North Coast Solar Stocks

September 30, 2008

Traditional Medicinals(R) Announces Completion of the Largest Solar Powered Tea Factory on Earth

Filed under: AKNS — Tags: , , — Jason @ 10:11 am

Tuesday September 30, 10:11 am ET

Longstanding Socially and Environmentally Conscious Traditional Medicinals® Partners with Akeena Solar & Comerica Bank to Produce Clean and Renewable Energy

SEBASTOPOL, Calif., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ — Traditional Medicinals®, an organic medicinal tea(1) company with nearly 35 years of environmental stewardship, has completed construction of the largest solar powered tea factory on earth (http://www.traditionalmedicinals.com). Partnering with Akeena Solar (AKNS) (a premiere designer and installer of solar powered systems) and with funding from Comerica Bank, Traditional Medicinals has installed 1,450 solar panels to power its 70,000 square foot tea factory and headquarters. For years, Traditional Medicinals has offset 100 percent of its electricity usage with wind credits, and this new solar installation will improve upon its environmental objectives, generating 430,000 kilowatt hours per year of clean, renewable energy.

“Energy independence has been a long term goal at Traditional Medicinals” explains co-founder Drake Sadler. “Our company operates according to a set of ethical business principles and practices which embrace environmental stewardship, and advocate for social and cultural sustainability and preservation. Projects like this solar installation simply reflect our deep respect for the earth and humanity.”

“At Akeena Solar, we are always excited to help businesses operate in a renewable and more cost efficient manner,” says Gary Mull, VP of Marketing. “We’re proud to bring our expertise to help forward thinking organizations like Traditional Medicinals achieve their ambitious clean energy goals.”

Caring for the earth and its natural resources is a central tenant to Traditional Medicinals’ philosophy and practiced throughout day-to-day operations. A pioneer in the organic and natural products industry for over three decades, Traditional Medicinals has continuously demonstrated a longstanding commitment to organic and biodynamic agriculture and sustainable wild herb collection. In addition, Traditional Medicinals minimizes its environmental impact with recycled and recyclable packaging, intensive on site recycling and a fleet of hybrid vehicles. As well, the company’s 8.5 acre facility is nearly self-sustained with its own water source and purification system, a sophisticated waste water disposal system, a large stocked fish pond for fire suppression and it is beautifully bordered with dense native drought-resistant landscaping.

About Traditional Medicinals

Providing the highest quality botanical medicine since 1974, Traditional Medicinals incorporates the ancient art of traditional herbal medicine with the most modern scientific methods of quality control. The company’s products can be found throughout North America in natural products retailers, nutritional shops, grocery supermarkets and drug stores. For more information about Traditional Medicinals please see http://www.traditionalmedicinals.com.

Suntech to Power Arizona’s Largest Building Mounted PV Project at Arizona State University

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

Tuesday September 30, 8:00 am ET

SAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, Sept. 30 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ — Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP), one of the world’s leading manufacturers of photovoltaic cells and modules, today announced it has been selected to supply 1.6 megawatt (MW) of solar panels to Sun Devil Solar LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Integrys Energy Services, for its project with Arizona State University (ASU). The project will be installed on top of two elevated parking structures in the middle of the ASU’s main campus using an innovating tracking system. The solar installations are to be completed by the end of 2008.

The total project size of 1.6 MW makes it one of the largest university installations in the United States. It will generate more than 3 million kilowatt hours annually, enough electric generating capacity to run approximately 3,680 computers at the university or the equivalent of 260 Arizona households. The project will also reduce 2,260 tons of carbon emissions per year — equivalent to taking 425 cars off the road.

“We are pleased our ground-breaking project will be powered by Suntech solar panels. Suntech’s high quality panels will ensure ASU is able to reap the benefits of clean, green solar energy for many years to come,” said Jonathan Fink, Director of the Global Institute of Sustainability and University Sustainability Officer at ASU. “We believe in the potential of solar to become a cost-effective energy solution and hope that ASU’s large solar installation and solar R&D initiatives will encourage further solar adoption throughout Arizona and at other universities throughout the U.S.”

ASU has long term plans to install 7 MW of solar-generating capacity at the Tempe campus as well as other campus locations. In addition, the university has a wide range of sustainability initiatives and has established the world’s first School of Sustainability. ASU has received multiple awards and grants from the US Department of Energy’s Solar America Initiative to support ongoing solar research.

“We commend Arizona State University for their vision of sustainability and commitment to solar energy,” said Roger Efird, President of Suntech America. “With an extremely sunny climate, the state of Arizona is well situated to be at the forefront of solar adoption in the U.S., and ASU’s solar programs are ensuring that Arizona is also at the forefront of solar research.”

This first phase 1.6 MW solar installation will be owned and operated by Sun Devil Solar LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Integrys Energy Services. Integrys Energy Services, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group (TEG), is investing in and promoting renewable energy company-wide, which it believes is one key to the future of its industry. To support this value, Integrys Energy Services has systematically reduced its investment in non-renewable production and devoted significant capital to the development of solar, wind and landfill-to-gas operations.

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SunPower Announces Stock Symbol Change for Class A Shares and Commencement of ‘Regular Way’ Trading of Class B Shares

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

Tuesday September 30, 8:00 am ET

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — SunPower Corporation (SPWRA, SPWRB), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, announced that, effective today, the company’s stock symbol for its class A common stock has changed from “SPWR” to “SPWRA”. The company also announced that “regular way” trading of its class B common stock under the symbol “SPWRB” will begin today. Both classes of stock trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

The change in stock symbol, and the trading in the company’s class B common stock, occurred in connection with the completion of the spin-off by Cypress Semiconductor Corporation, the former majority shareholder of SunPower Corporation class B common stock.

New BioSolar Development to Further Reduce BioBacksheet(TM) Cost

Filed under: BSRC — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 6:05 am

Tuesday September 30, 6:05 am ET

Company Discovers New Technique to Further Reduce the Cost of Its Bio-based Solar Cell Component

SANTA CLARITA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BioSolar, Inc. (BSRC), the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce bio-based materials from renewable plant sources that reduce the cost of solar cells, announced today a new technique has been developed to further reduce the cost of its BioBacksheetTM product.

BioSolar, whose breakthrough technology dramatically reduces the cost of solar cells by replacing traditional and expensive petroleum-based components with bio-based materials derived from renewable plant sources, shocked the industry last month when it announced at the SPIE Optics+Photonics conference that its technology was derived from cotton and castor beans.

The company’s BioBacksheet, currently being readied for production, is expected to deliver a 25% reduction in cost compared to its petroleum-based counterpart used in solar panels. As a result of ongoing research and development efforts, BioSolar has recently developed a new material configuration and manufacturing technique to produce a version of BioBacksheet that can potentially deliver a 50% reduction in cost. A patent application has been filed for this new invention.

BioSolar has shipped BioBacksheet samples to a select group of manufacturers for their evaluation in several regions of the country. In addition to obtaining key verification data points which reflect a growing sense of confidence in the company’s progress toward full-scale production, the company also had an opportunity to evaluate and prioritize the demands and needs of PV module manufacturers.

“Initial test results are very encouraging and we continue to receive positive feedback and be responsive to the needs of potential buyers of BioBacksheet,” said Dr. David Lee, CEO of BioSolar. “With solar cell demand expected to exceed supply for the next 5 to 10 years, we believe there is tremendous opportunity for growth.”

September 26, 2008

California Academy of Sciences Incorporates SunPower’s High-Efficiency Solar Cells into its Sustainable, Living Roof

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 6:27 pm

Friday September 26, 6:27 pm ET

Distinctive Solar ‘Halo’ Surrounds the Academy’s New Home

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — SunPower Corporation (SPWR), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced that its industry-leading solar cells have been incorporated into the unique architecture of the California Academy of Sciences (Academy) in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Calif., which is re-opening its new home this weekend.

The Academy’s new building features a “Living Roof,” which was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano. The solar halo surrounding the roof is made up of 60,000 SunPower high-efficiency solar cells encapsulated in 720 custom built glass panels. This unique display allows visitors to see both the top and bottom of the solar cells. The 172 kilowatt building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) electric system will generate approximately 213,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually and will provide up to 10 percent of the Academy’s electricity needs. The system is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 405,000 pounds each year.

“The Academy will be reopening its doors this weekend to a revolutionary, environmentally-sustainable facility that will host inquisitive minds of all ages,” said Ari Harding, the Building Management Systems specialist at the Academy. “Incorporating solar power into our Living Roof was a logical way to lower our carbon footprint while complementing the aesthetics of the building. We are very pleased to have the highest-efficiency solar cells in the world on our facility, made by a Bay Area neighbor.”

SunPower’s high-efficiency solar cells lead the industry with up to fifty percent more power than conventional technology and two to three times the efficiency of thin film technologies. The same SunPower solar cells integrated into the roof of the Academy are the number one choice for rooftop systems on homes in California and across the United States. With an all-black appearance, SunPower’s solar cells offer an attractive, affordable way to add solar to any building while maximizing the solar power generated per square foot of any roof area.

“We applaud the Academy’s decision to include SunPower’s high-efficiency solar technology as part of its new building, which is expected to earn a LEED platinum certification,” said Tom Werner, SunPower’s CEO. “The SunPower high-efficiency solar cells are an important element of Renzo Piano’s roof design and a functional solution for generating pollution-free solar energy to support the planetarium, aquarium and rainforest inside the museum.”

Solar stocks fall on uncertain outlook for tax credits

Filed under: FSLR, SPWR, STP — Tags: , — Jason @ 2:19 pm

By Steve Gelsi
Last update: 2:19 p.m. EDT Sept. 26, 2008

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Solar stocks fell Friday after the U.S. House of Representatives OK’d a measure to extend billions in tax credits for renewable energy, but the measure faces an uncertain future because it differs from the Senate version. The House voted 257-166 to approve legislation to extend a host of expiring tax measures, including credits for wind, solar, geothermal and other forms of renewable energy. “It’s about what is going to be enacted into law, and the shelf life on this bill is very, very short,” said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., during House floor debate, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires. First Solar (FSLR) fell 7% to $205.90. SunPower (SPWR) fell 9% to $86.18. SunTech Power (STP) fell 11% to $38.29.

GT Solar doubles size of N.H. manufacturing site

Filed under: SOLR — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 11:20 am

By Mass High Tech Staff

GT Solar International Inc. (SOLR) today opens a 50,000 square foot expansion at its 14-acre manufacturing site and head office in Merrimack N.H., doubling its size to 106,000 square feet.

The company said the expansion will enable it to increase hiring and ramp up production. The plant has 225 employees, and is expected to hire 50 more assemblers, engineers, technical and service workers this year.

Several New Hampshire notables will be there for the opening this afternoon, including former N.H. Gov. and White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu, EPA Regional Administrator Robert Varney, U.S. Chamber of Commerce board member Ray Pinard, and Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner George Bald.

In June, GT Solar completed preliminary designs and began material procurement for a next generation silicon furnace and 400-ton polysilicon reactor, more efficient products designed to further reduce the costs for its clients to manufacture photovoltaic cells. In July, GT Solar conducted an initial public offering, pricing its stock at $16.50 per share and lookingn to raise close to $500 million.

Kedar Gupta and John Talbot founded GT Solar in 1994 to make turnkey manufacturing equipment to enable production of photovoltaic cells for the consumer market. GT Solar enabled the startup of 15 to 20 photovoltaic manufacturers, and now has offices in Montana, Beijing and Shanghai.

Earlier this month, its subsidiary, GT Solar Inc., announced a $173 million contract with Korean chemical company DC Chemical Co. Ltd. Under terms of the contract, GT Solar will supply the Korean company with polysilicon CVD reactors, which help produce polysilicon to make solar cells.

Yingli Green Energy Announces Business Update

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 10:39 am

Friday September 26, 10:39 am ET

— Signs 36.8 MW PV Module Sales Contract with S.A.G. Solarstrom AG
— Expands Manufacturing Capacity to 400 MW
— Reaffirms Plan to Reach 600 MW of Manufacturing Capacity by Mid-2009

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 announces that the Company has signed a 36.8 MW PV module sales contract with S.A.G. Solarstrom AG (“S.A.G.”) and that it has completed the installation and trial production of an additional 200 MW of annual manufacturing capacity of each of PV polysilicon ingots and wafers, PV cells and PV modules.

36.8 MW Sales Contract with S.A.G.

Yingli Green Energy has entered into a sales contract with S.A.G. , one of the leading manufacturers, independent developers and system integrators in the solar power and solar investment market in Europe. Under the terms of the contract, Yingli Green Energy will supply 36.8 MW of PV modules to S.A.G. from December 2008 to December 2009.

“We initiated our relationship with Yingli Green Energy with a 5 MW contract in 2005, and we are happy to expand our cooperation with this larger agreement,” stated Dr. Karl Kuhlmann, CEO of S.A.G.. “The majority of the PV modules to be delivered under this contract are expected to be installed in projects in Germany and other countries in Europe. Given our long history of cooperation, we have developed a solid relationship and mutual trust. Our utmost priority is the sound operating performance of our customers’ systems, so we believe that it is essential to source PV products that guarantee system performance. Yingli’s brand and high quality products match all of our needs.”

“We are pleased to sign this major contract with S.A.G.,” commented Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and CEO of Yingli Green Energy. “The shipment volume under this contract is larger than the total volume we shipped to S.A.G. over the past three years combined. We are pleased to see increasing demand from customers such as S.A.G, and we believe this is one of many positive signals coming out of Germany that indicate a continuation of a strong market in 2009.”

Expands Manufacturing Capacity to 400 MW and Reaffirms Plan to Reach 600 MW of Manufacturing Capacity by Mid-2009

Yingli Green Energy successfully completed the installation and trial production of an additional 200 MW of annual manufacturing capacity of each of PV polysilicon ingots and wafers, PV cells and PV modules. The completion comes ahead of the previously announced target of the end of 2008.

“We are pleased to achieve another significant milestone in the history of our company’s growth,” said Mr. Liansheng Miao. “As a result of solid relationships with equipment suppliers and a concerted effort by our entire team, we are pleased to have reached 400MW of annual manufacturing capacity ahead of schedule. In addition, I am also delighted to confirm that our plan to construct an additional 200MW of annual manufacturing capacity is on track to be completed by mid-2009. Furthermore, we have now contracted substantially all of our estimated PV module output for the remainder of 2008 and have secured more than 90% of our estimated polysilicon requirements for 2008.”

September 25, 2008

Key facts about the solar power industry

Filed under: none — Tags: , — Jason @ 1:50 pm

Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:50pm EDT

Sept 25 (Reuters) – Solar power has enjoyed dramatic growth in recent years, but still makes up a tiny fraction of the world’s electricity supply. Government subsidies in markets such as Germany and Spain have underpinned much of the recent growth, allowing solar to compete with dirtier sources of energy such as coal and fossil fuels.

Here are some key facts about the solar industry:

MARKET SIZE AND GROWTH

*Revenue in the solar power industry increased 30 percent annually from 2000 through 2007. Solar’s global revenue reached $21.2 billion last year, up from $3.41 billion in 2000.

*Solar contributed 0.018 percent to the world’s overall energy supply in 2005.

TOP SOLAR MARKETS

*Germany is the world’s largest solar market, with 3.78 GW of photovoltaic solar systems installed at the end of 2007.

*Japan had 1.9 GW of PV solar generation installed at the end of 2007, while the United States had 903 MW, Spain had 670.4 MW, Italy had 107.5 MW, and South Korea had 84.54 MW.

SOLAR INVESTMENTS

*Total global investment in solar companies by venture capitalists, private equity funds and in the public markets was $5.2 billion in the first half of 2008, down from $6.5 billion in the same period of 2007.

*Globally, 8 solar companies have gone public this year on main markets, compared with 13 last year.

Sources: Lux Research, New Energy Finance

China Sunergy Enters into Sales Agreement with Wuxi Guofei Green Energy Source

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , — Jason @ 8:29 am

Thursday September 25, 8:29 am ET

Seven-Year Agreement Solidifies Long-term Sales Presence within China

NANJING, China, Sept. 25 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, today announced that it has entered into a seven year sales agreement (the “Agreement”) with Wuxi Guofei Green Energy Source Co., Ltd. (“Wuxi Guofei”), a leading Chinese solar energy company.

Under the Agreement, China Sunergy will supply Wuxi Guofei with 10 MW of monocrystalline cells each year, starting from 2009 through 2015, and China Sunergy will receive an advance payment after the signing of the Agreement.

“This represents a significant domestic sales agreement for China Sunergy and secures a long-term demand for our monocrystalline cells,” remarked Dr. Ruennsheng Allen Wang, Director and CEO of China Sunergy. “The payment terms of the agreement also provides China Sunergy with additional capital for investment in the continued development of our highly efficient solar cells, helping to ensure our company remains an industry leader in the solar energy sector in the future.”

Open Energy Corporation’s SolarSave(R) Architectural PV Glass Manufactured by Suntech to Help Power New California Academy of Sciences Building, Largest “Green” Museum Ever Constructed

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

Thursday September 25, 8:00 am ET

Open Energy System to Help Academy Achieve LEED Platinum Status

SOLANA BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Open Energy Corporation (OEGY), a renewable energy company focused on delivering building integrated photovoltaic solutions, today announced that it has completed its largest solar electric installation for the new California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California. Designed especially for the Academy by Open Energy and manufactured by Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP), one of the world’s leading manufacturers of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, the project features 720 4 x 6 foot glass panels embedded with photovoltaic cells. The panels will be arranged in a solar canopy around the Academy’s 197,000 square foot roof and will be one of the largest photovoltaic glass canopies in the United States The solar installation will be a key factor in the Academy’s attempt to achieve LEED Platinum certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the U. S. Green Building Council. The museum was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, and is scheduled to open on September 27, 2008.

“The California Academy of Sciences will be one of the greenest museums ever constructed, and our goal is to achieve LEED Platinum certification,” said Ari Harding, the Building Management Systems specialist at the Academy. “The Open Energy solar panels are important in helping us reach that goal, since energy efficiency is one of the criteria on which the building will be judged.”

The solar energy panels will complement the design of the Academy, forming a decorative rim around the building’s 197,000 square foot living roof, which is home to 1.7 million native plants. The Starphire® Ultra Clear Glass for the project was provided by PPG Industries. The solar cells will generate 213,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year, providing up to 10 percent of the Academy’s electricity need and preventing the release of 405,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions into the air. The system is already in the operational phase and has provided approximately 850 kilowatt-hours of energy per day for the last month.

David Field, President of Open Energy, added, “We are proud that innovative designers, architects, builders and institutions such as the California Academy of Sciences have selected Open Energy as their photovoltaic solution provider. We believe that Renzo Piano’s inspiring architecture and commitment to environmentally superior design is a testament to not only the energy efficiency of our systems, but our ability to tailor a solar energy solution to meet each customer’s unique structural, aesthetic and performance requirements.”

The Open Energy solar solution for the California Academy of Sciences was installed by PermaSteelisa, the company’s glass façade partner.

About Open Energy

Open Energy is a renewable energy company focused on development and commercialization of a portfolio of solar technologies capable of delivering power and related commodities on a global basis. Open Energy offers award-winning, building-integrated photovoltaic (PV) roofing systems for residential, commercial and industrial applications. Marketed under the trade name SolarSave®, the product line includes PV tiles, roofing membranes, and custom architectural glass panels, as well as integrated inverters and web-based monitoring systems. The Company’s mission is to harness the power of the sun to deliver complete renewable energy solutions to its customers. For more information on Open Energy, please visit http://www.openenergycorp.com.

September 24, 2008

Passage Of New Tax Incentives Brightens Outlook For U.S. Solar

Filed under: AKNS, ENER, FSLR, SPWR, TAN — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 7:55 pm

Wednesday September 24, 7:55 pm ET
Brian Womack

Solar stocks soared Wednesday after the U.S. Senate approved a more than $17 billion energy package that could spark the nation’s sun-powered industry.

“Christmas came early for the U.S. solar industry,” said Travis Bradford, an analyst at the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development.

The Senate, after failing several times in the past year, approved a better-than-expected legislative package late Tuesday that extends solar’s investment tax credit for eight years, boosts the amount of the credit for some — and even aids the utility industry. Current incentives expire at year’s end.

The House must now take up the legislation. Some say a vote is possible as early as Thursday. Passage of the bill in its current form is far from certain, though the White House has indicated its support.

Still, the Senate has been a key obstacle in the process, so investors applauded its vote.

The package would give the solar industry a big shot in the arm. The U.S. could emerge as another huge solar market besides Europe and Japan, analysts say. The U.S. market is ripe for growth, and the tax incentives help make solar competitive with traditional energy.

“This is a huge deal for the solar industry, but also for the economy,” said Monique Hanis, a spokeswoman for the Solar Energy Industries Association trade group. “This helps put solar within reach of all Americans.”

(more…)

LDK Solar Announces Closing of Follow-on Public Offering of 4.8 Million American Depositary Shares

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

Wednesday September 24, 4:05 pm ET

XINYU CITY, China and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (LDK), a manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers, today closed a follow-on offering of 4,800,000 American depositary shares (“ADSs”), each representing one ordinary share, at a price to the public of $41.75 per ADS. The Company will receive net proceeds of US$192,384,000 from this offering.

LDK Solar expects to use approximately 60% of its net proceeds to fund the construction of its polysilicon manufacturing plant, approximately 30% to fund the capacity expansion of its wafer production facilities and approximately 10% to fund other general corporate activities.

UBS AG and Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. are acting as joint bookrunners for the offering. LDK Solar’s F-3 registration statement and the final prospectus supplement are available from the SEC website at: http://www.sec.gov.

MEMC shares jump after company updates outlook

Filed under: WFR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 1:53 pm

Wednesday September 24, 1:53 pm ET

MEMC up; analysts upbeat as company says Hurricane Ike had no long-term impact on operations

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (WFR), which supplies silicon wafers used in making computer chips and solar cells, jumped Wednesday after several analysts reiterated bullish positions despite the company’s revised sales forecast.

The St. Peters, Mo.-based company lowered its third-quarter sales outlook to about $520 million to $540 million, citing raw material supply delays due to Hurricane Ike. Earlier this month, MEMC reaffirmed its sales guidance of $560 million to $620 million.

However, MEMC said it expects to reach normal production levels in a few days and does not expect any long-term impact from the hurricane-related delays.

Kaufman Bros. analyst Theodore O’Neill pointed out that this is the fifth quarter in a row that the company has not met guidance, demonstrating “just how difficult it is to double production at the same time as doubling revenue.” But the analyst reiterated a “Buy” rating on the stock, calling it a “relatively inexpensive way to gain exposure to the solar market.”

RBC Capital Markets analyst Stuart Bush on Wednesday upgraded MEMC to “Outperform” from “Sector Perform” in conjunction with an upgrade of the whole solar sector.

Bush based his upgrade on a “likely renewal” of demand growth in the sector, led by the pending passage of an 8-year extension and expansion of the U.S. solar tax credit program. He added he believes stocks in the sector are “near a bottom,” with “over-pessimism baked into current share prices.”

MEMC’s shares rose $2.13, or 7.4 percent, to $31.10 in afternoon trading. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $27.27 and $96.08.

Trina sees 20 pct silicon cost drop in 2009

Filed under: TSL — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 10:36 am

Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:36am EDT

NEW YORK, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Trina Solar Ltd (TSL) expects its silicon costs to drop by as much as 20 percent in 2009, while the average selling price of its solar modules will fall by a more modest 5 to 6 percent, an executive said on Wednesday.

That decline in silicon costs versus the more modest selling price decline would lead to a “a significant margin expansion,” Arturo Herrero, Trina’s vice president of sales and marketing, told Reuters in an interview.

Trina, which earlier on Wednesday announced the largest single rooftop solar project in the United States, expects 30 percent of its sales would be to Germany, compared with about 35 percent in 2008, Herrera said.

Energy Conversion shares jump on ITC extension

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

Wednesday September 24, 10:02 am ET

Energy Conversion Devices shares jump on 8-year extension of solar incentive tax credits

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Shares of solar energy product maker Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ENER) jumped Wednesday, a day after a Senate energy bill extended investment tax credits for the solar power industry for eight years.

Energy Conversion Devices shares rose $7.66, or 14 percent, to $64.12 in morning trading.

A day earlier, the stock lost 18.5 percent of its value on news that Solar Integrated Technologies, which represented 23 percent of Energy Conversion Devices’ fiscal 2008 sales, lowered its guidance for the second half of 2008.

Calyon Securities analyst George Kotzias said the shares were “grossly oversold.”

“We believe the sell-off of ENER shares was largely overdone and presents an attractive buying opportunity,” Kotzias wrote in a client note.

Kotzias reiterated a “Buy” rating on the stock with a $85 12-month price target.

Energy Conversion Devices Comments on Recent Solar Integrated Technologies’ U.S. Project Outlook

Filed under: ENER — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 8:55 am

Wednesday September 24, 8:55 am ET

ECD Sees Increasing Demand for Its Products; No Change to Company Fundamentals; Revenues and Growth Outlook Remain Positive

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ENER), the leading global manufacturer of thin-film flexible solar laminate products for the building integrated and commercial rooftop markets, today commented on recent statements by Solar Integrated Technologies, Inc., regarding the cancellation or delay of certain of SIT’s projects in the United States due to uncertainty regarding the U.S. Investment Tax Credit.

“Our business remains strong, and there has been no change to our fundamentals,” said Mark Morelli ECD’s president and CEO. “Our largest market opportunities are currently in Europe where there is strong demand for our building-integrated (BIPV) solar product. Germany, Italy, France, and now Spain are growth markets for us. The announced changes in SIT’s business do not affect our positive growth outlook.”

“As we’ve stated in the past, we continue to believe that the U.S. market has tremendous potential for our products. We believe that the continuation of the Investment Tax Credit is an immediate step for the development of a vibrant U.S. solar market,” said Morelli.

“As I have noted before, demand for our BIPV product exceeds our ability to produce, so we are growing our capacity to 1GW by 2012. Our business is strong, our worldwide backlog continues to grow, and I look forward to updating our investors on our progress with our first fiscal quarter earnings call scheduled for November 10, 2008,” added Mr. Morelli.

Yingli Green Energy will Supply PV Modules to Largest University Campus Solar Energy Facility in the United States

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , , — Jason @ 8:32 am

Wednesday September 24, 8:32 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 has entered into a sales contract with SunDurance Energy, LLC (“SunDurance”), which develops, designs and builds large-scale solar energy facilities for private and public entities in the United States. Pursuant to this agreement, Yingli Green Energy has agreed to supply an aggregate of 1.4 MW of PV modules to SunDurance from December 2008 to January 2009, which will be used for a solar power plant under construction on the Livingston Campus of Rutgers University. The $10 million solar farm project will be financed by Rutgers University and the Clean Energy Program of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

According to Rutgers University, this project will be largest campus solar energy facility in the United States, and is expected to generate approximately 10 percent of the electrical demand for the Livingston Campus while reducing the university’s carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,200 tons per year.

“We are very pleased to be working with Yingli Green Energy on the Rutgers University project,” said Al Bucknam, Chief Executive Officer of SunDurance Energy. “Yingli’s products meet the demanding performance requirements of this project and the module design enables a more space-efficient layout.”

“We are pleased to work with SunDurance and to be a part of Rutgers University’s efforts to bring environmentally sound practices to higher education,” commented Mr. Robert Petrina, the Business Development Manager of Yingli Green Energy. “I believe solar power will play an increasingly important role in the energy generation mix of the United States, and this project and our relationship with SunDurance highlights our commitment to the U.S. market.”

Spire Adds Factory Commander(R) Software Technology

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

Wednesday September 24, 8:30 am ET

Software provides manufacturing cost analysis for Spire Turnkey Factories

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 that it has joined with Wright Williams & Kelly, Inc. (WWK) in a strategic partnership to provide Spire clients with an unprecedented view of their production costs and return on investment utilizing Spire’s production lines.

“We offer our customers cost effective solar technology at both the cell and module level,” stated Spire’s Chairman and CEO, Roger G. Little. “By adding Factory Commander® we now have a world-class tool for performing sophisticated business analyses with our customers. Factory Commander allows Spire to address real world business complexities more accurately and quickly than ever before. In turn, this provides our customers a distinct advantage in getting the most profit from their investment.”

David Jimenez, WWK’s President commented, “We are pleased to be working with such a forward looking company as Spire. Rapid changes in the solar business, coupled with increased investments, have made the environment too complex for companies to adequately analyze their business opportunities and risks using homegrown spreadsheets. Spire’s move to integrate Factory Commander into their business practices will provide their customers with the most realistic view of projected operating costs and profitability, providing Spire and their clients a distinct competitive advantage.”

About Wright Williams & Kelly, Inc.

WWK provides software products and consulting services to assist its clients in making better business decisions. The focus is to assist clients in improving the productivity of their manufacturing operations while reducing their per-unit costs. WWK also provides strategic assistance by creating virtual representations of their future-factories to help them manage risk and maximize return on assets and shareholder equity. For corporate or product information, contact WWK at 925-399-6246 or visit http://www.wwk.com.

Alternative energy tax credit

Filed under: ENER, ESLR, SPWR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 8:01 am

Wednesday September 24, 8:01 am ET
By Dirk Lammers, AP Business Writer

Solar, wind stocks could see boost from Senate’s extension of alternative energy tax credits

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Wind and solar companies could be poised for a big day on Wall Street Wednesday after the Senate passed a bill that provides more than $17 billion in renewable energy tax incentives.

The energy legislation extends for eight years, through 2016, investment tax credits for the solar power industry.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Paul Clegg said the long-term commitment could help the U.S. become a significant solar photovoltaic market force.

Clegg said in a client note that SunPower Corp. (SPWR), Evergreen Solar Inc. (ESLR) and Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ENER) should benefit from the passage, and a stronger U.S. photovoltaic market should have a favorable impact on global solar market conditions.

The incentives could also absorb an expected abundant supply of modules in coming years, although probably not quickly enough to forestall 2009 price declines, he said.

“However, in 2010 and beyond, we could see the U.S. develop into a key market force, as the impact of higher energy costs, a more developed PV infrastructure and stronger utility participation take hold,” Clegg wrote.

Also in the bill, the Senate for the first time gave utilities access to the solar investment tax credit.

“The inclusion of utilities for the commercial credit should spur additional large-scale installations, further driving demand for low-cost thin film and high efficiency solar PV,” Piper Jaffray analyst Jesse Pichel wrote in a client note.

Wind credits received just a 12-month extension, but Jefferies analyst Michael McNamara said that should be viewed as a positive because it could generate breathing space for a more attractive multiyear extension.

McNamara said the multiyear extension “remains as the key prize.”

He suggested investors look at Gamesa, Vestas Wind Systems and Clipper Windpower Inc.

MEMC Provides Operational and Financial Update Following Hurricane Ike

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

Wednesday September 24, 8:00 am ET

ST. PETERS, Mo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. (WFR) has updated its financial targets following the delay of raw material deliveries from its suppliers due to the effects of Hurricane Ike.

“As stated in our press release from last week, our Pasadena facility did not experience any apparent major damage, and we were able to start up the plant systems in preparation for production to begin Monday, September 14, as planned,” stated Nabeel Gareeb, MEMC’s chief executive officer. “However, some of our regional suppliers had startup difficulties primarily due to power availability, plant issues, and pipeline damage as a result of the Hurricane, preventing them from starting high volume delivery of some raw materials until yesterday. This resulted in the Pasadena facility running at very low utilization levels through the early part of this week. We now believe we are at the tail end of these raw material issues, which should allow us to achieve normal production rates within the next few days. Assuming there are no significant issues during this ramp, we now expect the cumulative impact of these delays to be approximately 15 days worth of production instead of the 5 days originally forecasted. Consequently, we are now targeting third quarter 2008 revenue to be approximately $530 million, plus or minus $10 million, with gross margin of approximately 51%, plus or minus 1%. Operating expenses are still targeted to be approximately $43 million.”

“We do not expect any long-term impacts from these delays, nor do we expect any significant interruption to our on-going capacity expansion activities. We would like to publicly recognize the commitment and hard work of our employees, as well as those of our vendors, in enabling us to recover from the effects of this storm, in spite of the challenges the Hurricane has presented to them in their personal lives,” concluded Gareeb.

Trina Solar to Power North America’s Largest Single Rooftop Installation

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

Wednesday September 24, 8:00 am ET

CHANGZHOU, China, Sept. 24 /Xinhua-PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Trina Solar Limited (TSL; “Trina Solar” or the “Company”), a leading integrated manufacturer of solar photovoltaic products from the production of ingots, wafers and cells to the assembly of PV modules, founded in 1997, today announced that shipments began this month to provide more than 13,400 solar PV modules to power the Atlantic City Convention Center (“ACCC”). This supply comes as part of a signed agreement with general contractor American Capital Energy, who is managing project integration and installation for Pepco Energy Services and the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (“ACCVA”). The agreement provides for up to four additional megawatts (“MW”) to be supplied during 2009.

Once complete, the ACCC project will be North America’s largest single roof-mounted solar array, with approximately 185,000 square feet of solar panels for a system size of approximately 2.4 MW. The system is expected to generate over 2.8 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year, or enough to power 280 US homes. The system is being developed under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with Pepco Energy Services, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc., and will provide the ACCC with energy savings of $4.4 million over 20 years.

“We are very pleased that Trina Solar modules were chosen for this landmark roof-mounted system,” stated Jifan Gao, Trina Solar’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are delighted to work with a proven solar system developer such as American Capital Energy as we enter this key growth market to provide efficient, clean solar energy in the years ahead.”

Tom Hunton, President of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts based American Capital Energy, remarked, “Trina Solar is our preferred provider on this project due to their ability to deliver a superior product on time and within budget. We look forward to working with them as a key partner on this and future projects as more large organizations recognize the quantifiable return on investment a commercial-scale solar implementation offers.”

Yingli Green Energy’s Principal Operating Subsidiary Named “China Environmental Friendly Enterprise”

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , , — Jason @ 7:25 am

Wednesday September 24, 7:25 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 its principal operating subsidiary in China, Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd., has been awarded the title “China Environmental Friendly Enterprise” by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection.

The award recognizes Chinese companies with outstanding achievements in discharge control, resource conservation, industrial waste recycling and disposal, environmental management system construction and environment friendly products manufacturing.

“We are honored to receive this title together with five other companies in 2008, which we believe is a recognition of our continued efforts to be a successful and socially responsible company,” commented Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy. “In addition to manufacturing products which provide clean energy, our efforts to develop more efficient and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes have provided us with both economic rewards and lowered environmental impact. On behalf of the Company, I wish to congratulate our technicians and other team members and thank them for their contributions to making Yingli Green Energy a socially and environmentally conscious manufacturer.”

Ascent Solar and Texsa Sign Cooperation Agreement

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

Wednesday September 24, 6:00 am ET

LITTLETON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer of state of the art flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules, today announced the signing of a definitive Cooperation Agreement with Texsa S.A. of Spain. The agreement focuses on the development of new photovoltaic roofing products intended for the European marketplace.

The parties have agreed to collaborate in the development of building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) roofing materials based on Texsa’s existing product lines of protective roofing and thermal insulating boards for inverted-system flat or pitched roofs. Ascent Solar initially intends to supply Texsa with product from its existing 1.5 MW production line for Texsa to develop, test and certify integrated BIPV products, and then intends to increase deliveries of solar modules to Texsa after Ascent Solar’s planned expansion of production capacity. Subsequent demonstration scale projects are envisioned to validate the system level performance and to develop market demand for the jointly developed BIPV roofing products.

Joseph McCabe, Ascent Solar’s Vice President of Business Development stated, “Ascent Solar is pleased to be working with roofing innovators like Texsa. We believe Spain offers an attractive business environment for photovoltaic roofing, including a high level of incentives for distributed generation BIPV solutions.”

Josep M Sala, Texsa’s Director General stated, “We are fully convinced that the combination of expertise between Ascent Solar and Texsa will provide the best energy generating photovoltaic roofing solution for commercial success in the Iberia, France and Italian markets.”

About Texsa S.A. of Spain:

TEXSA is a Spanish company that manufactures and markets products for roofing – waterproofing, thermal and acoustic insulation, as well as the corresponding auxiliary products for each of these fields. Through its subsidiaries, Texsa has operations in Portugal, India, Mexico, France and Egypt and currently exports to over 30 countries throughout the five continents.

September 23, 2008

US Senate oks extending energy tax credits

Filed under: ESLR, FSLR, SPWR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 7:03 pm

Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:03pm EDT
By Tom Doggett

WASHINGTON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved a package to extend $18 billion in tax credits for using renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal and also provide incentives to cut energy consumption.

The move, which alternative energy companies had been lobbying for all year, sent shares of solar power companies higher in after-hours trade. The delay in extending the tax credits had been a major damper on those stocks this year. The Senate was seen as the biggest roadblock after it shot down the extension eight times this year.

“Getting past what has been largely the deal-breaker in the past should be positive,” Wedbush Morgan analyst Al Kaschalk said of the impact the vote would have on solar stocks.

Under the proposal, which will be part of a much bigger tax bill, the tax credit for producing electricity from wind would be extended for one year. The credit for other renewable sources, such as wave and ocean tide projects that generate power, would be extended for two years.

The residential and business tax breaks for solar energy would be extended for eight years.

“Solar is the winner here,” Raymond James alternative energy analyst Pavel Molchanov said.

Shares of top U.S. solar company SunPower (SPWR) rose 4 percent in extended trade to $91, while First Solar Inc’s (FSLR) stock rose 3.6 percent to $218.50. Evergreen Solar Inc (ESLR) shares gained 7 percent to $6.14.

(more…)

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