North Coast Solar Stocks

June 30, 2008

EMCORE Corporation Sells a Portion of its WorldWater Preferred Stock Investment

Filed under: EMKR, ENSL — Tags: , — Jason @ 4:03 pm

Monday June 30, 4:03 pm ET

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., June 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — 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 had agreed to sell 2,000,000 shares of Series D Preferred Stock of WorldWater & Solar Technologies Corporation (WWAT.OB), together with 200,000 Warrants, to The Quercus Trust, a major shareholder of both EMCORE and WorldWater, at a price equal to $6.54 per share of the Series D Preferred Stock. The Series D Preferred Stock is convertible into WorldWater Common Stock at a ratio of 10 to 1, and each of the Warrants entitles the holder to purchase a share of Series D Preferred Stock for a price of $3.17 per share. The sale will take place through two closings, one for 1,000,000 shares and 100,000 warrants, which closed on Friday, June 27, 2008, and one for an equal number of shares and warrants which should close before July 31, 2008. Total proceeds from the sale approximates $13.1 million.

EMCORE purchased 4,892,857 shares of Series D Preferred Stock, together with 505,044 Warrants, in November 2006, and has a contractual right to purchase additional shares and warrants. In summary, EMCORE sold 2.2 million of its 5.4 million shares and warrants of WorldWater, which represents a 130% return on investment.

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US Air Force Awards Ascent Solar High Efficiency Solar Cell Program

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 3:48 pm

Monday June 30, 3:48 pm ET

LITTLETON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (“Ascent Solar”) (ASTI), a developer of state-of-the-art, thin-film photovoltaic materials, announced today that the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has selected Ascent Solar for a Broad Agency Announcement award to develop high-performance thin-film multijunction photovoltaics (PV) based on Ascent Solar’s flexible monolithically integrated CIGS technology. The new contract represents approximately $1.5 million in value over a 48-month period.

Since 1995, AFRL has provided funding for the development of the flexible CIGS at ITN Energy Systems, Inc. and now at Ascent Solar, including the development of aspects of future multijunction devices. Multijunction solar cells are two or more solar cells in a stack, where each solar cell collects a specific portion of the solar spectrum. The top cell in this configuration collects the blue portion of the solar spectrum, the bottom cell collects the red portion of the spectrum, and cells in between collect the rest of the visible spectrum. This type of technology can result in higher performance and lower losses when translating from the small-area cell level to monolithically integrated modules.

Ascent Solar Chief Technical Officer Dr. Joseph Armstrong stated, “We are excited about this new opportunity to work with AFRL. The program will support the continued development of our new multijunction technology platform from which we intend to proceed with multijunction devices and prototype module demonstrations. Efficient conversion of the sun’s energy is very critical to space and near-space applications, in that higher efficiencies correlate to smaller, lighter-weight solar arrays, and significantly lower launch cost. The technology that we intend to develop under this new program should also benefit our terrestrial building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) applications, such as roofing tiles and building facades that operate at elevated temperatures.”

Emcore shares fall sharply on downgrade; Counterpoint by Second Analyst

Filed under: EMKR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 3:39 pm

Monday June 30, 3:39 pm ET

Emcore shares decline after Canaccord Adams cuts shares to ‘Hold,’ saying demand is overstated; Jefferies & Co. analyst disagrees

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Emcore Corp. tumbled on Monday after a Canaccord Adams analyst downgraded the maker of fiber optic and photovoltaic components, saying he is skeptical about demand from a major Korean customer.

Jonathan Dorsheimer said a recent trip to ES Systems’ headquarters in Korea led him to believe that demand expectations from the company for Emcore’s photovoltaic components is overstated.

Actual demand for Emcore’s products at ES Systems was about two thirds of what Emcore seems to believe, he said, and downgraded shares of Emcore to “Hold” from “Buy.”

Dorsheimer also cut his price target to $7 from $9 and lowered his full-year earnings estimates for the next two years to account for more conservative demand in Emcore’s solar division.

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Trina Solar Signs Sales Contract with GreenergyCapital

Filed under: TSL — Tags: , , — Jason @ 9:15 am

Monday June 30, 9:15 am ET

CHANGZHOU, China, June 30 /Xinhua-PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Trina Solar Limited (”Trina Solar” or the ”Company”)(TSL), a leading integrated manufacturer of photovoltaic products from the production of ingots, wafers and cells to the assembly of PV modules, founded in 1997, today announced that it has entered into a sales agreement with ERGYCA Power Srl, a subsidiary of GreenergyCapital SpA (collectively ”GreenergyCapital”), an Italian company listed on the Milan Stock Exchange.

Under this fixed price three-year agreement, Trina Solar will supply GreenergyCapital with PV modules at a total value of US$158 million dollars.

“We are very pleased to have entered into this important agreement with GreenergyCapital, which allows us to further expand our well-recognized brand in the Italian market,” stated Mr. Jifan Gao, Trina Solar’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to continue our long-term relationship with GreenergyCapital, as they expand their core business of producing and selling electrical power from renewable energy sources.”

”It is great to extend the support and recognition from GreenergyCapital after more than one year of business success with Energetica Solare SpA (a member of GreenergyCapital group). This agreement is a further testament to Trina Solar’s good quality and service and demonstrates the long-term growth prospects of the Italian PV market,” commented Arturo Herrero, Trina Solar Sales & Marketing Vice President.

Mr. Luca D’Agnese, CEO of GreenergyCapital SpA said, “This is the most important long-term agreement for our PV module supply. It is relevant for the strategy of GreenergyCapital and its controlled companies focused in PV power plant construction”.

Italy’s current regulations and PV installations confirm it as one of the most attractive growth markets in the solar PV industry.

Canadian Solar Signs 800MW Wafer Supply Agreement with LDK Solar

Filed under: CSIQ, LDK — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 8:30 am

Monday June 30, 8:30 am ET

JIANGSU, China, June 30 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (“the Company”, “CSI”) (CSIQ) today announced it signed a ten-year supply contract with LDK Solar (LDK), a leading manufacturer of multi-crystalline and mono- crystalline solar wafers. LDK has been a key supplier to CSI since summer of 2006. This new ten-year supply contract is in addition to the three-year supply contract signed between CSI and LDK in October 2007. LDK expects to begin the ramp up of its in-house polysilicon manufacturing project in the second half of 2008.

Under the terms of the new agreement, LDK will supply an additional 800 megawatts (MW) of solar wafers to CSI through 2018. Delivery under the new agreement is expected to start in July 2009, with approximately 40MW being shipped in 2009 and approximately 80MW annually in 2010 and beyond. This will bring total contracted wafer deliveries from LDK to CSI to 120MW in 2009 and 170MW in 2010, respectively.

With this contract, CSI has secured 70% of feedstock under favorably priced long-term contracts for its targeted 500-550MW module output in 2009. Mr. Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and CEO of LDK Solar commented, “We are excited to sign this new contract with CSI. The delivery schedule coincides with the expected timelines of our in-house polysilicon projects. This new contract is a testament to our commitment to delivering high quality wafers at prices competitive with any other supplier. CSI is an important and strategic customer and this contract represents another milestone in our ongoing partnership. By combining our solar wafer manufacturing capabilities with CSI’s market leading cell, module and custom-designed applications, we are able to deliver a dynamic, integrated and effective solution.”

Dr. Shawn Qu, CEO of CSI, said, “LDK supplies high-quality solar wafers and has been a long-term and strategic partner in the execution of our flexible vertical integration model. We are pleased to enter into this new agreement and believe that it will significantly boost our ability to continue to grow and improve our gross margin prospects, even under scenarios of reduced solar feed-in-tariff. Furthermore, by increasing our supply visibility for 2009 and beyond, we are once again demonstrating our ability to build strong and loyal alliances with our suppliers along the solar value chain.”

Innovative Andalay Solar Panels Takes Home Best Alternative Energy Building Award

Filed under: AKNS — Tags: , , — Jason @ 8:01 am

Monday June 30, 8:01 am ET

Akeena Solar Wraps Up Pacific Coast Builders’ Conference With Innovative Home Technology Award Win

LOS GATOS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Akeena Solar (AKNS), one of the United States’ largest solar installers, today announced that its Andalay solar panel won the Innovative Home Technology Award in the Alternative Energy category from TecHome Builder Magazine. A panel of housing industry experts singled out the sleek, high-performance solar panel from six finalists. This win follows the conclusion of the Pacific Coast Builders’ Conference (PCBC), where Andalay was also honored with an award as one of the conference’s overall 15 Cool Products.

In its eighth year, the Innovative Home Technology Award recognizes significant advances and best practices by manufacturers, integrators and builders in technology development and implementation. More than 110 products and companies were submitted—the highest in competition history.

“We are thrilled that one of the most prestigious housing technology competitions recognized Akeena’s Andalay solar power systems as the best alternative energy innovation in the industry,” said Gary Mull, vice president of marketing at Akeena Solar. “As the green building industry grows and electricity prices skyrocket, homeowners are turning to alternative energy to reduce utility costs and their green house gas. Andalay offers a reliable, high performance solar power system that is beautiful, sleek and elegant. Homeowners are no longer stuck with bulky, ordinary systems that clash with the design of their homes.”

Andalay debuted in September 2007. Based on Akeena Solar’s years of installation experience, the Andalay panels streamline installation processes by incorporating the racking and electrical wiring into the panels themselves. This breakthrough design eliminates 70 percent of the parts and reduces 25 percent or more of rooftop penetrations often found in ordinary rack-mounted installations. In addition, Andalay averts installation complexities and protects electrical wires from weather exposure—both deficiencies of ordinary systems that affect the overall performance over its 25-year life.

Solarfun Announces New Business Developments

Filed under: SOLF — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

Monday June 30, 6:00 am ET

Signs Long-Term Supply Agreement with GCL Technology
Purchase Remaining 48% Stake in Jiangsu Yangguang Solar

SHANGHAI, China–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (“Solarfun” or “the Company”) (SOLF), an established vertically integrated manufacturer of silicon ingots and photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules in China, today announced several major business developments. Jiangsu Linyang Solarfun Co., Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of Solarfun (“Linyang Solarfun”), has entered into a long-term polysilicon supply agreement with Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon Technology Development Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of GCL Silicon Technology Holdings Ltd. (“GCL Silicon Technology”’). Solarfun has also entered into an agreement to purchase the remaining 48% stake in Jiangsu Yangguang Solar that it did not own.

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June 27, 2008

Canadian Solar Inc. Announces Final Results and Settlement of Conversion Offer for its 6.0% Convertible Senior Notes due 2017

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , — Jason @ 9:49 am

Friday June 27, 9:49 am ET

JIANGSU, China, June 27 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (“CSI”) (CSIQ) announced today the final results and settlement of its conversion offer (the “Offer”) with respect to its 6.0% Convertible Senior Notes due 2017 (the “Notes”). CSI had offered an increased conversion rate of 53.6061 to holders who elected to convert their Notes into CSI common shares in accordance with the terms of the Offer. The Offer expired at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on Tuesday, June 24, 2008.

CSI accepted for conversion all Notes that were validly surrendered and not withdrawn as of the expiration of the Offer. Based on the final count by The Bank of New York, the conversion agent for the Offer, $74,000,000 principal amount of Notes, representing approximately 98% of the outstanding Notes, were surrendered and accepted for conversion. In addition to the common shares issuable upon conversion pursuant to the terms of the Notes, the holders who surrendered their Notes for conversion will also receive a cash adjustment for fractional shares upon conversion.

An aggregate of approximately 3,966,841 common shares will be issued and a total cash amount of $404.67 will be paid in the settlement of the Offer. Upon such issuance and payment, $74,000,000 principal amount of the Notes will be cancelled.

Details of the Offer were set forth in a Tender Offer Statement on Schedule TO, conversion offer memorandum and other related materials filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 27, 2008, as amended and supplemented from time to time, which are available on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov . Piper Jaffray & Co. acted as CSI’s financial advisor in connection with the Offer. Georgeson Inc. acted as information agent, and The Bank of New York acted as conversion agent.

Evergreen Solar Announces Pricing of $325 Million of Senior Convertible Notes and Entry into Stock Lending Agreement and Capped Call Transaction

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , — Jason @ 7:27 am

Friday June 27, 7:27 am ET

MARLBORO, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Evergreen Solar, Inc. (“Evergreen Solar”) (ESLR), a manufacturer of solar power panels, announced today the pricing of its public offering of $325 million aggregate principal amount of 4% senior convertible notes due 2013 (the “notes”). Evergreen Solar has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $48.75 million aggregate principal amount of notes to the extent the underwriters sell more than $325 million aggregate principal amount of notes in the notes offering.

The notes will be convertible into cash up to their principal amount and shares of Evergreen Solar’s common stock for the remainder, if any, of the conversion value in excess of such principal amount at the initial conversion rate of 82.5593 shares of common stock per $1,000 principal amount of Notes (equivalent to an initial conversion price of approximately $12.11 per share), subject to adjustment. Prior to April 15, 2013, the notes will be convertible upon the occurrence of specified events, and thereafter, at any time prior to maturity, in each case, at a holder’s option. Lehman Brothers Inc. is acting as the sole book-running manager for the notes offering.

Evergreen Solar intends to use the net proceeds from the notes offering, after deducting underwriting discounts and Evergreen Solar’s estimated expenses related to the offering, including the up-front cost of the capped call transaction and registered sale of borrowed shares of common stock described below, to complete the construction and equipping of its fully integrated solar panel manufacturing facility located in Devens, Massachusetts, to begin construction of a manufacturing facility that will produce heat resistant string to be used in the manufacturing of Evergreen Solar’s wafers and for general corporate purposes, including purchases of or prepayments for polysilicon and other raw materials, and working capital.

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June 26, 2008

China Sunergy Prices US$50 Million of Convertible Senior Notes and 4,268,400 American Depositary Shares

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , — Jason @ 7:19 am

Thursday June 26, 7:19 am ET

NANJING, China, June 26 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN) today announced that on June 25, 2008, it priced an offering of US$50 million of convertible senior unsecured notes due 2013 to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Act”). The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close on July 1, 2008. The initial purchaser of the notes has an option to purchase up to an additional US$4.5 million of notes from China Sunergy within 30 days to cover overallotments.

The notes will be convertible into American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”) of China Sunergy at an initial conversion rate of 81.3008 ADS per US$1,000 principal amount of notes, subject to adjustment under certain circumstances, which is equivalent to an initial conversion price of approximately $12.30 per ADS.

The notes will accrue interest at an annual rate of 4.75%. The notes will mature on June 15, 2013. Upon certain fundamental changes, including a change in control, China Sunergy must make an offer to holders to purchase some or all of their notes.

China Sunergy anticipates using the proceeds for expansion of production capacity, enhancement of research and development and general corporate purposes.

Concurrently with the notes offering, China Sunergy has also entered into an ADS lending agreement with an affiliate of the initial purchaser of the notes, the ADS borrower, pursuant to which China Sunergy will lend ADSs to the ADS borrower. The ADS borrower has priced an offering of 4,268,400 borrowed ADSs and will use the short position resulting from those sales to facilitate the establishment of hedge positions by investors in the notes offering. The ADS borrower may borrow up to an additional 162,600 ADSs under the ADS lending agreement within 30 days. The ADS borrower will be required to return the borrowed ADSs when the notes are no longer outstanding. China Sunergy will not receive any proceeds from the offering of the borrowed ADSs, but will receive a nominal lending fee from the ADS borrower.

The notes and China Sunergy’s ADSs issuable upon conversion of the notes have not been registered under the Securities Act or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction and may not be offered or sold in the United States without registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the securities. Any offers of notes will be made only by means of a private offering memorandum.

This press release contains information about pending transactions, and there can be no assurance that these transactions will be completed.

Yingli Green Energy Announces Four New Sales Contracts

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

Thursday June 26, 6:00 am ET

BAODING, China–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited (YGE) (“Yingli Green Energy” or the “Company”), one of the world’s leading vertically integrated photovoltaic (“PV”) product manufacturers, today announced that it entered into four new sales contracts with two leading German PV players at the Intersolar 2008 Technology Trade Fair held in June, 2008 in Munich, Germany.

The contracts include:

— Two contracts with Conergy AG (“Conergy”) under which the Company agrees to supply 7 MW of PV modules in 2008 and 50 MW of PV modules in 2009. The delivery price for the modules to be delivered in 2008 has been fixed and the delivery price for the modules to be delivered in 2009 will be determined around the fourth quarter of 2008.

— Two contracts with GeckoLogic GmbH (“GeckoLogic”) under which the Company agrees to supply 4 MW of PV modules between September 2008 and December 2008 and 3 MW of PV modules between October 2008 and March 2009. The delivery price for the modules to be delivered in 2008 has been fixed and the delivery price for the modules to be delivered in 2009 will be determined around the third quarter of 2008.

“We have been developing our relationship with these two well-regarded companies for the past few years, and have won the trust from an increasing number of major industry players with our product quality and customer service,” commented Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and CEO of Yingli Green Energy. “We look forward to further strengthening our relationship with them in the future. Demand in Germany remains strong and the region continues to be an area in which we plan to further strengthen our presence. With our European headquarters opened in 2007 in Munich, Germany, I believe we now have an even greater ability to closely monitor market demand and better service our customers in the region.”

June 25, 2008

China Sunergy Signs Wafer Supply Agreement

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , — Jason @ 12:33 pm

Wednesday June 25, 12:33 pm ET

NANJING, China, June 25 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, announced today that it has entered into a supply agreement (the “Agreement”) with the European wafer provider REC Wafer for a high quality supply of monocrystalline 156-millimeter wafers for the seven years from 2009 through 2015.

The scheduled shipments are expected to begin in early 2009 and be completed at the end of 2015. Both amount and price are fixed according to the thickness of wafer and the year of shipment, with some flexibility on amounts within certain limits. Total purchases of wafers by China Sunergy from REC Wafer are expected to exceed $400 million over the life of the Agreement.

China Sunergy believes that, by partnering with its new supplier, it is reducing its reliance on the spot market, and it believes that the cost savings involved will ease the pressure it has recently seen on its margins.

Canadian Solar Inc. Announces Preliminary Results of Conversion Offer for its 6.0% Convertible Senior Notes Due 2017

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

Wednesday June 25, 9:00 am ET

JIANGSU, China, June 25 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (”CSI”) (CSIQ) announced today the preliminary results of its conversion offer (the ”Offer”) with respect to its 6.0% Convertible Senior Notes due 2017 (the ”Notes”). CSI had offered an increased conversion rate of 53.6061 to holders who elected to convert their Notes into CSI common shares in accordance with the terms of the Offer. The Offer expired at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on Tuesday, June 24, 2008.

On June 25, 2008, CSI accepted for conversion all Notes that were validly surrendered and not withdrawn as of the expiration of the Offer. Based on a preliminary count by The Bank of New York, the conversion agent for the Offer, $70,950,000 principal amount of the Notes, representing approximately 94% of the outstanding Notes, were surrendered and accepted for conversion. In accordance with the terms of the Offer, CSI will issue approximately 3,803,344 common shares and pay a cash amount representing cash adjustment for fractional shares based on the closing price of the common shares on the business day preceding the settlement date. Delivery of such common shares and cash amount in exchange for the Notes will be made by The Bank of New York promptly after the closing of the Offer.

The number of Notes surrendered and common shares issuable in connection with the conversion of the surrendered Notes are preliminary. The determination of the final number of Notes surrendered and common shares issuable in connection with the conversion of the surrendered Notes are subject to confirmation by the conversion agent of the proper delivery of the Notes being validly surrendered and not withdrawn. The actual number of Notes validly surrendered and not withdrawn will be announced following the completion of the confirmation process. The final number of common shares issuable in connection with the conversion of the surrendered Notes and payment of the cash adjustment amount for fractional shares will occur promptly thereafter.

Details of the Offer are set forth in a Tender Offer Statement on Schedule TO, conversion offer memorandum and other related materials filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 27, 2008, as amended and supplemented from time to time, which are available on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov . Piper Jaffray & Co. acted as CSI’s financial advisor in connection with the Offer. Georgeson Inc. acted as information agent, and The Bank of New York acted as conversion agent.

Spire Delivers Photovoltaic Module Line to ET Solar in the People’s Republic of China

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

Wednesday June 25, 8:30 am ET

BEDFORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Spire Corporation (SPIR), a global solar company providing turnkey solar factories and capital equipment to manufacture photovoltaic cells and modules worldwide, today announced that it has delivered advanced solar module production equipment to ET Solar Group, located in the People’s Republic of China.

The module manufacturing equipment delivered to ET Solar includes Spire’s most current process technology. With this equipment, the line will be capable of annually producing up to 15 megawatts of solar modules.

Mr. Roger Little, CEO and Chairman of Spire Corporation said, “We are proud to be selected by ET Solar as their module manufacturing equipment provider. Once again Spire demonstrates that it is the preferred contractor for providing state-of-the-art module manufacturing equipment and lines. This delivery marks our fifth major win in China during the past few months.”

Mr. Xinghua Wang, CEO and Chairman of ET Solar said, “We are very pleased to upgrade our capacity using Spire’s equipment. Their technology and value lead the world and this equipment will help propel ET Solar to greater output and quality targets.”

About ET Solar

ET Solar is an integrated global solar energy solutions provider. The Company has established two manufacturing plants in Taizhou City, China. Together with offices in the United States, Germany, Korea and Italy, ET Solar provides superior products through a truly global distribution network.

June 24, 2008

Energy Conversion Devices Announces Closing of Common Stock and Convertible Senior Note Offerings

Filed under: ENER — Tags: , — Jason @ 7:02 pm

Tuesday June 24, 7:02 pm ET

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich., June 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) (ENER), a global manufacturer of thin- film flexible solar laminate products for the building integrated and commercial rooftop markets, announced that it has closed its previously announced concurrent public offerings of 1,460,500 shares of common stock at a price of $72.00 per share, and $316.3 million aggregate principal amount of 3.00% convertible senior notes due 2013, raising net proceeds of approximately $405.3 million. These figures include the exercise of the underwriters’ options to purchase additional shares of common stock and notes, which were exercised in full.

Concurrent with the closing of its common stock and note offerings, ECD loaned 2,723,300 shares of its common stock to Credit Suisse International, or CSI, an affiliate of Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, pursuant to a share lending agreement among ECD, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and CSI. Under that agreement, CSI may offer and sell such shares pursuant to the equity prospectus supplement and has agreed to use the borrowed shares to facilitate the establishment of hedge positions by investors in the notes. The company expects that an additional 721,675 shares of common stock will be issued over the next two days under the share lending agreement to facilitate additional hedge positions. ECD received a nominal lending fee from the share lending arrangement while CSI will receive all of the proceeds from the sales of the shares borrowed under the share lending arrangement.

While the borrowed shares are considered issued and outstanding for corporate law purposes, because the shares lent pursuant to that agreement must be returned to ECD prior to June 15, 2013, the company believes that under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, the borrowed shares are not considered outstanding for the purpose of computing and reporting earnings per share.

The convertible senior notes bear interest at a rate of 3.00% per year, payable on June 15 and December 15 of each year, commencing on December 15, 2008. The notes mature on June 15, 2013. Holders of the notes may, under certain circumstances at their option, convert the principal amount of their notes into cash and, with respect to any amounts in excess of the principal amount, shares of ECD’s common stock initially at a conversion rate of 10.8932 shares (equivalent to an initial conversion price of approximately $91.80 per share) per $1,000 principal amount of notes. The notes are also convertible on this basis at any time on or after March 15, 2013 and prior to the close of business on the business day immediately proceeding the maturity date. The applicable conversion rate will be subject to adjustments in certain circumstances. The notes are senior unsecured obligations of ECD and rank equal in right of payment with any future senior unsecured debt of ECD, and senior in right of payment to all of ECD’s existing and future debt, if any, that is subordinated to the notes.

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Evergreen Solar Announces Offering of $300 Million of Senior Convertible Notes and Expected Entry into a Stock Lending Agreement and Capped Call Transaction

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , — Jason @ 4:09 pm

Tuesday June 24, 4:09 pm ET

MARLBORO, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Evergreen Solar, Inc. (“Evergreen Solar”) (ESLR), a manufacturer of solar power panels, announced today that it has filed a universal shelf registration statement on Form S-3 with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) pursuant to which it intends to offer, subject to market and other conditions, $300 million aggregate principal amount of senior convertible notes due 2013 (the “notes”). Evergreen Solar expects to grant to the underwriters a 30-day option from the date of the final prospectus supplement to purchase up to an additional $45 million aggregate principal amount of notes to the extent the underwriters sell more than $300 million aggregate principal amount of notes in the note offering.

The notes will be convertible into cash up to their principal amount and shares of Evergreen Solar’s common stock for the remainder, if any, of the conversion value in excess of such principal amount. The interest rate, conversion rate, conversion price, offering price and other terms of the notes will be determined at the time of pricing of the notes. Lehman Brothers Inc. is acting as the sole book-running manager for the notes offering.

Evergreen Solar intends to use the net proceeds from the notes offering, after deducting underwriting discounts and Evergreen Solar’s estimated expenses related to the offering, including the cost of the capped call transaction and registered sale of borrowed shares of common stock described below, to complete the construction and equipping of its fully integrated solar panel manufacturing facility located in Devens, Massachusetts, to begin construction of a manufacturing facility that will produce heat resistant string to be used in the manufacturing of Evergreen Solar’s wafers and for general corporate purposes, including purchases of or prepayments for polysilicon and other raw materials, and working capital needs.

In connection with the notes offering and contemporaneously with the pricing of the notes, Evergreen Solar plans to enter into a capped call transaction with an affiliate of Lehman Brothers Inc. The capped call transaction is expected to increase the effective conversion premium of the notes and to reduce the potential dilution upon conversion of the notes. If the underwriters of the notes offering exercise their option to purchase additional notes, Evergreen Solar expects to use a portion of the proceeds from the sale of such notes to increase the notional size of the capped call transaction. Various terms related to the capped call transaction will be determined contemporaneously with the pricing of the notes.

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SAS Greenlights 1-Megawatt Solar Power Farm

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 3:01 pm

Tuesday June 24, 3:01 pm ET

Teaming with Progress Energy and SunPower, SAS Will Supply Renewable Energy Resources to the Local Community

CARY, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SAS, the leader in business intelligence and analytics software, working with Progress Energy Carolinas (PGN) and SunPower Corp. (SPWR), will develop a solar electric power farm on the company’s Cary, NC, headquarters campus. Scheduled to go online in late 2008, the project is the latest in the company’s continuing sustainability efforts to conserve environmental resources.

“I’m fortunate to participate in global business forums with some of the world’s finest corporate and government leaders. Without fail, the environment ranks among their top concerns. Additionally, our employees and customers expect us to be responsible corporate citizens. This solar farm is one small gesture among many green initiatives within SAS to diminish the impact on our environment,” said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight. “Future generations depend on us to do the right thing today.”

Covering five acres, the 1-megawatt photovoltaic (PV) solar array will feature SunPower® Tracker solar tracking systems. The Tracker tilts toward the sun as it moves across the sky, increasing energy capture by up to 25 percent over fixed systems while reducing land-use requirements. SAS’ solar farm is estimated to generate 1.7 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by over 1,600 tons annually. This is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from the consumption of more than 167,000 gallons of gasoline.

“This project is a perfect example of the kind of innovation and leadership our state needs to expand the important role of renewable energy,” said Lloyd M. Yates, President and CEO of Progress Energy Carolinas. “Progress Energy is moving forward aggressively and cost-effectively on renewable and alternative energy projects as part of a balanced strategy for meeting the needs of our growing region. We’re proud to be part of this milestone. Our hope is that this project, and the partnership and collaboration it represents, will be a model and catalyst for many more like it.”

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WorldWater & Solar Technologies Provides Update on ENTECH

Filed under: ENSL — Tags: , — Jason @ 1:28 pm

Tuesday June 24, 1:28 pm ET

EWING, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WorldWater & Solar Technologies Corp. (WWAT.OB), developer and marketer of proprietary high-power solar systems, today announced that its new ENTECH manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Texas, remains on track to open in July. The 70,000 square foot center has a planned capacity for 200 Megawatts of production. ENTECH has already taken delivery of certain testing equipment and machinery for the initial 50 MW line, which is expected to begin rolling out concentrator systems for validation during the third quarter. The company anticipates having prototypes available in the September timeframe, with IEC certification in the first half of 2009. Prior to obtaining IEC 62108 qualification, the company will be testing to UL SU 8703 and IEEE 1513 standards.

“We continue to believe our new ENTECH factory will accept orders and deliver products by the end of the year for customers not requiring IEC certification and to deliver certified products during the first half of 2009,” said Frank Smith, CEO. “Going forward, ENTECH will play an increasingly visible role with regard to WorldWater’s growth and competitive advantage. We will begin introducing ENTECH into those projects that are well suited for its technology as soon as possible and also intend to sell ENTECH hardware as a standalone product to bolster our margins in 2009 and beyond.”

Solar cell investment seen matching chip sector

Filed under: STP — Tags: , — Jason @ 11:09 am

Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:09am EDT

ZURICH (Reuters) – Global investments in solar cell production will match those flowing into semiconductor making by 2010, technology researcher iSuppli said on Tuesday.

Production of photovoltaic solar cells is expected to rise to about 12 gigawatts (GW) by 2010 from 3.5 GW last year, requiring heavy investment, iSuppli said.

“Each photovoltaic factory will require an investment of $500 million and more … and will generate annual revenue of $1 billion per year or more, putting them into the size, cost and employment range of semiconductor fabs,” the researcher said.

Germany’s Q-Cells overtook Japan’s Sharp Corp last year as the world’s largest solar cell maker. Other big players include China’s Suntech Power Holdings and Norway’s Renewable Energy Corporation.

High energy prices will drive demand for renewable energy in the short term, while over the next 50 years the world will need three to four times more electrical power to support continued growth in population and economic output, iSuppli said.

An increasing amount is expected to come from green energy.

Demand will get another boost when the cost of solar electricity comes into line with the power from the grid, the researcher said, adding that Q-Cells and REC expect a reduction in solar system costs by 40 percent from 2006 to 2010.

It said it expects the so-called grid parity can be reached by 2012 in countries with constant sunshine and by 2018 in areas with adequate or medium sun exposure.

Solar Energy ETFs: Don’t Get Burned

Filed under: AKNS, AMAT, ESLR, FSLR, KWT, SPWR, TAN, WFR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 8:08 am
https://i0.wp.com/images.businessweek.com/story/08/600/0623_solar_power.jpg

Andrew Koyaanisqatsi installs solar panels for a domestic hot water system Nov. 14, 2005 in Salem, Oregon Melanie Conner/Getty Images

These volatile indexes show that sometimes there’s little safety in numbers. Analysts suggest picking individual stocks instead

by Aaron Pressman
Businessweek

With sky-high oil prices hitting new records seemingly every week, interest in solar energy burns bright. But investors have found shares of companies that provide solar-power gear to be among the most volatile in the entire stock market.

Shares of leading players like First Solar (FSLR) and SolarWorld (SRWRF.PK) routinely trade up or down by more than 10% in a day. On June 19, shares of Evergreen Solar (ESLR) surged 20% on news that the solar wafer maker had signed two long-term contract deals. But the next day, they dropped 8% when there was no significant news to drive the stock.

All that volatility had many investors welcoming the April introduction of two exchange-traded funds focusing on solar energy indexes, the Claymore MAC Global Solar Energy Index ETF (TAN) and Van Eck’s Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (KWT). The Claymore fund is already up to $163 million in assets, while the Market Vectors offering is yet to hit $25 million.

No Safe Haven

Unfortunately for investors, the ETFs have turned out to be almost as volatile as the individual stocks. Both were down more than double the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index’s 1.7% drop on June 20. “Just buying the whole [solar] market means you just follow its ups and downs,” says Morningstar (MORN) analyst Rick Hanna, who follows solar energy stocks. “If you do your homework, you should be able to do better than that.”

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New Homes With SunPower Solar Systems are Bright Spot in Market

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

Tuesday June 24, 8:00 am ET

New Homes with Solar Selling Twice as Fast; 92 Percent of Homeowners Would Recommend a Solar Home

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — While much of the residential real estate and building markets have faced severe challenges in recent months, there is one area that is shining brightly. SunPower Corporation (SPWR), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, announced today that new homes powered with SunPower solar electric power systems are selling more than twice as fast, on average, as new homes without solar. Additionally, a survey of owners of new homes with SunPower systems indicates that 92 percent would recommend a new solar home to a friend.

Solar Sells Faster

SunPower has installed, or is currently installing, its high-efficiency solar power technology in more than 75 new home communities throughout California. A recent study conducted by The Ryness Company found that new homes in 13 communities with SunPower solar systems were selling at an average of 3.46 homes per month, while sales of comparable homes without solar in adjacent or nearby communities were selling at a rate of 1.71 per month. Comparable communities were selected based upon geographic location, square footage and lot sizes, publicized sales prices and development concept. The data was gathered from sales in 2006 through March 2008 from three regions in the state.

— In the Sacramento region, new solar homes are selling at a rate of 3.20 per month, while comparable non-solar homes are selling at a rate of 1.90 per month.

— New solar homes in the San Francisco Bay Area are selling at a rate of 3.24 per month, while comparable non-solar homes are selling at a rate of 1.33 per month.

— In the Central Valley region, new solar homes are selling at a rate of 4.72 per month, while comparable non-solar homes are selling at a rate of 2.37 per month.

“Homebuyers value solar systems today because they can significantly reduce their electric bills and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jon Nicholson, division president of Standard Pacific Homes in Sacramento. “Families in our energy-efficient solar communities are reducing their utility costs by up to 60 percent, and enjoy the satisfaction of generating their own clean, renewable energy.”

(more…)

US residential solar start-up raises $12 million

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

Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:00am EDT

By Anupreeta Das

SAN FRANCISCO, June 24 (Reuters) – SunRun Inc, a start-up that sells cheap solar power to homeowners, has raised $12 million from venture capitalists, the company and lead investor Foundation Capital said on Tuesday.

The year-and-a-half old start-up, based in San Francisco, is one of several solar power companies that see a business in pushing alternatives to traditional electricity as consumers increasingly seek out more environment-friendly options.

Yet many people have shied away from using solar power because it is too expensive. The average cost of buying and installing a residential solar power system is $30,000, said Nat Kreamer, SunRun’s co-founder and chief operating officer.

One of the reasons for that is that most people have to buy the photovoltaic panels that capture sunlight, he said.

SunRun, on the other hand, owns the panels that it installs. Customers pay upfront to guarantee electricity supply, locking in a per-unit rate for the power they consume for a specified time period — usually about 20 years.

The upfront payment is about one-third the amount people would have to pay to install solar panels, Kreamer said.

The few hundred California homes that buy solar power from SunRun pay between 13.50 cents and 16 cents per unit, Kreamer said, while the average cost per unit of traditional electricity is 24 cents, he added.

“People are used to paying on a per kilowatt-hour basis,” Kreamer said. “I don’t want to own the road in front of my home, and I don’t want to own the hardware that supports my electrical infrastructure.”

SunRun’s “full-service business model brings a cost-effective product to an underserved market,” said Parker Weil, who heads Merrill Lynch’s clean energy investment banking practice.

Forty-five percent of respondents who earn less than $100,000 a year would buy solar power this way in the next 12 months if it were available where they lived, according to a study of 1,100 California homeowners by Wilson Research Group.

Overall, the market for photovoltaic panels — the primary way of harvesting solar power — is expected to grow to about $69 billion by 2016, nearly three times the $15 billion market opportunity it was in 2006, according to a report by Clean Edge.

SunRun is not the only company aware of the potential demand. Akeena Solar Inc (AKNS) sells commercial and residential solar power systems, as do privately held SolarCity and Helio Micro Utility Inc, among others.

Helio earlier this month began selling solar power to some locations in California at rates lower than what people pay for traditional utilities, the company said recently.

SunRun plans to use the $12 million to “get the message out on solar,” Kreamer said. The company also plans to expand its service outside California, he added.

SunRun’s “solar as a service” model will appeal to a wider swathe of the residential market, especially given skyrocketing natural gas prices, said Steve Vassallo, a principal at Foundation Capital.

“We’re always looking for exciting opportunities to make these clean technologies accessible and deployable to real people and not just rich people,” Vassallo said.

Silicon Valley-based Foundation, which has about $2.5 billion under management, is a technology and clean-technology focused venture capital firm.

Known for backing EnerNOC Inc (ENOC), one of the few publicly listed U.S. energy efficiency companies, Foundation raised a $750 million fund in April, and said it would invest roughly one-third of that amount into clean technology start-ups.

Suntech and WACKER SCHOTT Sign 220MW Silicon Wafer Supply Agreement

Filed under: STP — Tags: , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

Tuesday June 24, 6:00 am ET

SAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, June 24 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ — Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP), one of the world’s leading manufacturers of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, and WACKER SCHOTT Solar GmbH (“WACKER SCHOTT”), a joint venture of Wacker Chemie AG and SCHOTT Solar GmbH, today announced they have signed a long term silicon wafer supply agreement. Under the terms of the supply agreement, WACKER SCHOTT will supply Suntech specified annual volumes of silicon wafers with a total volume of approximately 220MW over the course of the contract.

“With the impressive reputations of Wacker Chemie AG and SCHOTT AG, we have no doubt that WACKER SCHOTT will become a reliable source of high quality silicon wafers for Suntech. We admire their efforts to rapidly develop commercial scale production of silicon wafers and look forward to being a long term customer,” commented Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s Chairman and CEO.

“WACKER SCHOTT Solar is proud to have Suntech Power Holdings, one of the top cell and module manufacturers, on its customer list,” commented Axel Schmidt, Managing Director of WACKER SCHOTT Solar.

“We are continuously growing our production capacities. By doing so, we strongly benefit from the expertise of our joint-venture partners and from a secure supply of high quality polysilicon provided by WACKER,” said Dr. Patrick Markschlager, Managing Director of WACKER SCHOTT Solar. “Our focus is on supplying high quality solar wafers for first class PV systems with high cell efficiencies.”

Suntech partners with many first tier, international manufacturers across the entire solar value chain in order to build the highest quality modules and ensure continual product and technology evolution. Many of Suntech’s key equipment and materials originate in Europe including PV cell and module manufacturing equipment, module backsheets, adhesives, and silicon wafers.

June 23, 2008

China Sunergy Announces Private Offering of US$45 million of Convertible Senior Notes

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , — Jason @ 5:11 pm

Monday June 23, 5:11 pm ET

NANJING, China, June 23 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN) today announced that it plans to make a private offer of approximately US$45 million of its convertible senior notes due 2013. China Sunergy plans to grant the initial purchaser of the notes an option to purchase up to an additional US$5 million in aggregate principal amount of the notes to cover overallotments. China Sunergy anticipates using the proceeds for expansion of production capacity, enhancement of research and development, and general corporate purposes. The terms and timing of the offering have not been finalized.

Concurrently with the notes offering, China Sunergy also intends to enter into an ADS lending agreement with an affiliate of the initial purchaser of the notes, the ADS borrower, pursuant to which China Sunergy will lend up to approximately 3.75 million ADSs to the ADS borrower. The ADS borrower will offer and sell the borrowed ADSs and use the short position resulting from those sales to facilitate the establishment of hedge positions by investors in the notes offering. The exact number of ADSs to be offered will depend on the terms of the convertible senior notes offering and the hedging to be conducted by investors in those securities. The ADS borrower will be required to return the borrowed ADSs when the notes are no longer outstanding. China Sunergy will not receive any proceeds from the offering of the borrowed ADSs, but will receive a nominal lending fee from the ADS borrower.

The notes will be offered to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933. The notes and China Sunergy’s American Depositary Shares issuable upon conversion of the notes have not been registered under the Securities Act or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction and may not be offered or sold in the United States without registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the securities. Any offers of securities will be made only by means of a private offering memorandum.

This press release contains information about pending transactions, and there can be no assurance that these transactions will be completed.

Applied Materials Releases Statement Regarding its SunFab(TM) Thin Film Solar Technology

Filed under: AMAT — Tags: , — Jason @ 4:37 pm

Monday June 23, 4:37 pm ET

SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Applied Materials, Inc. today released the following statement regarding its thin film solar technology:

Applied Materials believes that its SunFab thin film solar tandem junction technology does not infringe European Patent No. EP 0 871 979 issued to the University of Neuchatel (the “Neuchatel patent”). Applied Materials’ unique and proprietary manufacturing process and tandem junction cell structure are the result of substantial research and development. The SunFab line is the only integrated production line for manufacturing thin film solar modules using ultra-large 5.7 m2 glass panels.

Applied Materials’ belief of non-infringement is based in part on differences between the SunFab tandem junction technology (as verified by scientific analyses such as Raman spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy) and the claims of the Neuchatel patent.

In addition, the Neuchatel patent is already the subject of four separate opposition proceedings in the European Patent Office challenging its validity, based on prior art that was not disclosed or considered during the European patent examination process.

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