North Coast Solar Stocks

October 30, 2008

First Solar shares jump as 3Q profit doubles

Filed under: FSLR — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 3:31 pm

Thursday October 30, 3:31 pm ET
By Dirk Lammers, AP Energy Writer

First Solar shares jump after company reports profit, revenue doubled in 3rd quarter

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Shares of First Solar Inc. (FSLR) surged on Wall Street Thursday, a day after the Tempe, Ariz.-based company said its third-quarter profit and revenue doubled, far exceeding analyst expectations.

Following the report, Merriman Curhan Ford upgraded First Solar to “Buy” from “Neutral” with a target price of $185 to $195 per share. Separately, Soleil Securities Group boosted its rating on the stock to “Buy” from “Hold.”

First Solar also said Wednesday it is entering the U.S. residential market through a five-year contract with SolarCity Corp.

First Solar, which produces cadmium telluride-based solar panels, will supply 100 megawatts of modules to SolarCity, a Foster City, Calif.-based residential solar installer, beginning in the first quarter of 2009. First Solar will also make a $25 million equity investment in SolarCity, which is part of a $30 million round of financing that will fund SolarCity’s continued U.S. expansion.

Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov said in a client note that First Solar’s strategy to expand its footprint in the U.S. utility arena appears to be on track.

Molchanov, who maintains an “Outperform” rating on First Solar with a $195 price target, said the company enjoys a wide production cost advantage over its silicon-based competitors and is targeting grid parity in several key solar markets by 2010.

Piper Jaffray analyst Jesse W. Pichel, who maintained a “Buy” rating on the stock, said First Solar continues to lower its costs at a pace exceeding the industry decline in average sale prices.

“In our opinion the company is breaking away from the pack as the low cost leader,” Pichel wrote in a client note.

In afternoon trading Thursday, shares of First Solar soared $24.42, or 21.1 percent, to $140.17. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $95.32 to $317.

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MEMC CEO resigns, shares touch three-year low

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

Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:01pm EDT

* CEO Nabeel Gareeb resigns

* Names board member as interim CEO

* Shares fall 18 pct

By Purwa Naveen Raman

BANGALORE, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Silicon wafers maker MEMC Electronic Materials Inc (WFR) said Chief Executive Nabeel Gareeb resigned, sending its shares down as much as 18 percent to their lowest level in three years.

The resignation comes at a time when the company has been missing market estimates for quarterly earnings, hurt by recurring manufacturing issues and weakness in the semiconductor market due to lower IT spending and oversupply.

However, not many people suspected that Gareeb, who’s been one of the key persons responsible for the company’s transition from a semiconductor firm to both a silicon- and solar-wafers company, would resign at this point.

“Over the past seven years, he (Gareeb) has taken MEMC from a nobody to one of the leading pre-eminent polysilicon manufacturers,” Gordon Johnson II of Hapoalim Securities told Reuters.

Gareeb’s biggest attribute has been the ability to execute long-term contracts with solar companies at a very aggressive pricing, which helped in building a backlog of revenues, Johnson said.

On one hand, people are sorry to see him go, on the other, there are concerns that this time too the company’s outlook could be a bit aggressive, he said.

Shares of MEMC, which supplies wafers to the chip and solar industries, have lost more than 80 percent of their value since December 2007, when they touched a high of $96.08

“Looking at the stock price, it’s pretty clear that the investors have lost faith in the CEO,” said JP Morgan analyst Christopher Blansett.

The company implies that Gareeb feels that “may be it’s time for him to move on” and look for somebody else who can lead the company and regain investor confidence, he said.

MEMC named Marshall Turner, currently a member of the board, as interim CEO, effective Nov. 12, while a search is conducted for Gareeb’s permanent replacement.

Gareeb, who was appointed president and chief executive in April 2002, has agreed to assist in a transition through the end of 2008, the company said.

“I don’t believe there was a succession plan, so I don’t believe there’s anybody who’s been highlighted to take over,” said Blansett, who has an “overweight” rating on the stock.

Highlights from Second Day of Yingli Green Energy 2008 Global Customer Conference

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 10:19 am

Thursday October 30, 10:19 am ET

Company also Announces Framework Agreements with Key Suppliers

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 key highlights from the second day of the Yingli Green Energy 2008 Global Customer Conference (the “Conference”) hosted in Baoding October 29-30, 2008 as well as framework agreements with two key suppliers.

Executives Address Solar Market Developments

Mr. Stuart Brannigan, Managing Director of Europe from Yingli Green Energy, delivered the opening presentation in which he highlighted the Company’s marketing strategies to further solidify our position in Europe, which include continuously delivering superior quality, lowering the average selling price and focusing on assisting customers in Germany with access to financial advisory services and potential project funding solutions. Mr. Brannigan noted that these strategies would be supported by Yingli Green Energy’s vertically integrated business model, one of lowest manufacturing cost structures in the industry and flexible polysilicon procurement strategy which relies on both long-term supply contracts and spot market purchases, as well as the newly established cooperative relationship with Deutsche Bank.

The presentation went on with analyses of major markets in Europe and North America provided by Yingli Green Energy’s business development managers in these markets.

Framework Agreements with Two Key Suppliers

Yingli Green Energy has entered into two framework agreements with two non-polysilicon suppliers for these suppliers to establish production facilities in the National High and New Technology Zone of Baoding. These suppliers, Sinofusion Solar Performance Material Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Flat Glass Co., Ltd., are the Company’s key suppliers of crucible and tempered glass. Under the terms of the framework agreements, each of the suppliers will build production lines in Baoding and agrees to supply products to Yingli Green Energy at the most favorable price, and Yingli Green Energy will construct and lease factory buildings to these suppliers and purchase products from their Baoding facilities on a priority basis. Commercial operation of these facilities and delivery of products to Yingli Green Energy are expected to start in late 2009. The parties have agreed to reach separate agreements on pricing terms. In addition, Yingli Green Energy expects to enter into a similar framework agreement with Hangzhou First Hot-melt Adhesive Film Co., Ltd., its key supplier of ethylene vinyl acetate, in early November.

“We’re delighted to establish closer relationships with our key suppliers by helping them establish production lines in Baoding,” commented Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy. “Under these agreements, we expect to not only benefit from a steady supply of important materials for our production but also further reduce our non-polysilicon costs and enhance competitive advantages.”

October 29, 2008

First Solar ’09 sales view in line, shares soar

Filed under: FSLR, SPWR, STP — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 6:58 pm

Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:58pm EDT

*Shares rise more than 16 percent in extended trade

*Raises 2008 sales view, 2009 sales view in line

*First Solar net income more than doubles, tops Street

*Revenue up 119 percent to $348.7 mln, above estimates

By Nichola Groom

LOS ANGELES, Oct 29 (Reuters) – First Solar Inc (FSLR) raised its revenue view for this year and forecast 2009 sales in line with expectations, sending its shares up more than 16 percent in extended trade despite warning that credit concerns could impact up to 20 percent of its business next year.

The company on Wednesday also said its third-quarter net income more than doubled due to strong demand for its low-cost solar panels and topping Wall Street estimates.

Solar stocks have been pummeled in recent weeks on concerns that tight credit markets could hurt funding for large-scale power projects and slow the renewable energy industry’s recent supercharged growth.

On a conference call with analysts to discuss the company’s quarterly results, First Solar Chief Executive Mike Ahearn said the company was confident that 85 percent of its business in Europe will receive the funding it needs. Financial concerns could impact about 15 percent to 20 percent of its volumes next year, but Ahearn said the company has identified ways it could reallocate those volumes to other customers if needed.

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First Solar Announces New Long-Term Module Supply Agreements Totaling 525MW

Filed under: FSLR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 5:44 pm

Wednesday October 29, 5:44 pm ET

TEMPE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) announced today the company has entered into new long-term module supply agreements with Sorgenia Solar, a developer of large-scale, grid-connected solar power plants in Italy and extended module supply agreements with several of First Solar’s existing customers including EDF Energies Nouvelles, Ecostream, Juwi and Phoenix Solar AG. These new agreements expand contracted module volume by a total of 525MW, allowing for additional sales of approximately $800 million at an assumed exchange rate of $1.15/€1.00 over the period of 2009 to 2013. These agreements are structured on terms similar to First Solar’s existing long-term module supply agreements.

“With strong market growth in Italy we are pleased to announce our new partnership with the Italian Utility company Sorgenia Solar, who is well positioned to develop solar power plants in this important region,” said Mike Ahearn, CEO of First Solar. “These new module supply agreements and contract extensions enable our partners to increase solar electric generation in multiple markets throughout Europe and demonstrate the successful partnerships First Solar has established with the world’s leading project developers and system integrators.”

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First Solar, Inc. Announces 2008 Third Quarter Financial Results

Filed under: FSLR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 4:00 pm

Wednesday October 29, 4:00 pm ET

TEMPE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) today announced its financial results for the third quarter ended September 27, 2008. Quarterly revenues were $348.7 million, up from $267.0 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2008 and up from $159.0 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 was $99.3 million or $1.20 per share on a fully diluted basis, compared to net income of $69.7 million or $0.85 per share on a fully diluted basis for the second quarter of fiscal 2008. Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2007 was $46.0 million or $0.58 per share on a fully diluted basis, which included a one-time income tax benefit of $7.5 million that resulted from the reversal of valuation allowances against previously established German deferred income tax assets.

First Solar will discuss these results and expected results for fiscal 2008 in a conference call scheduled for today at 1:30 p.m. PDT (4:30 p.m. EDT). Investors may access a live audio web cast of this conference call in the Investors section of the company’s website at http://www.firstsolar.com. An audio replay of the conference call will be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call. The audio replay will remain available until October 31, 2008 at 8:59 p.m. PDT (11:59 p.m. EDT) and can be accessed by dialing 888-266-2081 or 703-925-2533 and entering access ID number 1288925.

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Highlights from First Day of Yingli Green Energy 2008 Global Customer Conference

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 10:42 am

Wednesday October 29, 10:42 am ET

Company also Announces Proposed On-grid PV Project Strategic Partnership with CECIC

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 key highlights from the first day of the Yingli Green Energy 2008 Global Customer Conference (the “Conference”) hosted in Baoding October 29-30, 2008 as well as a framework agreement with the China Energy Conservation Investment Corporation.

Opening Speeches Address Global Energy Concerns

Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and CEO of Yingli Green Energy, delivered the opening address highlighting the PV industry’s challenges and opportunities. “The world continues to be affected by the shortage of energy, while the environment in which we all live needs to be protected and improved. Recent financial turmoil has led to disruptions in the global economy and market volatility which raise challenges for the entire renewable energy industry,” Mr. Miao commented. “The world’s major central banks banded together to support troubled markets and the ‘Presidents’ Announcement’ at the Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting showed us the strength of worldwide cooperation. The PV industry also needs this kind of cooperation to overcome these challenges.”

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First Solar and SolarCity Announce 100MW Module Supply Agreement to Serve U.S. Residential Segment

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

Wednesday October 29, 9:00 am ET

— Companies sign 5-year 100MW module supply agreement
— First Solar invests $25 million in SolarCity

TEMPE, Ariz. & FOSTER CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) and SolarCity Corporation today announced a module supply agreement and investment that will make solar power an affordable option for more U.S. homeowners and businesses. The two companies have entered into a five-year agreement that calls for First Solar to supply 100 megawatts of its advanced thin film solar modules to SolarCity, marking First Solar’s entrance into the U.S. residential segment. Pursuant to the agreement, First Solar will begin delivering modules to SolarCity in the first quarter of 2009. First Solar will also make a $25 million equity investment in SolarCity; part of a $30 million round of financing that will fund SolarCity’s continued U.S. expansion.

SolarCity, one of the nation’s leading residential solar installers, currently serves California, Arizona, and Oregon with plans to expand into additional states. SolarCity’s innovative SolarLease™ financing option allows homeowners to switch to solar power for less money than they currently pay for electricity from their power company, without the need for a large upfront investment.

With years of high volume production and system performance monitoring, First Solar has demonstrated proven efficiencies leading to high energy yields, low production costs and predictable energy performance. First Solar’s industry-leading modules make it possible for SolarCity to serve residential and small commercial markets where solar was not previously an affordable option.

“The combination of First Solar’s modules with SolarCity’s innovative approach to designing, financing and maintaining complete solar solutions enables homeowners and small business owners to lower their electricity costs while reducing air pollution and the effects of global warming,” said Mike Ahearn, First Solar’s chief executive officer.

“Our relationship with First Solar will enable us to deliver affordable solar power to a wider market of residential and small commercial customers,” said Lyndon Rive, chief executive officer of SolarCity. “We believe that together, SolarCity and First Solar are uniquely capable of making solar power competitive with the cost of electricity generated from fossil fuels across the U.S.,—making solar a mainstream source of electricity in the next several years.”

About SolarCity

SolarCity®—a national leader in residential and small commercial solar power system design, financing, installation, monitoring and related services—was founded with the mission to help millions of homeowners and businesses adopt solar power, protect themselves from rising electricity costs and protect their environment from polluting power sources. The company’s first-of-its-kind SolarLease offering makes it possible for homeowners to switch to clean, solar power for less money than they currently pay for electricity. SolarCity currently serves more than 300 communities in California, Arizona and Oregon. Additional information about the company is available on the Web at http://www.solarcity.com.

MULTIMEDIA AVAILABLE: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=5816444

ICP Solar Announces Sunsei(R) Agreement with Major RV Manufacturer

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

Wednesday October 29, 8:00 am ET

Marks First Sale of Installed Solar Vents – Valued at Over $1 Million

MONTREAL–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ICP Solar Technologies Inc. (ICPR.OB), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of proprietary solar panels and products, today announced that the company has signed an agreement for the sale of its Sunsei® solar vents to a major North American supplier of recreational vehicles beginning in 2009. This marks the first time that Sunsei® vents will be installed directly at the factory of an RV producer, and it is estimated that this Fortune 500 OEM will purchase the equivalent of eight container loads next year – worth over $1 million. ICP Solar vents can provide lower maintenance costs to RV owners due to a reduction of mold, mildew, odor and heat inside the internal cabins.

“As the company looks to build on its Sunsei® brand name, we are excited to see that our solar vents will be built into a variety of recreational vehicles for one of the largest producers in North America,” said Sass Peress, Chairman and CEO of ICP Solar. “This supply agreement calls for our vents to be installed directly at the factory – providing solar energy when needed for electrical usage within the vehicle, a very attractive feature that meets the needs of today’s energy-consuming RVs. This application again validates the virtues of our patented technology and innovative designs within the solar field.”

October 28, 2008

Solar Power, Inc. and AEG Commemorate Solar Systems to power STAPLES Center and NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE – Governor Schwarzenegger Presides Over STAPLES Center Rooftop Ceremony

Filed under: SOPW — Tags: , , — Jason @ 5:05 pm

Tuesday October 28, 5:05 pm ET

The World-Famous Los Angeles Venues Celebrate New PV Solar Power Systems Designed to Reduce Utility-Sourced Electricity and Advance Environmental and Sustainable Energy Practices

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Solar Power, Inc. (“SPI”) (SOPW) and AEG today announced the completion of the installation of new photovoltaic (PV) solar electric systems to provide solar power to STAPLES Center and NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE, two of the world’s best known sports and entertainment venues. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger presided over a ceremony held atop STAPLES Center’s roof along the arena’s newest architectural feature, a solar array utilizing 1,727 solar panels. The Governor locked the final solar panel in place signifying the conclusion of the installation of the rooftop array and a continuation of California’s programs promoting the adoption of renewable energy across the state.

“I applaud AEG’s commitment to renewable energy, and I am thrilled to be installing the last solar panel on the STAPLES Center’s rooftop,” Governor Schwarzenegger said. “It is efforts like these that will help us meet our environmental and renewable energy goals while also generating green jobs.”

“We are very excited to have been chosen for this project,” said Steve Kircher, CEO of Solar Power, Inc. “We could not be happier with the outcome. The project has been right on schedule and I’m very pleased with our new SkyMountTM mounting system and how quickly it enables us to install very large commercial arrays like we have here. This is not only a good day for Solar Power, Inc.; it is a good day for our industry. It clearly indicates the mainstream acceptance of solar power as a principal energy source as more people become aware of its many benefits,” Kircher concluded.

In addition to providing electricity for both venues, the systems will provide significant environmental benefits and serve as an extension of AEG’s environmental and sustainable energy initiatives. The 345.6 kilowatt system associated with the STAPLES Center will provide significant environmental offsets over the next 25 years. These benefits include the elimination of over 10,000 tons of CO2, more than 27 tons of sulfur dioxide and over 33 tons of nitrous oxide, one of the principal greenhouse gasses. The net clean energy benefits of the system equates to the environmental benefits of 170 acres of mature trees.

“Today’s installation is another example of AEG’s commitment to investing in energy saving technologies and measures for all of our venues worldwide,” said Timothy J. Leiweke, President & CEO of AEG, owners and operators of STAPLES Center and NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE. “Setting new standards and our continued development and adaption of new sustainability policies are obligations we take very seriously on behalf of our employees, partners and guests.”

“It is important to us that every person that visits or performs in STAPLES Center and NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE knows that they are entering a facility whose management is committed to setting an example and new standards for energy conservation and sustainability,” said Lee Zeidman, General Manager of STAPLES Center and NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE. “We take very seriously our obligation to take the lead in the introduction of these measures in our City and to lead the way in setting sustainability as a standard for live entertainment.”

First Solar shares dip below $100 ahead of report

Filed under: FSLR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 2:09 pm

Tuesday October 28, 2:09 pm ET
By Dirk Lammers, AP Business Writer

First Solar shares dip below $100 as solar panel maker prepares to report 3rd-qtr earnings

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Shares of solar panel maker First Solar Inc. dipped below the $100 mark for the first time in more than a year Tuesday, a day before the company was to report third-quarter earnings.

First Solar fell to $95.32 in afternoon trading Tuesday before recovering a bit to $100.62, a 6.8 percent drop from Monday’s close.

The stock, which hit a high of $317 on May 14, last traded below $100 in September 2007.

UBS analyst Stephen Chin said solar’s residential segment is suffering from a global recession and tight credit markets, but he considers First Solar a preferred pick in the industry.

“We favor First Solar given our view that the company will sustain the industry’s lowest cost/watt and continued manufacturing production outperformance,” Chin wrote in a client note.

Lazard Capital Markets analyst Sanjay Shrestha rates First Solar a “Buy” with a price target of $265. He said the company should be able to leverage the solar industry’s long-term growth by continuing to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

“We view FSLR as an attractive risk/reward for medium- to long-term investors, although trading will likely remain volatile in the near term,” Shrestha wrote in a client note.

The Tempe, Ariz.-based company is scheduled to report its third-quarter earnings on Wednesday after market close. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, on average, are expecting earnings of $1.01 per share on revenue of $339.3 million.

Citi Investment Research analyst Timothy M. Arcuri is expecting higher earnings of $1.07 per share on revenue of $373 million. But he lowered his 2009 earnings estimate to $6.77 per share from $7.71 per share and his 2010 estimate to $11.10 per share to $10.23.

Arcuri maintained a “Buy” rating on the stock but more than halved his price target to $205 from $450.

Spire to provide 30 MW Solar Cell Manufacturing Line to Korea

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

Tuesday October 28, 9:00 am ET

Spire’s 30 MW per year high efficiency silicon cell line expands Spire’s presence in turnkey cell

BEDFORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Spire Corporation (SPIR), a global solar company providing turnkey production lines and capital equipment to manufacture photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules worldwide, today announced that Spire has been awarded a contract to provide a Spi-Line 30C complete turnkey factory to produce up to 30 megawatts (MW) per year of high efficiency solar cells for Hanwha Chemical Corporation (Hanwha). This is Hanwha’s entrance into the solar market and they made the decision to work with Spire as a partner after extensive research and investigation. This will become one of the most modern cell factories in Korea.

Spire has had more than 25 years experience in developing solar cell processing technology which is embedded in Spire’s turnkey cell line. The turnkey line includes all required processing equipment and critical process knowledge for making high efficiency cells. The Spi-Line 30C is capable of producing high efficiency cells using either mono- or multi- crystalline wafers. In addition, Spire provides in-depth training, factory layout, facilities and on-site support. Hanwha will be self-sufficient and able to operate the line without assistance after a ramp and qualification period. The solar cell line is scaleable, allowing Hanwha to easily increase capacity beyond 30 MW once the line is fully qualified and meeting production goals.

“We are excited to win this important contract. Spire is known worldwide for its module lines but this contract highlights Spire’s cell line expertise,” said Roger Little, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Spire Corporation. “Spire’s experience in solar cell production lines is also valuable to our module line customers to allow them to backward integrate.”

Hanwha’s senior officer related to the solar project stated, “We had an extremely thorough process for choosing a partner to provide this key element of our solar business and Spire was the clear winner. They represent the best choice as a partner for this turnkey factory. Their deep technical knowledge and proven ability to make their customers successful set them apart from all others.”

About Hanwha Chemical Corporation Ltd.

Hanwha Chemical Corporation, an affiliate of South Korea’s Hanwha Group, is a leading manufacturer of synthetic resins and various petrochemical products in Asia. Their products are widely utilized as industrial films, packaging products, and construction materials, as well as abrasives for semiconductors. Hanwha plans to produce high-efficiency solar cells on a large scale by the end of 2009 and gradually expand its focus to polysilicon, ingot and wafers. For more information, please visit http://www.hanwha.co.kr.

ICP Announces Measures to Speed Path to Profitability

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

Tuesday October 28, 8:00 am ET

Right-Sizing the Operations and Focusing on Business Execution

MONTREAL–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ICP Solar Technologies Inc. (ICPR.OB), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of proprietary solar panels and products, today announced that it has implemented a process improvement program to cut costs and streamline its operations, speeding time to market and accelerating the company’s path to profitability. ICP has already taken steps in identifying corporate overhead costs and supply chain inefficiencies such that approximately $700,000 in annualized expense reductions have been earmarked. In this context, Sheldon Reinhart has resigned his full time position as CFO and will become a part time consultant to the company.

“Even as we experience robust demand across our innovative product lines, we are taking measures to rapidly transform the organization into a leaner, more focused company with an eye on profitability,” said Sass Peress, Chairman and CEO of ICP Solar. “Given our improving top line performance and expected growth in 2009, we remain committed to increasing returns and accelerating our time to market with technology-leading solar applications. Our gross margins should also benefit immediately from lower material and transportation expenses tied to reduced fuel costs and a more competitive economic environment.”

Yingli Green Energy to Kick off 2008 Global Annual Customer Conference

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , , — Jason @ 7:05 am

Tuesday October 28, 7:05 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 will host the Yingli Green Energy 2008 Global Customer Conference (the “Conference”) in Baoding from October 29-30, 2008.

The initiative and theme of the conference is to promote communication, cooperation and development between Yingli Green Energy and its partners in the PV value chain. It is expected that more than 260 executives will attend, including global customers, equipment suppliers, certification institutes, banks and government agencies from fifteen countries and regions. During the conference, interactive activities will be arranged, including a tour for participants to view Yingli Green Energy’s vertically integrated facilities, and seminars and group meetings for participants to exchange ideas and discuss strategy about the future development of the PV industry. Deutsche Bank will also present its plans to provide solar project finance assistance to Yingli Green Energy’s customers as part of the recently announced “one-stop shop” solar project solution offered by the Company and Deutsche Bank. Most importantly, Yingli Green Energy’s management plan to exchange ideas with executives from the entire PV value chain about the continued development of the global PV industry.

“Despite the turmoil in the global financial markets, I am delighted that so many business partners will be joining us to take this opportunity to exchange opinions and ideas with us so that we can all better understand each other, deepen our business relationships, and create opportunities for cooperation and for exploring the future of the global PV industry,” said Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and CEO of Yingli Green Energy, “We strongly believe that close communication and cooperation throughout the entire value chain will help promote the continued development of the global PV industry, especially in today’s difficult financial environment.”

Yingli Green Energy and TUV Rheinland Sign Strategic Partnership MOU

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , — Jason @ 5:00 am

Tuesday October 28, 5:00 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 has entered into a memorandum of understanding (the “MOU”) with TÜV Rheinland (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (“TÜV Rheinland”) to form a strategic partnership covering a range of quality control initiatives at the Company. Under the proposed strategic partnership, TÜV Rheinland would conduct periodic factory inspections to review production, testing and calibration procedures and assist Yingli Green Energy in certification planning and execution to support new product introductions. In addition, Yingli Green Energy and TÜV Rheinland intend to develop and implement technical training programs for Yingli Green Energy employees.

“We are pleased to announce our intention to develop a long-term strategic partnership with TÜV Rheinland,” said Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and CEO of Yingli Green Energy. “Yingli strongly believes that product quality is the fundamental foundation for creating sustainable customer satisfaction and loyalty, which we believe will continue to be one of the primary drivers of our success in terms of building a strong brand, achieving solid financial results and creating shareholder value. To support our aspirations to be a world-leading manufacturer of high-quality PV products we recognize the need to work with world experts to improve our quality standards and controls and we have selected TÜV Rheinland as our strategic partner.”

“We appreciate Yingli’s objective to enhance their quality standards and controls,” said Mr. Gerhard Luebken, Managing Director of TÜV Rheinland Shanghai, “We are pleased to support Yingli in achieving their product quality aims by developing and delivering a range of services in cooperation with Yingli.”

October 27, 2008

ICP and Wal-Mart See Huge Market for Solar Chargers in 2009

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

Monday October 27, 8:00 am ET

Agreement Builds on Success of Products Recently Introduced

MONTREAL–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ICP Solar Technologies Inc. (ICPR.OB), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of proprietary solar panels and products, today announced that Wal-Mart has agreed to purchase the company’s Coleman-branded solar charger kits for sale in 2,100 stores across the U.S. during 2009. ICP is expected to provide an estimated $1.0 million of these units for sale to Wal-Mart next year. The Wal-Mart agreement builds on an existing supply relationship and represents nearly double the sales anticipated for calendar 2008.

“Wal-Mart continues to see strong demand for our Coleman solar chargers given the sustained interest in clean solutions for today’s huge array of energy-consuming products,” said Sass Peress, Chairman and CEO of ICP Solar. “Our sleek design and affordable, easy-to-use applications make it simple to harness the power of the sun for consumers’ everyday electricity needs. We expect to continue building on the Wal-Mart relationship and provide additional solar products going forward. Even in today’s volatile energy market, the desire for clean solar energy applications is stronger than ever.”

Yingli Green Energy’s Principal Operating Subsidiary Receives Additional Credit Line from China Eximbank

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , — Jason @ 7:05 am

Monday October 27, 7:05 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’s principle operating subsidiary, Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd. (“Tianwei Yingli”), has entered into a new credit line trade finance facility agreement (the “Agreement”) with the Export-Import Bank of China (“China Eximbank”), a government policy bank solely owned by China’s central government.

Under the Agreement, China Eximbank has agreed to provide Tianwei Yingli a short-term credit line of up to an aggregate principal amount of RMB 500 million or its U.S. dollar equivalent subject to certain terms and conditions. Under this new credit facility and the previous credit facilities provided by China Eximbank, China Eximbank has granted an aggregate credit line of RMB 1 billion or its U.S. dollar equivalent to Tianwei Yingli.

Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy, said, “We have worked very closely with China Eximbank since 2005 when our business was in an early, fast-growing stage. During our three years of cooperation, China Eximbank has deepened their knowledge of our business model and gradually raised our credit line from year to year. We are very pleased to secure this new line of credit during a period of unprecedented turmoil in the financial markets, which we believe demonstrates China Eximbank’s strong recognition and confidence in our company. Supported by this additional bank facility, we believe the company will be better positioned for the challenges that may arise from recent turmoil in the financial markets.”

October 24, 2008

MEMC Electronic shares jump on strong 3Q earnings

Filed under: WFR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 12:13 pm

Friday October 24, 12:13 pm ET
By Dirk Lammers, AP Business Writer

Shares of silicon wafer supplier MEMC Electronic jump on strong third-quarter earnings

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Shares of silicon wafer supplier MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (WFR) surged Friday, a day after the company reported a 21-percent jump in third-quarter profit on higher product volume.

MEMC shares gained $1.57, or 8.8 percent, to $19.35 in midday trading on a day in which most stocks in the solar sector were falling along with the broader markets.

The St. Peters, Mo.-based company supplies silicon wafers used in making chips and solar cells.

Piper Jaffray analyst Jesse W. Pichel said MEMC is best positioned in the solar value chain to weather the financial crisis.

Pichel said the impact from the sharp decline in semiconductor demand has been partially mitigated for MEMC by its sales to the solar market, which remain strong.

“Despite relatively strong fundamentals (versus a semi only company) as a result of this model, the market has sold off shares regardless,” Pichel wrote in a client note.

Pichel reiterated his “Buy” rating but lowered his price target by $12 to $36. Shares have traded between $16.85 and $96.08 during the past year.

“Our valuation multiple is in line with the solar group multiple and we believe is justified given (MEMC’s) strong growth prospects in its solar business, strong (free cash flow) and balance sheet, however offset by weakness in its semiconductor business,” he wrote.

The company on Thursday said it earned $182.8 million, or 80 cents per share, during the third quarter on $546 million in revenue. Excluding one-time items, MEMC’s profit was $195.8 million, or 86 cents per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, were expecting a higher profit of 88 cents per share on lower revenue of $530 million.

LDK Solar has no fund-raising plans for 2 yrs-CEO

Filed under: LDK, STP — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 8:45 am

Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:45am EDT

By Fang Yan and Pily Zhou

SHANGHAI, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Chinese solar wafer maker LDK Solar Co Ltd (LDK) has no plans to raise funds from the capital markets for the next two years as it has enough cashflow to fund an expansion which would more double its capacity by 2010, its chief executive said on Friday.

The company, based in the southestern province of Jiangxi, plans to expand its capacity to 2.2 gigawatts at the end of next year and to 3.2 gigawatts at the end of 2010, up from 1.2 gigawatts at the end of this year, Peng Xiaofeng told Reuters on the sidelines of an entrepreneur forum.

Peng, who founded LDK in July 2005, declined to say how much the project will cost, but said proceeds from a recent share sale and cashflow are more than enough to cover the expense.

“We are one of the most profitable firms in the sector and our profit exceeds $100 million each month. The proceeds and our cash flow are far more than enough to fund the expansion,” he said.

In September, New York-listed LDK raised $192.4 million from a secondary offering of 4.8 million American Depositary Shares.

While boosting its capacity, LDK, which supplies wafers to solar products makers such as Suntech Power Holdings Co (STP), would also consider making acquisitions especially in the upstream polysilicon business, he said.

He did not name any potential targets.

Peng, also chairman of LDK, also said that he did not expect any negative impact from the global economic turmoil, as its order book was filled until 2018.

“I am not worried at all, as we are booked for the next 10 years. Some have already paid roughly 10 percent of their orders as a sort of down-payment,” he added. (Reporting by Fang Yan and Pily Zhou; Editing by David Cowell)

BioSolar Files Comprehensive Patent for BioBacksheet(TM) Photovoltaic Solar Cell Component

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

Friday October 24, 6:05 am ET

Company Poised to Reduce Cost of Solar Energy by Swapping Petroleum for Renewable Components

SANTA CLARITA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BioSolar, Inc. (BSRC) announced today that it has filed a patent application to protect the novel inventions and processes behind its proprietary bio-based backsheet, a protective covering for the back of photovoltaic solar cells traditionally made from expensive petroleum-based film. The comprehensive patent application, filed earlier this week, is expected to give BioSolar full protection on its BioBacksheet™ breakthrough technology made from renewable plant sources that will reduce the cost per watt of solar cells.

“As the solar industry aims to make the world a greener place, the reality is that making solar cells currently relies on the use of petroleum based-products,” said Dr. David Lee, CEO of BioSolar. “The goal of solar is to provide power while reducing our dependence on the world’s petroleum supply and the use of petro-based chemicals in the manufacturing process of green energy presents a fundamental contradiction. Plus, our technology will reduce the final cost per watt of solar electricity by allowing manufacturers to lower the cost of their finished product without being impacted by the volatile cost of petroleum.”

Lee is leading a movement working to make “green” technologies more environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient by developing alternatives to petroleum. BioSolar’s intensive, 18-month research and development program aimed at identifying sustainable resources for photovoltaic backsheet development resulted in the company’s BioBacksheet, a cellulosic plastic equivalent derived from cotton and castor beans materials.

Details of manufacturing methods are disclosed in the patent application, which covers many breakthrough developments including the use of cellulosic film made from cotton with additives and coatings, and also in combination with a type of nylon derived from castor beans.

Expected to cost significantly less than traditional Tedlar®-based backsheet, the petroleum-based film made by DuPont (DD) in use by the majority of silicon-based solar-cell manufacturers today, BioBacksheet meets or exceeds the characteristics of various testing and performance standards for the photovoltaic industry.

“We expect this breakthrough product to be rapidly accepted as the standard for the backsheet component of both traditional and certain thin-film photovoltaic modules,” said Lee. “Patent filing and protection of our intellectual property is an important milestone as we continue our transition into full-scale production with our contract manufacturing partner, Rowland Technologies, Inc.”

October 23, 2008

Hoku Scientific, Inc. Reports Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2009 Results

Filed under: HOKU — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 4:15 pm

Thursday October 23, 4:15 pm ET

KAPOLEI, HI–(MARKET WIRE)–Oct 23, 2008 — Hoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU), a materials science company focused on clean energy technologies, today announced its financial results for the second quarter ended September 30, 2008 and provided a general update on its business.

Financial Results

Revenue for the quarter ended September 30, 2008 was $1.9 million, derived primarily from photovoltaic, or PV, system installation contracts and the resale of solar inventory, compared to revenue of $239,000 from fuel cell contracts in the same period in fiscal 2008. As of September 30, 2008 and March 31, 2008, deferred revenue of $12,000 and $36,000, respectively, was attributable to PV system installation projects and related service contracts.

Net loss, computed in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, for the quarter ended September 30, 2008 was $1.4 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $1.0 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, for the same period in fiscal 2008.

Non-GAAP net loss for the quarter ended September 30, 2008 was $1.1 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net loss of $705,000, or $0.04 per diluted share, for the same period in fiscal 2008. Non-GAAP net loss for the quarters ended September 30, 2008 and 2007 excludes non-cash stock-based compensation of $260,000 and $299,000, respectively. The accompanying schedules provide a reconciliation of net loss per share computed on a GAAP basis to net loss per share computed on a non-GAAP basis.

Dustin Shindo, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hoku Scientific, said, “The recent extension of federal solar tax credits through calendar year 2016 was significant because it enables us to continue our focus on building long term growth in our PV system installation business. We believe we remain on track to meet our fiscal year 2009 revenue guidance of $15 million to $18 million, contingent on the successful third-party financing of our power purchase agreements with the Hawaii State Department of Transportation, Airports Division and Hawaiian Electric Company.”

(more…)

MEMC Reports Third Quarter Results

Filed under: WFR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 4:01 pm

Thursday October 23, 4:01 pm ET

ST. PETERS, Mo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. (WFR) today reported financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2008.

Highlights:

* Net sales of $546.0 million
* Gross profit of $269.7 million (49.4% of net sales)
* Operating income of $227.5 million (41.7% of net sales)
* Cash and investment balances of $1.4 billion
* Repurchased 2.5 million shares under repurchase program
* Commenced wafer deliveries to Conergy and Tainergy under long-term agreements

The company reported third quarter 2008 net sales of $546.0 million, which represents an increase of 2.7% from second quarter 2008 net sales of $531.4 million, and an increase of 15.5% from third quarter 2007 net sales of $472.8 million. The increase in net sales was primarily the result of higher product volumes.

Gross profit in the quarter was $269.7 million, or 49.4% of net sales, compared to $282.8 million, or 53.2% of sales, in the 2008 second quarter and $238.8 million, or 50.5% of sales, in the 2007 third quarter. Compared to the 2008 second quarter, gross profit declined primarily as a result of hurricane related impacts and a $9.0 million charge related to the potential shortfall to our annual purchase obligation associated with a take or pay agreement for raw material supply to our Pasadena facility. Discussions with the supplier are ongoing and a portion of this charge may be recoverable in the fourth quarter.

The company reported operating income during the quarter of $227.5 million, or 41.7% of net sales. This compares to $242.5 million, or 45.6% of net sales, for the 2008 second quarter and $200.1 million, or 42.3% of net sales, for the 2007 third quarter. Operating expenses were $42.2 million, or 7.7% of sales, compared to $40.3 million, or 7.6% of sales, in the 2008 second quarter, and $38.7 million, or 8.2% of sales, in the 2007 third quarter. The sequential increase in operating expenses was primarily due to one-time non-cash severance related expenses, as indicated in the company’s mid-quarter update on September 2, 2008.

(more…)

Solar Power Company Ausra Launches First Solar Thermal Plant in California in Nearly 20 Years

Filed under: PCG — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 1:25 pm

Governor Schwarzenegger on Hand as Next Generation Solar Technology Provides Power and Industrial Steam on Cost-Competitive Basis

Last update: 1:25 p.m. EDT Oct. 23, 2008

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., Oct 23, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Ausra, Inc. ( http://www.ausra.com) and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today launched the company’s Kimberlina Solar Thermal Energy Plant in Bakersfield, CA, showcasing the company’s “next generation” concentrating solar thermal technology.

Governor Schwarzenegger joined Ausra President, CEO and Chairman Bob Fishman, U.S. Reps. Jim Costa (CA-20) and Kevin McCarthy (CA-22), California Assemblymember Jean Fuller and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) CEO Peter Darbee in launching a new era of solar thermal power with the turning of Ausra’s large solar thermal mirrors – harvesting California sunshine and creating California jobs.

“This plant proves that our technology is real, it works, and it’s ready to power businesses or provide process steam for industries . now,” said Fishman. “Ausra is first on the market, providing customers a dependable, cost-effective solar thermal energy system. Some of the best investment minds in the country have backed our technology and our management team’s ability to deliver.”

At full output, Kimberlina will be able to generate 5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 3,500 homes in central California. The Kimberlina plant is the first solar plant in the country to utilize Ausra’s next generation technology, and it is the first solar thermal power plant of any type built in California in nearly 20 years.

“This next generation solar power plant is further evidence that reliable, renewable and pollution-free technology is here to stay, and it will lead to more California homes and businesses powered by sunshine,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Not only will this large-scale solar facility generate power to help us meet our renewable energy goals, it will also generate new jobs as California continues to pioneer the clean-tech industry.”

The Palo Alto, CA-based company, a large-scale solar thermal energy developer and manufacturer, has dropped solar power’s costs by simplifying the design of its systems. This also results in the most land-use efficient solar technology. Ausra has demonstrated its ability to manufacture its systems rapidly with a state-of-the-art factory in Las Vegas, NV that can mass produce Ausra’s 1,000-foot mirror lines using standard materials to deploy and scale up quickly. The Kimberlina plant was built in seven months.

In addition to providing reliable, cost-effective electricity, the Kimberlina plant also demonstrates Ausra’s ability to provide solar mirror fields for industries that need high-temperature steam for their factories, either as retrofits or as part of new plant construction. A range of industries use this “process steam,” including: enhanced oil recovery and oil refining; food processing; and pulp and paper manufacturing.

The Kimberlina facility will also serve as the gateway toward developing Ausra’s Carrizo Plains solar power plant. In November 2007, Ausra and California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced a power purchase agreement for the 177-megawatt power plant in central California. When completed, Ausra’s Carrizo facility will generate enough electricity to power more than 120,000 homes.
Unlike photovoltaic solar panels, which convert the light from the sun into electricity and are commonly rooftop mounted, solar thermal facilities use large fields of mirrors to concentrate and capture the sun’s heat, converting it into useful forms of energy. In Ausra’s technology, heat is focused on tubes of water to create steam that drives large power turbines, generating clean, reliable electricity and high-temperature, “process” steam for industrial applications.
About Ausra, Inc.

Ausra delivers energy from the sun. The company provides solar power, steam and energy systems for industrial processes and utility-scale electricity generation. The company is a leader in solar thermal energy design, development and manufacturing, and is committed to serving the global energy needs of its customers in a dependable, market-competitive and environmentally responsible manner. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Ausra is a privately held company with operations in the United States and Australia. To learn more about Ausra and solar thermal energy, visit http://www.ausra.com.
SOURCE Ausra, Inc.

http://www.ausra.com

China Sunergy Signs Silicon Ingot Supply Agreement with Hitachi High-Technologies

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

Thursday October 23, 8:00 am ET

NANJING, China, Oct. 23 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, announced today that it has entered into a multi-year agreement for a supply of high quality 8 inch single crystal silicon ingot with the Japanese Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation and its affiliate (“HHT”). Under the agreement, HHT will supply a total volume of 1,472 tons of silicon ingot from September 2008 through the end of 2011, which will support the production of approximately 210MW of solar cells during the contractual term.

Shipment of silicon ingots began in September 2008 and will continue through the end of 2011. While the pricing has been fixed for the 2008 shipments, China Sunergy and HHT will negotiate the ongoing price of silicon ingot every three months beginning in 2009, within a predetermined pricing range.

“This long-term partnership with a respected supplier such as HHT allows us to reduce our reliance on obtaining silicon material supplies from the volatile spot market,” commented Mr. Allen Wang, Chief Executive Officer of China Sunergy. “In addition to the high quality silicon ingot improving our yields and output, I believe there are cost savings to be recognized from this deal which will contribute to the long term goal of strengthening our gross margin. We will continue to seek additional agreements with partners like HHT, as they will benefit China Sunergy by providing a reliable source of silicon through a flexible, favorable cost structure.”

Costco Canada to Increase Orders for ICP Solar Chargers in 2009

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

Thursday October 23, 8:00 am ET

Estimated Sales of Nearly $1 Million

MONTREAL–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ICP Solar Technologies Inc. (ICPR.OB), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of proprietary solar panels and products, today announced that Costco of Canada has extended its existing purchase agreement with ICP and will sell an expanded range of Coleman-branded solar chargers in 2009. It is estimated that Costco will purchase units worth nearly $1 million next year, a significant increase over 2008.

“Costco has come to rely on our Coleman chargers to meet the rising demand for solar products in their stores nationwide,” said Sass Peress, Chairman and CEO of ICP Solar. “We are dedicated to total customer satisfaction for all our innovative applications, and the company’s success with Costco is indicative of the unique value proposition we bring to market. Our cutting-edge technology and consumer-friendly product attributes serve the growing need for renewable energy solutions. We expect to leverage the Costco relationship for additional product sales both in Canada and elsewhere in the years ahead.”

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