North Coast Solar Stocks

May 31, 2009

Toledo area on verge of more capacity

Filed under: FSLR — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 10:00 pm

First Solar is in the midst of a $100 million expansion that will add a fourth production line and more office space


More than two million thin-film solar panels are manufactured each year in metro Toledo, and that number will grow as industry giant First Solar Inc. (FSLR) completes a major expansion in Perrysburg Township and other firms launch production.

First Solar’s $100 million expansion, to be completed in mid-2010, is about 65 percent complete, construction officials said. Annual production at the factory, at 28101 Cedar Park Blvd., will increase to 2.8 million panels from 2 million. Its panels produce 108 megawatts of power now; with the added capacity the figure will be 198 megawatts.

In addition to a fourth production line, the project includes a research center and added office space. It is expected to add 135 jobs to the 700-person work force.

Xunlight Corp., at 3145 Nebraska Ave. in Toledo, expects to move from pilot production to full-scale production in late 2009 or early 2010.

A technology spin-off from the University of Toledo, the firm has attracted more than $40 million in investments from private equity groups worldwide and an additional $10 million from the U.S. departments of Energy and Commerce and the Ohio Department of Development.

Founder Xunming Deng hopes to quickly expand beyond the planned production line capable of manufacturing enough panels to make 25 megawatts of power annually. The firm is seeking a U.S. Energy Department loan guarantee, provided for under President Obama’s stimulus program, to increase production to 100 megawatts within two years.

Willard & Kelsey Solar Group LLC announced that it would hire 400 people by the end of the year to begin producing solar panels at a former television components plant off State Rt. 25 in Perrysburg. The firm was founded last year by Toledo entrepreneurs with links to the solar industry.


May 29, 2009

Suntech Closes Follow-On Public Offering of 23,000,000 ADSs

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

Friday May 29, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

SAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, May 29 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (“Suntech” or the “Company”) (STP), the world’s largest manufacturer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules, today announced that its follow-on public offering of 23,000,000 American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”), each representing one ordinary share of the Company, was closed on May 28, 2009. The aggregate amount of ADSs sold reflects the exercise in full by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to 3,000,000 additional ADSs to cover over-allotments. The Company received aggregate net proceeds of approximately $277 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by the Company.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

First Solar Announces Multi-Year Supply Contract with Pfalzsolar

Filed under: FSLR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 3:00 am

Friday May 29, 2009, 3:00 am EDT

MUNICH, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) and Pfalzsolar, GmbH, a fast-growing German solar project developer owned by Pfalzwerke AG, a public utility in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, today announced the signing of a new long-term supply agreement.

The latest in a series of utility-linked agreements initially foresees delivery of First Solar’s photovoltaic modules to Pfalzsolar, beginning immediately, for use in rooftop and free field solar projects in Germany.

“This agreement reinforces First Solar’s relationships with utility-owned project developers and demonstrates that local utilities increasingly see photovoltaic power as a necessary component of their future electricity generation portfolio,” said Stephan Hansen, managing director of First Solar GmbH.

“We are pleased to have gained Pfalzsolar as an additional customer in a key market at a key period for the evolution of solar electricity in Europe,” added John Carrington, executive vice president, global marketing & business development.

Ali Boukhalfa, managing director of Pfalzsolar GmbH, said the company was delighted to have reached a long-term supply agreement with First Solar. “The agreement gives us the guarantee of being able to offer high-performance modules at competitive prices, thereby helping us fulfill our ambitious growth targets,” he said.

Applied Materials Announces IEC Certification of World’s Largest Solar Panels

Filed under: AMAT — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:00 am

Friday May 29, 2009, 1:00 am EDT

SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT) announced today that the 5.7m2 solar photovoltaic (PV) modules produced by its SunFab Thin Film Line™, using both single and more advanced tandem junction technologies, were awarded International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) certification, validating their exceptional performance under extended outdoor exposure. Certification of these SunFab™ modules, which are the world’s largest available solar PV panels, unleashes an opportunity for the widespread incorporation of SunFab panels in utility-scale, thin film solar farms to further drive down the price of clean electricity.

“We expect 5.7m2 modules to become the standard for utility-scale PV power,” said Dr. Randhir Thakur, senior vice president and general manager of Applied Materials’ Display and SunFab Solar Business Group. “Applying SunFab technology to ultra-large modules creates an unprecedented opportunity to reduce both manufacturing and installation costs, transforming solar PV into a long-term solution to provide the world with affordable energy from a renewable source.”

Certification was awarded by TÜV InterCert, confirming that the SunFab modules meet IEC standards 61646 and 61730. “Applied’s 5.7m2 modules are four times bigger than anything we’ve ever tested,” said Mr. Sergizzarea, president and CEO of TÜV InterCert. “We made modifications to the laboratory and added equipment to enable us to test modules this large. Creating a PV product of this size that can pass all of the IEC tests while maintaining mechanical and electrical integrity is an impressive feat of engineering.”

The quarter-sized 1.4m2 modules produced on the Applied SunFab Thin Film Line received IEC certification earlier this year. However, a full-size 5.7m2 panel designed to maintain high power output while subjected to years of exposure to sunlight, extreme temperatures, wind and precipitation was a new challenge. Applied’s technology and engineering expertise in flat-panel display and architectural glass systems enabled it to deliver the critical uniform conversion properties required across large areas. An innovative, integrated bonded rail support structure strengthens the module, allowing it to withstand wind and seismic loads while enabling the reduction of installation costs by greatly simplifying the mounting structure.

May 28, 2009

Evergreen Solar Closes on Public Offering, Including Exercise in Full of Underwriter’s Over-allotment Option

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

Thursday May 28, 2009, 4:15 pm EDT

MARLBORO, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Evergreen Solar, Inc. (ESLR) announced today that it closed the sale of its previously announced public offering of common stock at a price to the public of $1.80 per share for a total of 42.55 million shares, including the sale of 5.55 million shares pursuant to the exercise in full of the underwriter’s over-allotment option. Total proceeds, net of underwriter’s discount, resulting from the offering, including the exercise of the underwriter’s over-allotment option, were approximately $72.5 million.

Evergreen Solar expects to use the net proceeds from the offering (1) to fund its planned initial 100 MW wafer manufacturing facility in Wuhan, China, which, assuming the Wuhan government provides or facilitates financing for approximately two-thirds of the initial expansion cost, is expected to require between $15 million and $20 million; (2) to purchase capital equipment required for further expansion of its Midland, Michigan string factory; and (3) for general corporate purposes, including working capital and possible payments to its Sovello joint venture (or Sovello’s lenders) that may be required under certain circumstances.

Piper Jaffray & Co. acted as sole underwriter for the offering.

Copies of the final prospectus for this offering may be obtained by visiting EDGAR on the SEC’s Web site at or from Piper Jaffray & Co., Prospectus Department, 800 Nicollet Mall, Suite 800, Minneapolis, MN, 55402, telephone: 612-303-8290 or email:

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, the shares of common stock. Furthermore, Evergreen Solar will not sell any of the common stock and has been advised by Piper Jaffray & Co. that it and its affiliates will not sell any of the common stock in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification of the shares under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

Electric Utilities Rise to Meet Solar Call-to-Action

Filed under: DUK, EIX, PCG — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 3:01 pm

“2008 Top Ten Utility Solar Integration Rankings” Reports on Power Industry Adoption of Solar Electricity

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As financial markets deteriorated in October 2008, Solar Electric Power Association Executive Director Julia Hamm challenged the solar and utility industries to deploy solar power on a massive scale despite new economic barriers. She issued the challenge in a speech at Solar Power International, the nation’s largest solar conference and trade show. Today, the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) issued a report demonstrating that the industry has responded even amidst a tough economic climate.

SEPA’s “2008 Top Ten Utility Solar Integration Rankings” report identifies the utilities in the U.S. that have the most significant amounts of solar electricity integrated into their portfolio, and records the increased collaboration of the U.S. electric utility and solar energy industries. The report demonstrates that the utility segment is making a major investment to increase the amount of solar energy in power portfolios, with many utilities doubling the amount of solar power in their portfolio in just one year. The overall installed solar capacity of the top ten ranked utilities rose from 711 megawatts to 882 megawatts, reflecting 25 percent growth. Ninety-two utilities participated in this year’s survey, an increase of more than 80 percent over last year, showing that the utility industry’s interest in solar power is stronger than ever.

“This year’s report demonstrates that solar electricity is finally on the radar screen of utilities across the country,” said Julia Hamm, executive director of the Solar Electric Power Association. “Solar plants large and small are ready for significant build-out, and the utility industry is moving quickly toward mass adoption to meet a variety of business needs.” Renewable portfolio standards, impending carbon policy, and fluctuating costs of power generation and fuel resources top the list of drivers towards improved utility perception of solar electric options.

The report also documents a wave of utility-driven installations, pointing to the growing importance of utilities in the solar power market, and the growing importance of solar power to the business of utilities. Historically, the solar power market has been dominated by customer-driven installations.

“Residential and commercial photovoltaic projects will continue to be important stimulants for job creation and small business growth, but they will be complemented by large-scale photovoltaic and concentrating solar power projects,” said Mike Taylor, director of research and education at SEPA. “The variety of ways solar power is being implemented signals an increased maturity in the market.”


Trina Solar posts adj Q1 profit, shares rise

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

Thu May 28, 2009 1:28pm EDT

* Posts surprise Q1 adj profit; revenue falls 39 pct

* Gross margin improves on lower raw-material cost

* Sees shipping 60 MW to 65 MW of modules in Q2

* Backs 2009 shipment view

* Shares up 9 percent

By Adveith Nair

BANGALORE, May 28 (Reuters) – Chinese solar-products maker Trina Solar Ltd (TSL) posted a surprise quarterly profit before items, as gross margins increased helped by a fall in raw-material costs, sending its shares up as much as 9 percent.

Gross margin for the first quarter was 17.2 percent, exceeding Trina’s previous outlook of 15 percent to 17 percent, helped by lower average silicon-purchase prices.

The company had reported margins of 9.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.

“The real driver behind the results was better-than-expected gross margin,” Ardour Capital analyst Adam Krop told Reuters.

Krop said he was comfortable with the company’s second-quarter gross-margin outlook of 18 percent to 20 percent.

Trina gets 40 percent of its polysilicon from the spot market and has long-term contracts with “reliable” companies like South Korea’s DC Chemical Co Ltd and Germany’s Wacker Chemie AG for the remaining 60 percent, Krop said.


FPL, NASA celebrate new solar array at Kennedy

Filed under: FPL, SPWR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:24 pm

5/28/2009 1:24:38 PM

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA.: At Kennedy Space Center today, Sen. Bill Nelson and Reps. Suzanne Kosmas and Bill Posey joined officials from Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and NASA to celebrate the groundbreaking of FPL’s Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center.

The new solar photovoltaic power facility is the result of a unique public-private partnership between FPL and NASA and demonstrates both organizations’ commitment to bringing clean-energy solutions to the state.

“The Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center is an important part of Florida’s clean-energy future. I grew up in Florida, seeing NASA as the home of historic American achievements, so I love the idea of FPL helping to power the space program,” said FPL President and CEO Armando J. Olivera. “Like NASA, FPL is looking beyond the horizon. We are building more emissions-free solar power with the quality of life of our children and grandchildren in mind.”

“The partnership between NASA and FPL is an excellent one that comes at the right time,” said Robert Cabana, director of Kennedy Space Center. “It will help provide clean, renewable power to Florida residents, it will help support America’s space program by supplying electricity directly to Kennedy Space Center, and it helps to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and improves the environment.”

The Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center will be located on NASA property at Kennedy Space Center and, when completed, will produce an estimated 10 megawatts of clean, emissions-free power for FPL customers, which is enough energy to serve roughly 1,100 homes.

FPL is also building a separate solar facility of approximately one megawatt that will provide clean power directly to Kennedy Space Center, helping NASA meet its renewable energy goals.

“There’s no better time than right now to start using the sun and other clean sources to power America,” said Nelson. “And, perhaps, there’s no better agency to help lead the way than NASA. Let’s hope power companies all over the country take a cue from this partnership.”


Obama touts Nellis solar installation

Filed under: none — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 1:12 pm

5/28/2009 1:12:22 PM

By Molly Ball, Las Vegas Review-Journal

LAS VEGAS: President Barack Obama squinted up at one of the thousands of solar panels at a Nellis Air Force Base installation he toured Wednesday morning, listening as Sen. Harry Reid and base commander Col. Howard Belote told him about the photovoltaic array that supplies a quarter of the base’s electricity.

Reid brought sunglasses, and Belote was wearing a camouflage-print hat to match his uniform, leaving only the president unprotected from the bright sunlight that he touted as a great resource for Nevada’s and America’s energy future.

Speaking in Las Vegas on the 100-day anniversary of the $787 billion stimulus package, the president said projects like this one will not only help the economy pick up in the short term, but lay a foundation for long-term stability.

“In these last few months, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has saved or created nearly 150,000 jobs,” Obama said, including “jobs building solar panels and wind turbines, making homes and buildings more energy efficient.”

Obama addressed about 400 Nellis civilian and military personnel and their families at a hangar on the base, speaking at a podium with a base of ferns in front of a prop solar panel.

At Nellis, he noted, the 72,000 solar panels, partly built on landfill, power the equivalent of 13,200 homes during the day and make up the largest solar electric plant of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

“It’s a project that took about half a year to complete, created 200 jobs and will save the United States Air Force … nearly $1 million a year,” Obama said. “It will also reduce harmful carbon pollution by 24,000 tons per year, which is the equivalent of removing 4,000 cars from our roads.”


Trina Solar Announces First Quarter 2009 Results

Filed under: TSL — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 8:03 am

Thursday May 28, 2009, 8:03 am EDT

CHANGZHOU, China, May 28 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Trina Solar Limited (TSL) (“Trina Solar” or the “Company”), a leading integrated manufacturer of solar photovoltaic (PV) products from the production of ingots, wafers and cells to the assembly of PV modules, today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009.

First Quarter 2009 Financial and Operating Highlights

— Solar module shipments were 48.8 MW, compared to the Company’ s previous guidance of 50 MW to 55 MW, representing a decrease of 15.3% sequentially and an increase of 65.5% year-over-year

— Total net revenues were $132.1 million, a decrease of 38.9% sequentially and an increase of 9.5% year-over-year

— Gross margin was 17.2%, exceeding the Company’s previous guidance of between 15% and 17%, compared to 9.6% in the fourth quarter of 2008

— Operating income and operating margin were $6.8 million and 5.2% respectively, compared to $3.9 million and 1.8% respectively in the fourth quarter of 2008

— Net loss was $10.6 million, which includes:

— a $6.5 million tax liability accrued in the first quarter resulting from a reversal in the government’s approval for a past tax holiday

— a charge of $4.6 million for the estimated cost in connection with the cancellation of two polysilicon supply agreements

— Earnings per fully-diluted ADS was negative $0.42, which includes a negative impact of $0.44 per fully diluted ADS for the above reasons

“Our first quarter was adversely affected by unusually harsh weather in our key European markets, tightened credit conditions for our customers and the general slowdown in world economic activities,” said Mr. Jifan Gao, Chairman and CEO of Trina Solar. “Improved conditions beginning in April have contributed to increasing customer deliveries and higher levels of new contracts and projects.”


China Sunergy downgraded

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 8:03 am

Analyst downgrades China Sunergy to ‘Hold’ on market position, pricing pressure

Thursday May 28, 2009, 8:03 am EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — China Sunergy Co. Ltd.’s (CSUN) lack of vertical integration will constrain the solar cell maker’s margins, said an analyst as he downgraded the company’s stock on Thursday.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Paul Clegg said that despite the company’s strong cell technology and stable liquidity position, he believes that its strategic position in only one segment of the value chain could hamper its growth in an increasingly competitive environment.

“We believe that the ability to directly appraise end-market demand opportunities and to nimbly shift product between different market channels will become an increasingly important differentiator of successful business models,” Clegg said. He noted that China Sunergy’s first-quarter average selling prices were weaker than its peers’, likely because of the company’s lack of direct access to end markets, forcing more severe price reductions to move its product.

The China-based company on Wednesday reported a loss of $15.9 million, or 40 cents per share, for the period ended March 31. Excluding share-based compensation and a change in fair value of foreign currency derivatives, the company’s first-quarter adjusted net loss came to $13.2 million, or 33 cents per share.

In a survey by Thomson Reuters, analysts predicted a loss of 26 cents per share. Analysts typically exclude nonrecurring items from their estimates.

Clegg said he expects ongoing price pressure, so he lowered his full-year estimate to a loss of 40 cents per share, compared with a previous forecast for a loss of 18 cents per share.

Clegg downgraded China Sunergy’s stock to “Hold” from “Buy” with a price target of $4. Shares of the company closed at $3.99 on Wednesday.

National Semiconductor and SunEdison Initiate Trials to Optimize Output of Solar Arrays

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

Thursday May 28, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — National Semiconductor Corp. (NSM) and SunEdison LLC, North America’s largest solar energy services provider, have initiated field trials to optimize the energy output of solar arrays.

SunEdison has initiated field trials in California using National Semiconductor’s SolarMagic(TM) power optimizers. National’s SolarMagic power optimizers enable individual solar panels to maximize energy-produced independent of performance of other panels in an array. Individual panels can often under-perform due to shade, debris, panel mismatch or aging.

SunEdison delivers solar energy services to utilities, commercial and government entities by providing a new way to engage in solar energy. The company’s customers pay only for the energy produced by its solar power plants. In March of 2008, the company surpassed 100GWh of delivered energy, marking a new milestone for solar energy services in the North American marketplace.

“We’re delighted to be working with SunEdison” said Brian Halla, National Semiconductor’s chairman and CEO, “SunEdison services architecture delivers industry leading reliability, with more delivered energy, resulting in greater customer savings. We believe our SolarMagic power optimizer will further strengthen the SunEdison service architecture.”

Added Brian Jacolick, GM of the America’s of SunEdison, “SolarMagic promises to offer a significant breakthrough on delivered energy for solar arrays. The net effect will be greater savings for our customers. National Semiconductor’s leadership in analog and power management will serve SunEdison well as we build on this strength to make continued improvements for the solar industry.”

About SolarMagic Power Optimizers

To maximize the energy output of each solar PV panel in the array, National Semiconductor has developed SolarMagic power optimizers, which enables each solar panel to produce the maximum energy regardless of whether other panels in the array are under-performing due to mismatch. SolarMagic technology maximizes the energy harvest of each individual PV panel through advanced algorithms combined with leading-edge mixed-signal technology, thereby recouping up to 57 percent of the lost energy due to mismatches. See for more information.

About National Semiconductor

National Semiconductor is a leader in analog power management technology. Its products include easy-to-use integrated circuits, PowerWise products that enable more energy-efficient systems, and SolarMagic products which improve the energy output of solar arrays. The company celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., National reported sales of $1.89 billion for fiscal 2008. Additional information is available at

About SunEdison

SunEdison LLC is North America’s largest solar energy services provider and operates across a global marketplace. SunEdison provides solar-generated energy at or below current retail utility rates to a broad and diverse client base of commercial, municipal and utility customers. For more information about SunEdison, please visit

May 27, 2009

Solar power advocates look for incentives in Texas

Filed under: SPWR, STP, WFR — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 6:01 pm

5/27/2009 6:01:01 PM

By Tom Fowler, Houston Chronicle

HOUSTON: Ten years ago few would have predicted Texas would be the top wind energy producing state in the country and among the top producers in the world.

But a 1999 law setting renewable energy goals for the state’s electric industry paved the way for millions of dollars in investments, thousands of jobs and thousands of turbines spinning in West Texas.

Now solar advocates say the right legislation could do the wind industry’s success one better.

One approach, incentives to install solar panels on homes and businesses, could be the catalyst for a homegrown industry of system installers and panel manufacturers, they say. Those manufacturers also could benefit from close proximity to an existing link in the solar supply chain — the single largest manufacturer of high quality polysilicon used in semiconductor chips and solar panels, which is located in Pasadena on the Houston Ship Channel.

“Really you want to develop a sustainable industry that does not require incentives,” said Steve Chadima, vice president of internal affairs for SunTech Power (STP), a Chinese solar panel manufacturer that is eyeing Texas as a possible plant site. “You don’t want to live on the dole forever. But you need to jump-start the industry for it to develop along all the sectors.”

As legislative deadlines approached late Tuesday, advocates were closely watching a bill that would give out $500 million in rebates over the next five years to businesses and homeowners who install solar panels. Money for the rebates would be raised through monthly fees on electric bills–about 20 cents for residential customers, $2 for small businesses and $20 for industries.

The law would also require retail electric companies to buy a customer’s surplus electricity at a fair market price or credit the customer’s bill and provide incentives for commercial-scale solar installations.


Analyst boosts 2010 estimate for Canadian Solar

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 11:45 am

Lazard analyst raises 2010 estimate on Canadian Solar’s long-term financing partnerships

Wednesday May 27, 2009, 11:45 am EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) faces near-term pricing challenges, but its financing partnerships will boost the solar products maker’s long-term growth potential, said an analyst on Wednesday as he raised his 2010 profit estimate for the company.

Shares of Canadian Solar jumped 86 cents, or 7.8 percent, to $11.89 in midday trading.

On Tuesday, the company reported a net loss of $4.8 million, or 13 cents per share, beating analyst expectations of a loss of 25 cents per share, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

Financing constraints, declining module selling prices and some expected order reductions prompted the company to lower its full-year shipments estimates to between 200 megawatts and 220 megawatts, compared with an earlier estimate between 300 megawatts and 350 megawatts.

Lazard Capital analyst Sanjay Shrestha said lower selling prices, the economic recession and constrained credit markets will keep the company challenged in the near term. He lowered his full-year estimate to a loss of 11 cents per share, compared with an earlier prediction of a loss of 6 cents per share.

In the long term, however, Shrestha noted that the company has signed strategic partnership agreements with the Bank of China, the Bank of Communications and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, whereby the banks may provide up to 15 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) in potential credit facilities. These loans can be used to finance domestic and overseas solar projects using Canadian Solar modules, or applied toward trade financing, internal corporate projects or working capital.

The analyst added that the company has signed an agreement with Suzhou New District Government, which has agreed to provide about 7.5 million yuan ($1.1 million) in matching funds in conjunction with the subsidies provided by China’s ministry of Finance and Ministry of Constructions.

Shrestha, who rates the stock “Hold,” raised his 2010 profit estimate to $1 per share, compared with a previous outlook of 50 cents per share.

China Sunergy posts wider-than-expected Q1 loss

Filed under: CSIQ, CSUN, LDK, SOLF — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 10:29 am

Wed May 27, 2009 10:29am EDT

* Total sales fell 52 pct to $37 mln

* Reiterates full-year shipments outlook

* Sees lower average selling prices in Q2

* Shares fall as much as 8 percent

May 27 (Reuters) – Chinese solar cell products maker China Sunergy Co Ltd (CSUN) posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss, hurt by a fall in average selling prices and high-cost inventory, sending its shares down as much as 8 percent.

In a conference call with analysts, Chief Executive Allen Wang said he expects second-quarter average selling prices (ASPs) to be 15 percent to 20 percent lower than the first quarter.

“Our existing inventory of high-cost wafers prevented us from taking full advantage of reduced upstream costs while our ASPs fell, leading to severe gross margin pressure and a net loss for the quarter,” Wang said in a statement.

However, Wang said in the call the company has consumed the entire high-cost inventory so far in the second quarter.

The company has begun to purchase lower-cost polysilicon wafers at spot market prices, which would bring down the inventory cost in the coming quarters, the CEO added.

Polysilicon is a key raw material for the company which makes photovoltaic solar products that turn sunlight into electricity.

China Sunergy, along with Solarfun Power Holdings Co Ltd (SOLF), Canadian Solar Inc (CSIQ) and LDK Solar Co Ltd (LDK) got squeezed by a drop in inventory value in the fourth quarter, forcing these companies to take write-downs.

The company reported a negative gross margin of 23.7 percent for the first quarter.

However, Wang expects the company to generate positive gross margins in the second quarter.

The company also backed its full-year shipments outlook of 150 megawatts to 200 megawatts.

Shares of the company were flat at $3.87 in morning trade Wednesday on Nasdaq. They touched a low of $3.56 earlier in the session.


For the first quarter, the company posted a loss of $15.9 million, or 40 cents per American Depository Share (ADS), compared with a profit of $545,000, or 1 cent per ADS, a year ago.

Excluding items, the company posted a loss of 33 cents per ADS. Total sales fell 52 percent to $37.0 million.

Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 26 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $37.5 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Blended average selling price (ASP) fell about 50 percent to $1.64 per watt. Quarterly shipments were about 23.9 megawatt, compared with 24 megawatt, in the year-ago period.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)

Spire Receives U.S. Patent for Nanophotovoltaic Devices

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

Tiny solar cells may provide novel therapeutic action

Wednesday May 27, 2009, 9:00 am EDT

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 the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 7,514,725 B2 entitled “Nanophotovoltaic Devices.”

This patent is for nanophotovoltaic devices formed from silicon or gallium arsenide having sizes in a range of about 50 nanometers to about 5 microns, and method of their fabrication.

Although there are a number of applications, the patent describes one application which is to inject nanophotovoltaic devices into diseased tissue, e.g., cancerous tissue, and activate these cells by the use of suitable radiation. These cells will generate electric fields in the tissue, causing a disruption of the cancerous cells.

Roger G. Little, Chairman and CEO of Spire Corporations, and co-inventor, said, “This is an extension of our solar energy technology into biotherapeutics. Functionalized nanophotovoltaic devices can go to cancerous cells in the body and when exposed to tissue penetrating light, may provide sufficient electrical energy to destroy the cells. We are continuing to exploit this technology in our research and development activities.”

Evergreen Solar Rolls Out New Brand Campaign at Intersolar in Munich, Germany

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

New theme titled “More Electricity, Less Impact”

Wednesday May 27, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

MARLBORO, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Evergreen Solar, Inc. (ESLR), a manufacturer of String Ribbon™ solar power products with its proprietary, low-cost silicon wafer technology, will use Intersolar, one of the world’s largest solar trade shows, to roll out its new brand campaign.

Evergreen Solar’s new positioning calls attention to the company’s promise to provide panels that not only perform well in the lab or on a spec sheet but deliver more electricity in the real world, while highlighting the fact that the panels have the lowest carbon footprint and quickest energy payback of any silicon based solar panel ever manufactured. A new theme, “More Electricity, Less Impact” will be featured in all Evergreen Solar advertising and promotional material to help bring the positioning to life.

The show, which will take place in Munich, Germany, from May 27-29, will also serve as a platform for Evergreen Solar to display its new black-framed ES-A Series String Ribbon solar panels, which will be available for viewing throughout Intersolar at the company’s booth located in Hall A1 stand 310.

The ES-A line of panels are a perfect example of the new positioning. The ES-A series panels include features like the best power tolerance available in the industry (-0/+2.5%), anti-reflective treated glass that helps the panel deliver more electricity throughout the day and one of the best temperature ratings for crystalline silicon panels. As a result String Ribbon panels received high rankings in recent TÜV and Photon performance tests. All Evergreen Solar panels are made using its proprietary silicon wafer technology which the Energy Research Foundation of the Netherlands just confirmed is the most environmentally-friendly manufacturing process for silicon based panels.

“When people purchase solar panels, they’re really buying electricity. It’s the expectation of the customer that the panels they purchase deliver the power that is promised and the electricity that is expected. Our ES-A series String Ribbon panels do exactly that and more, delivering more electricity while having the least impact on the environment of any silicon based panel,” said Dr. Terry Bailey, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales. “The ES-A series panels have been extremely well received and enhancing the product with a black frame makes these panels even more appealing.”

All panels in the ES-A series are produced at Evergreen Solar’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the USA and use the company’s proprietary Quad furnaces to create the solar wafers.

National Semiconductor and Suntech Collaborate on SolarMagic Technology for PV Systems

Filed under: STP — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 7:03 am

Wednesday May 27, 2009, 7:03 am EDT

Cooperation Seeks to Increase Efficiency of Solar Arrays

MUNICH, May 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — National Semiconductor Corp. (NSM), of Santa Clara, Calif. (USA), and Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (STP), the world’s largest crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to evaluate National Semiconductor’s SolarMagic(TM) technology with the intention of jointly promoting the technology and developing future solutions.

National’s SolarMagic power optimizers use distributed electronics throughout a solar installation to recoup energy lost due to real-world conditions such as shade, debris and panel mismatch.

“We are proud to be working with Suntech, the world’s leading manufacturer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules, a company that shares our vision for what it will take to increase the adoption of solar,” said Michael Polacek, Senior VP of Key Market Segments and Business Development, National Semiconductor. “Our strength in analog and power management lends itself well to solar, enabling us to apply unique innovation to the solar market.”

“Innovation in the solar industry is a collaborative process and we are excited about this opportunity to potentially combine National Semiconductor’s SolarMagic technology with Suntech’s high efficiency solar panels,” said Dr. Cai, VP of Systems R&D, Suntech. “This innovative technology has the potential to improve power harvest for solar owners and thereby increase the affordability of solar systems.”

National developed SolarMagic technology to improve the energy harvest of solar arrays. Because of the characteristics of solar modules, real-world conditions — caused by shading from trees, chimneys or power lines; debris such as leaves or dirt, and panel aging — can lead to disproportionate power losses. Solar Magic compensates for these circumstances, creating a more consistent energy supply to the home or business owner.

About National Semiconductor

National Semiconductor is a leader in analog power management technology. Its products include easy-to-use integrated circuits, PowerWise products that enable more energy-efficient systems, and SolarMagic products which improve the energy output of solar arrays. The company celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., National reported sales of $1.89 billion for fiscal 2008. Additional information is available at

China Sunergy Announces Financial Results for the First Quarter of 2009

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 6:15 am

Wednesday May 27, 2009, 6:15 am EDT

NANJING, China, May 27 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), (“China Sunergy” or the “Company”) a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, announced today its financial results for the first quarter of 2009.

First Quarter Financial Results
— Revenues were US$37.0 million, a 14.4% decrease compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. Revenues generated from solar cell sales were US$34.4 million, representing a 15.1% decrease compared to the fourth quarter of 2008.
— Gross loss was US$8.8 million compared to gross loss of US$14.3 million during the fourth quarter of 2008. Accordingly, gross margin was negative 23.7%, compared to negative 33.1% during the fourth quarter of 2008.
— Adjusted non-GAAP net loss was US$13.2 million, which excludes share-based compensation and a change in the fair value of foreign currency derivatives. This compares to non-GAAP net loss of US$17.1 million the fourth quarter of 2008. GAAP net loss was US$15.9 million.
— Adjusted non-GAAP net loss per ADS was US$0.33 on both basic and diluted basis, which excludes share-based compensation and a change in the fair value of foreign currency derivatives, compared to a non-GAAP net loss of US$0.43 per ADS in the fourth quarter of 2008. GAAP net loss per ADS was US$0.40 on both basic and diluted basis.
— Inventory was reduced during the quarter to $29.6 million from $59.1 million. The balance of inventory provision was $8.0 million at end of this quarter, a decrease of $5.8 million compared to the balance of $13.8 million at end of last quarter. The decline in inventory will lessen the future impact of the high cost wafer which was purchased in 2008.
— Operating cash flow in the first quarter was positive US$7.9 million.

Please refer to “Reconciliation Tables of GAAP to adjusted Non-GAAP Figures” at the end of this press release.

Operational Highlights
— Shipments in the first quarter amounted to approximately 23.9MW, representing a 69.5% increase sequentially and a very slight 0.4% decrease on a year-over-year basis.
— Shipments of high efficiency cells (defined as any cells with a conversion efficiency rate of over 17%) during the first quarter of 2009 amounted to 8.9MW, or 37.2% of total solar cell shipments, compared with 6.5MW, or 46.1% of total solar cell shipments, during the fourth quarter of 2008. Although high-efficiency cell sales fell as a percentage of overall sales, among mono-crystalline customers the shipment of high-efficiency cells increased from 55.6% to 58.2%.
— The Company entered into several important sales and framework agreements, expanding its diverse client base to include asola Advanced and Automotive Solar System GmbH, and Solarwatt AG in Germany, Ajit Solar Pvt Ltd. in India and Solarmax Technology Inc. in the United States. While Europe will remain a key market for China Sunergy, with its European headquarters in Germany and an enhanced sales force, the Company is aggressively entering new markets to benefit from developing interest in solar power solutions.
— Recently, the Company submitted a rooftop solar project application for China’s national rooftop solar subsidy, and signed multiple sales agreements with Chinese partners who have submitted rooftop solar project applications. The total volume of these applications is approximately 17.6MW.

Commenting on the results, Dr. Allen Wang, CEO of China Sunergy, remarked:

“As anticipated, the first quarter was another challenging period for China Sunergy given the impact of the economic climate in which we are operating. Although we reported a 69.5% sequential quarterly increase in solar product shipments to a more diverse set of customers, our existing inventory of high-cost wafers prevented us from taking full advantage of reduced upstream costs while our ASPs fell, leading to severe gross margin pressure and a net loss for the quarter.”


Solar Power, Inc. Enters into Sales Representation Agreement with Peja Stojakovi’s Global Energy Services for Solar Product Sales in Greece and the Balkans

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

NBA Star to Join Solar Power, Inc. for Kick-Off at InterSolar 2009 in Munich

Wednesday May 27, 2009, 6:00 am EDT

ROSEVILLE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Solar Power, Inc. (“SPI”) (SOPW) an international manufacturer, designer, distributor and installer of photovoltaic (PV) solar systems announced today that they have entered into an agreement with Global Energy Services (GES) to represent SPI’s unique line of solar products throughout Greece and the Balkans. Global Energy Services is NBA star Peja Stojaković’s newly formed company, dedicated to bringing affordable, renewable energy solutions to the region. GES will serve as the exclusive representative of SPI’s product line that includes highly efficient solar modules, SkyMountTM non-penetrating commercial mounting system and PeaqTM, SPI’s proprietary solar canopy system for covered parking areas. Peja will be present this week at Solar Power, Inc.’s exhibit, booth stand A2.557, at InterSolar 2009 in Munich, Germany.

“We are very pleased that Peja and his Global Energy Solutions organization have joined with SPI as we expand our international distribution network into a part of the world where demand for solar is growing rapidly. Peja’s remarkable career in the NBA and his outstanding leadership skills makes him a perfect ambassador for solar energy and Solar Power, Inc.’s proprietary line of innovative solar products,” said Steve Kircher, CEO of Solar Power, Inc. “Peja and the team he’s put together at GES are very strong and we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities they are developing throughout their territory.”

Peja Stojaković has been in the NBA for ten years. A majority of his NBA career was with the Sacramento Kings where he was a star player and leading scorer. Mr. Stojaković continues to distinguish himself as small forward for the New Orleans Hornets. The GES organization will deploy renewable energy solutions to the Balkans and Greece and be the exclusive Solar Power, Inc. representative throughout the region. “Solar Power, Inc. has an innovative line of photovoltaic solar energy products that are associated with very high-quality products and performance standards,” said Stojaković. “These are the standards I have built my career on and they have served me well. I look forward to a long and successful relationship with the SPI team.”

Solar Power, Inc. and the GES team, including Peja Stojaković, will be present this week at Europe’s largest solar trade show, InterSolar 2009 in Munich, Germany. SPI’s line of innovative solar products will be represented at the show. Visitors can learn more about the SPI and GES relationship and meet Peja at SPI’s exhibit in hall A2 at booth stand 557.

SunPower Announces the Solar Industry’s Most Powerful Rooftop System

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 3:05 am

Wednesday May 27, 2009, 3:05 am EDT

The SunPower T5 Solar Roof Tile Generates the Most Solar Energy per Rooftop

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — SunPower Corp. (SPWRA, SPWRB), a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced its new SunPower T5 Solar Roof Tile (T5 Roof Tile), the solar industry’s most powerful roof overlay system. The T5 Roof Tile system approximately doubles the energy generated per square meter compared to systems that are mounted onto flat commercial rooftops. Combined with SunPower’s high-performance, 96-cell solar panels, the T5 Roof Tile produces the industry’s maximum solar energy per roof and greatest energy savings.

Tilted at a five-degree angle, the T5 Roof Tile is the industry’s first all-in-one, non-penetrating photovoltaic rooftop product that combines solar panel, frame and mounting system into a single pre-engineered unit. The T5 Roof Tile solar tiles interlock for wind resistance and secure installation. The patented design is adaptable to virtually any flat or low-slope rooftop.

“It was SunPower technology that established the commercial rooftop solar market more than a decade ago and today we continue to build on more than ten years of experience delivering reliable, affordable solar power systems,” said SunPower’s CEO, Tom Werner. “The introduction of the T5 Roof Tile will enable us to extend our leadership in system innovation and offer the benefits of solar to an even wider array of customer building types. We design our solar system technology for lower cost, faster delivery of local, secure clean energy that will accelerate solar green job opportunities.”

“The development of the T5 Roof Tile is a direct result of the investment by the U.S. Department of Energy (D.O.E.) through its Solar America Initiative program,” said Bill Mulligan, SunPower’s vice president of technology and development. “The T5 Roof Tile was developed and delivered to customers less than two years after SunPower began receiving D.O.E. research and development funding.”

The T5 Roof Tile all-in-one mounting system and frame is made from an engineered glass-filled polymer that is non-reactive, eliminating the need for electrical grounding of the array. This makes the T5 Roof Tile easier and faster to install than other rooftop systems. Its aerodynamic design is resistant to high winds, and the strong, smooth-edged, lightweight polymer material protects the roof for long-term durability. Since the T5 Roof Tile is stacked for shipping, more kilowatts per pound can be transported using less packaging, resulting in lower distribution costs.

The T5 Roof Tile system integrates a frame and mounting system with SunPower’s high-performance, 96-cell solar panels, including the recently announced SunPower 315 Solar Panel. This combination empowers commercial customers to generate the greatest return by maximizing solar gain from each roof.

The T5 Roof Tile is available in the U.S. immediately and can be ordered in Europe during the third quarter of 2009.

May 26, 2009

LDK Solar Partners With ESPE on PV Projects in Italy

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

Tuesday May 26, 2009, 4:05 pm EDT

XINYU CITY, China and SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (LDK), a manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with ESPE Srl, a leading system integrator within the PV sector, to develop PV plants in the Apulia region of Italy. Construction has commenced on the first of five plants totaling 5 MW. LDK Solar will supply wafers for the PV project and ESPE will provide engineering, procurement, and construction services and system integration.

“We are very excited to expand LDK Solar’s presence into Italy,” stated Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and CEO of LDK Solar. “The PV market in Italy is one of the most interesting European markets and is forecast to grow significantly over the next three years. Our agreement with ESPE is a strategic milestone for us as we strengthen our position in the PV power plants market in Europe and continue to build a foundation to capture future opportunities.”

“We are pleased to work with LDK Solar on the development of these PV plants,” stated Tiziano Meneghetti, Founder and President of ESPE Group. “We believe the PV market in Italy has strong potential and we look forward to working together to capitalize on the growing opportunities.”

About ESPE Group

Founded in 1974, ESPE Srl is part of ESPE Group, which is a leading company in electrical and energetic areas. ESPE’s market strategy is to focus on its core business and to provide technologically advanced solutions, from the more traditional energetic systems, like the hydroelectric ones, to the innovative PV systems. With more than 250 systems and over 15 MWp of renewable energy deployed in Italy up to 2008 within the Group’s major projects portfolio, ESPE is leading company in the Photovoltaic area with specialized Sun Tracking Systems.

Canadian Solar posts narrower-than-expected Q1 loss

Tue May 26, 2009 1:15pm EDT

* Q1 loss $0.13/shr vs. est loss of $0.25/shr

* Revenue falls more than 70 percent

* Sees Q2 margins in high-single digits

* Says aims to reach mid-teen margins by Q3-Q4

* Shares up 10 percent

By Arup Roychoudhury

BANGALORE, May 26 (Reuters) – Canadian Solar Inc (CSIQ) posted a narrower-than-expected loss for the first quarter and forecast sequentially higher second-quarter shipments.

“We expect our second-quarter shipment level will be significantly higher than that of the first quarter, reflecting improved solar installation levels around the world and increased demand for our high-quality and cost-competitive solar products,” the solar cell maker said in a statement.

Canadian Solar, however, cut its full-year shipments to a range of 200 to 220 MW, down from 300 to 350 MW it had forecast earlier, and adjusted its net revenue outlook to reflect the change.

The company, however, did not give a specific figure.

Previously, the company said it expected 2009 revenue between $600 million and $800 million.

“I think there is an uncertainty regarding visibility in demand in the solar industry in general,” Canaccord Adams analyst Jonathan Dorsheimer said by phone.


Ascent Solar Modules to Be Designed into the Development of Hybrid Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

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

Tuesday May 26, 2009, 6:00 am EDT

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), announced that its state-of-the-art, flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules will be designed into the development of a hybrid unmanned aerial vehicle (H-UAV) called the Silent Sentinel developed by Bye Aerospace, Inc. The H-UAV will be designed primarily for military use; however, its capabilities will also include a broad spectrum of civil applications.

The first of its kind hybrid utilizes stored electric power, thin film solar photovoltaics (PV), and other technologies to enhance its endurance, quiet operations and low emissions. Bye Aerospace is teamed with thin film PV manufacturer Ascent Solar to develop the solar energy capability on the aircraft. For primary propulsion the hybrid UAV will be coupled with an advanced Williams International FJ33 turbofan. The efficient engine will provide the UAV remarkable climb rates and high altitude quick access to areas requiring surveillance.

Charlie Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of Bye Aerospace, said the Silent Sentinel is a robust, long-range UAV that will incorporate several proprietary clean energy features. “Ultimately, it will provide advanced tactical reconnaissance functionality while utilizing a uniquely long endurance, highly capable tactical sensor platform that is operationally stealthy and cost-effective to operate. The unique characteristics of the Ascent Solar flexible modules allow us to design this UAV to become very energy efficient.”

Dr. Joseph Armstrong, Chief Technical Officer of Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. stated, “Our flexible, monolithically integrated CIGS PV technology offers the ideal combination of low weight, higher voltage, and high performance that makes it ideal for applications such as the Silent Sentinel, and we look forward to providing Bye Aerospace the materials they require for their vehicle.”

Potential military applications include border patrol, search and rescue, visual and thermal reconnaissance, and forward air control. In addition, potential civil applications include traffic control, pipeline and power line inspection, aerial law enforcement, forest fire detection and aerial photography. Initial meetings are being conducted with US Government entities regarding the capabilities of the aircraft. More are planned in the near term.

About Bye Aerospace, Inc.
Bye Aerospace, founded in 2007 and headquartered near Denver, is applying clean energy solutions to innovative aircraft design for the business aviation and Department of Defense markets. For more information, go to

Canadian Solar Reports First Quarter 2009 Results

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 5:16 am

Tuesday May 26, 2009, 5:16 am EDT

TORONTO, May 26 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (“the Company”, “Canadian Solar” or “we”) (CSIQ) today announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter of 2009 ended March 31, 2009 and updated outlook for full year 2009 shipments.

First Quarter 2009 Results
— Net revenues for the quarter were $49.5 million, compared to net revenues of $171.2 million for the first quarter of 2008 and $68.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2008.
— Shipments for the quarter were approximately 18 MW, including 1.2 MW of solar grade e-Modules and 1.6 MW of solar cells and specialty solar application products.
— Net loss for the quarter on a GAAP basis was $4.8 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, compared to net income of $18.6 million, or $0.57 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2008 and net loss of $49.2 million, or $1.38 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2008.
— Non-GAAP net loss for the quarter was $0.10 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $0.64 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2008 and non-GAAP net loss of $1.35 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2008, in all cases excluding stock based compensation costs.

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, commented: “Our results for the first quarter were in line with our expectations, as we continued to exercise prudent financial management in response to the global economic downturn and the resulting pressure on all levels of the solar industry value chain. We are working closely with our supply partners to make sure that our cost structure remains competitive. The Company ended the quarter with a strong, liquid balance sheet providing our customers and banking partners with confidence in our ability to honor our long term commitment to our products. We exercised a conservative shipment strategy in order to minimize channel inventory buildup. Consistent with our positive long-term view, over the past five months, we have doubled the size of our sales force, with further additions planned in Europe, North America and Asia. We have started to see success in our strategy as demonstrated by our increased sales into a few non- traditional markets such as Korea and China.”

Arthur Chien, CFO of Canadian Solar, noted: “Cash and cash equivalents changed from $115.7 million as of December 31, 2008 to $92.6 million as of March 31, 2009. The change was primarily due to increases in working capital commitments and long-term prepayments. The moderate increase in inventories was attributable to support for anticipated customer sales over the next few quarters. Restricted cash increased from $20.6 million as of December 31, 2008 to $113.1 million as of March 31, 2009. The increase was mainly due to pledges of cash to support outstanding short-term borrowings.”


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