Polysilicon From GCL Silicon at Predetermined Prices

NEW YORK (AP) — Trina Solar Ltd. said Wednesday it has entered an eight-year agreement to receive polysilicon supplies from GCL Silicon Technology Holdings Ltd. at predetermined prices.

GCL will provide the Chinese solar-power company with enough polysilicon to produce about 2.6 gigawatts worth of solar modules.

A one-gigawatt plant running continuously at full capacity can power 778,000 households each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Solar technology has lower capacity since its power generation is constrained by availability of the sun.

Polysilicon prices have risen sharply in recent years, as the solar industry expanded rapidly. Long-term agreements with fixed prices are seen as favorable because they limit a company’s exposure to spot prices, which are much higher.

Trina did not release financial terms of the agreement, though Chief Executive Jifan Gao called them “favorable.” Gao said in a statement that the company is in a “strong position” to expand margins because of its polysilicon agreements, plans for in-house polysilicon production and other cost savings.

Deliveries from the GCL contract will begin this month. Trina has now secured about 95 percent of its estimated polysilicon requirements for 2008.

Trina shares gained $1, or 3.1 percent, to $33.75 in premarket electronic trading, from their close at $32.75 Tuesday.

LDK Solar Signs a Ten-Year Wafer Supply Agreement With Moser Baer Photo Voltaic Ltd.

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

XINYU CITY, China and SUNNYVALE, Calif., April 2, 2008, LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (LDK), a leading manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers, today announced that it has signed a ten-year contract which is a blend of “Take or Pay” linked with market-based pricing to supply multicrystalline solar wafers to India-based Moser Baer Photo Voltaic Limited (MBPV), a subsidiary of Moser Baer India Limited (MBI).Under the terms of the agreement, LDK Solar will deliver 640 MW of multicrystalline solar wafers to MBPV over a ten-year period commencing in mid 2008 through 2017. MBPV will make a suitable advance payment reflecting the contract value to LDK Solar.

“The supply agreement with Moser Baer reflects the strong interest we continue to encounter for our high quality solar wafers,” stated Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and CEO. “We are excited to extend our business into an emerging market such as India, as we continue to diversify our market coverage and grow our customer list.”

“We are very pleased to enter into this mutually equitable agreement with LDK Solar to secure quality solar wafers,” commented Ravi Khanna, Chief Executive, Moser Baer Photo Voltaic Limited. “We look forward to a long-term relationship with LDK Solar as we work towards rapidly increasing our scale of operations and capacity to assume leadership position.”

Suntech to Supply 4MW of Modules to Leading Italian PV System Developer Enerray

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

Wednesday April 2, 8:00 am ET

SAN FRANCISCO, April 2, 2008 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ — Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP) one of the world’s leading manufacturers of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, today announced a 4MW module supply agreement with Enerray, an Italian designer, developer and manager of photovoltaic systems. The Suntech modules will be installed by Enerray in PV systems for the rooftops of large Italian industrial complexes.

“The Italian government’s proven commitment to renewable energy has fueled significant solar market growth in the region. Suntech is resolute in supporting utilization of renewable energy resources through the supply of high quality and reliable solar products to European PV system providers such as Enerray,” said Jerry Stokes, President of Suntech Europe.

Italy is an avid supporter of the solar industry with attractive feed-in-tariffs of EUR0.36/kWh for ground-mounted PV systems and EUR0.44/kWh for buildings integrated PV systems. The current government regulations have set the total feed-in-tariff program cap to 1.2GW before a re-evaluation of the solar program.

“We are experiencing significant demand for the deployment of commercial rooftop solar systems,” said Dr. Eng. Marco Ghirardello, Chief Executive Officer of Enerray. “As one of Italy’s leading installers of photovoltaic systems, we have chosen to partner with the well respected Suntech brand to bring their superior quality solar products to key projects in high commerce cities across Italy.”

Europe is currently the largest regional market for solar photovoltaic systems with countries such as Germany, Spain and Italy experiencing rapid annual growth. In order to better serve customers in the region, Suntech has recently established local sales and service centers in Germany and Spain and plans to continue to expand its European network by establishing offices in Italy and Greece over the next 12 months.

About Enerray

Enerray is a company that designs, develops and manages photovoltaic systems of medium and large size. Thanks to its design and business network located in the most important Italian cities, Enerray operates throughout the whole of the Italian territory. The economies of scale that Enerray has obtained with its projects make it competitive also in the supply of modules, inverters and other components to installers of photovoltaic systems. For more information, please visit http://www.enerray.com .

April 1, 2008

PG&E in big contracts for solar thermal power

Filed under: none — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 3:35 pm

Tue Apr 1, 2008 3:34pm EDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California utility PG&E Corp said on Tuesday it signed contracts to buy up to 900 MW of solar thermal power from plants that will be built in the next few years.

The contracts with privately held BrightSource Energy Inc could ultimately power up to 630,000 California homes.

Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov said in a client note the deal was “almost certainly the largest solar purchase agreement in world history … The PG&E news is another major example of solar adoption.”

The move is part of PG&E’s push to comply with California’s requirement that at least 20 percent of its electricity supplies come from renewable sources by 2010.

“Solar thermal energy is an especially attractive renewable power source because it is available when needed most in California — during the peak mid-day summer period,” said Fong Wan, vice president of energy procurement at San Francisco-based PG&E.

Solar thermal technology is different from photovoltaic solar panels in that it uses heat from the sun to generate steam that powers turbines to produce electricity.

The first three contracts are for 500 MW of solar power, which will be supplied from three solar thermal plants, the company said. The first 100 MW plant could be operating as early as 2011 in Ivanpah, California.

PG&E’s announcement comes a week after FPL Group Inc filed an application with California regulators to build and operate a 250 MW solar thermal plant in the Mojave Desert.

Molchanov said the increasing acceptance of solar power by utilities such as PG&E and FPL was “bullish” for publicly traded photovoltaic solar companies, including Evergreen Solar Inc, JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd, SunPower Corp, Suntech Power Holdings and Trina Solar Corp.

PG&E shares were up $1.26, or 3.4 percent, at $38.08 in afternoon trading and FPL shares were up 3.3 percent at $64.82 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Suntech, Nitol Expand Supply Contract

Filed under: STP — Tags: , , — Jason @ 9:25 am

Tuesday April 1, 9:24 am ET

Nitol to ‘Substantially Increase’ Polysilicon Supplies to Suntech Under Revised Contract

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Suntech Power Holdings Co. said Tuesday that Nitol Solar Ltd. agreed to “substantially increase” the amount of polysilicon it provides to Suntech under a seven-year supply contract.

Suntech did not disclose financial terms of the agreement or say how much more polysilicon the Russian company will provide.

The contract runs from 2009 to 2015.

Suntech has agreed to purchase $100 million worth of newly issued Nitol shares to fund construction of the company’s polysilicon plant. Suntech said it has already put $33 million into the investment.

It expects the plant, which will have 3,700 metric tons (4,079 tons) of production capacity, to be completed in 2009. The plant is being built near Irkutsk, Russia.

Suntech shares rose $1.44, or 3.6 percent, to $42 in premarket trading. They closed at $40.56 on Monday.

ICP Solar Signs Development Agreement with Ascent Solar

Filed under: ASTI, ICPR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 8:30 am

Tuesday April 1, 8:25 am ET

CIGS technology key to creating lighter and more powerful Sunsei(R) portable electronics solar chargers

MONTREAL–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ICP Solar Technologies Inc. (ICPR), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of solar cells and products, announced today that it has signed a cooperation development agreement with Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI). The agreement will focus on the development of mobile solar power products utilizing Ascent’s high efficiency CIGS solar technology for distribution throughout ICP Solar’s international distribution network.

“We are thrilled to partner with Ascent,” said ICP Solar CEO and Chairman Sass Peress. “At ICP Solar our mission is to be at the technology forefront when it comes to solar consumer products and portability. Ascent’s CIGS thin-film technology is ideally suited for those applications. Placing the Photovoltaic (PV) material and modules on a wide variety of substrate materials allows for manufacturing of extremely lightweight and flexible solar panels, which will expand our new product development opportunities immeasurably. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership.”

Ascent Solar will initially supply ICP Solar with product from its existing 1.5 MW production line during 2008 and 2009 in order for ICP Solar to develop, test, and integrate the Ascent Solar materials into ICP Solar products and to increase deliveries of solar modules to ICP Solar after Ascent’s planned expansion of production capacity.

“ICP Solar’s expertise in the consumer and portable solar products and international distribution network make them an ideal partner,” said Matthew Foster, President and CEO. “Our CIGS thin-film technology is perfectly suited for use in both consumer and portable solar power products. We look forward to working with the team at ICP Solar in order to create the next generation of innovative consumer and portable solar products.”

Yingli Modules Used in Spanish Project

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , , — Jason @ 8:20 am

Tuesday April 1, 8:16 am ET

Yingli Green Energy Says Spanish Solar-Power Project Using Its Modules Is Now Complete

NEW YORK (AP) — Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. said Tuesday a solar-power project in Spain has been completed using its modules.

Yingli provided modules with 9.5 megawatts of annual generating capacity for the Installation Solar Villar De Canas 2 project in Cuenca, Spain. The Chinese solar product maker was the sole supplier for the project, which was undertaken by Control y Montages Industriales CYMI SA.

A one-megawatt plant running continuously at full capacity can power 778 households each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Solar technology has lower capacity since its power generation is constrained by availability of the sun.

Solar Villar De Canas 2 is expected to provide about 13.1 million kilowatt-hours of power each year. Control y Montages completed the project on Feb. 28.

Yingli did not provide financial terms of its role in the project

MMA Renewable Ventures Finances SunPower Solar Systems at 14 Macy’s Stores

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

Tuesday April 1, 8:00 am ET

Macy’s, MMA Renewable Ventures, SunPower and Wells Fargo Team Up For Cost-Effective Clean Energy

SAN FRANCISCO, April 1, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — MMA Renewable Ventures, LLC, a subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC today announced that it has signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for 14 new solar electric systems at Macy’s stores in California. MMA Renewable Ventures arranged equity investment for the first four systems through its Solar Fund III, a financing commitment with a subsidiary of Wells Fargo (WFC), under which Wells Fargo intends to fund 10-15 megawatts of solar energy projects nationwide.

SunPower Corporation (SPWR), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems is providing the systems. Through the SunPower Access(TM) PPA program, MMA Renewable Ventures will own the solar energy systems and sell market-competitive, predictably-priced electricity to Macy’s in support of the retailer’s commitment to environmental sustainability. The 14 systems financed by MMA Renewable Ventures are part of Macy’s partnership with SunPower to install solar systems and provide energy efficiency upgrades on a total of 28 stores throughout California.

“Macy’s has demonstrated remarkable leadership in promoting sustainable business practices through its statewide clean energy and energy efficiency measures,” said Matt Cheney, CEO of MMA Renewable Ventures. “Today we are working with Macy’s to prove that such pioneering efforts can be as good for a company’s bottom line as they are for the environment.”

“Forward-thinking companies are using power purchase agreements to benefit from the use of clean, renewable solar power,” said SunPower Chief Executive Officer Tom Werner. “Macy’s is combining energy efficiency upgrades with a significant commitment to solar power, financed by MMA Renewable Ventures, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions easily and affordably.”

“Our investment in this Solar Fund is part of our broader strategy to finance and support business opportunities that help accelerate a transition toward a sustainable energy economy,” said Barry Neal, Wells Fargo’s Director of Environmental Finance.

MMA Renewable Ventures’ customized PPA solutions eliminate the upfront cost of solar energy systems and ongoing responsibilities of system maintenance for energy customers like Macy’s. As a third-party system owner, MMA manages project risk and optimizes incentives and other financial factors to make the new solar energy systems a cost effective source of clean energy. Leveraging its deep expertise in project finance and energy system operations, MMA Renewable Ventures is able to deliver a long-term contract for power that offers customers immediate energy savings and a long-term hedge against future pricing volatility.

About MMA Renewable Ventures

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC (“MuniMae,” OTC: MMAB.PK), MMA Renewable Ventures finances, owns and operates renewable energy and energy efficiency assets in the United States. The Company provides leases, Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and other customized financial solutions to help its customers manage energy costs. MMA Renewable Ventures is dedicated to delivering competitively priced, clean energy and energy savings to customers, strong partnership options for project developers, and exceptional opportunities for institutional investment in the clean energy sector. For more information about MMA Renewable Ventures, visit http://www.mmarenewableventures.com

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