North Coast Solar Stocks

September 30, 2009

Applied Materials Statement on The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act

Filed under: AMAT — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 10:53 pm

Wednesday September 30, 2009, 10:53 pm EDT

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT) the world’s largest supplier of equipment to the solar industry, released the following statement in support of the “The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act,” a bill introduced today by Senator John Kerry and Senator Barbara Boxer.

“This is a good step toward a final package of environmental legislation that will enable the United States to maintain its technology competitiveness, create green jobs, and achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gases,” said Mike Splinter, Chairman and CEO of Applied Materials.

“It is important for people to realize that solar-generated energy is the best pathway to achieve the goals of this bill. If we can combine this thinking on climate change with aggressive renewable energy standards and tax incentives for domestic manufacturing, the U.S. can create an effective solution to the two great challenges of our time, energy and the environment.”

“There is good momentum now, with the Senate moving to follow up on the House of Representatives’ action earlier this year, and both working aggressively to support President Obama’s vision to establish the United States’ leadership in renewable energy and climate change. With all that is at stake, we urge Congress to work together in a bipartisan way to get a bill on the President’s desk that he can sign soon, knowing it is the right thing for our country.”

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Ascent Solar Announces Public Offering of Common Stock and Commitment from Norsk Hydro to Purchase Common Stock

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 4:34 pm

Wednesday September 30, 2009, 4:34 pm EDT

THORNTON, Colorado–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI) today announced that it intends to commence an underwritten public offering of 4 million shares of its common stock. The offering is being conducted pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ascent Solar expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase 600,000 additional shares of common stock from Ascent Solar. Net proceeds from the offering are expected to be used for expansion of Ascent Solar’s rated production capacity and for general corporate purposes.

Barclays Capital Inc. is the sole book-running manager of the offering. The offering will be made only by means of a preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus, copies of which may be obtained from: Barclays Capital Inc., c/o Broadridge Integrated Distribution Services, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY 11717; barclaysprospectus@broadridge.com (phone: 888-603-5847). A copy of the preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus may also be obtained at no charge at the Security and Exchange Commission’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

Ascent Solar today also announced that Norsk Hydro Produksjon AS, its largest shareholder, has committed to purchase approximately $5 million of its common stock in a private placement of shares to occur concurrently with (and contingent upon the occurrence of) the closing of the public offering, at a price per share equal to the public offering price. The private placement is being made pursuant to an exemption from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, and there shall not be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

Trina Solar Signs Sales Agreement with Kerself S.p.A

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

Wednesday September 30, 2009, 4:15 pm EDT

CHANGZHOU, China, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Trina Solar Limited (TSL; “Trina Solar” or the “Company”), a leading integrated manufacturer of solar photovoltaic products from the production of ingots, wafers and cells to the assembly of PV modules, announced today that it has entered into a sales agreement with Kerself S.p.A (“Kerself Group”), Italy’s leading player in photovoltaic solar plant engineering, development, production, installation and distribution.

Under the terms of the agreement, Trina Solar will supply Kerself Group with approximately 73 MW of PV modules, with shipment deliveries of 23 MW expected in the fourth quarter of 2009 and 25 MW expected in each of the first and second quarters of 2010.

“We are excited to announce this new sales agreement with Kerself Group to further strengthen Trina Solar’s presence in Italy and throughout Europe,” stated Mr. Arturo Herrero, Vice-President of Special Key Accounts of Trina Solar. “Our strategic partnership with Kerself Group is a significant success for us in aligning ourselves with a proven multiregional energy developer with growing opportunities in established and emerging photovoltaic markets.”

“As Kerself Group seeks to position itself as a primary photovoltaic group within and outside the EU, we are excited to partner with a well recognized brand like Trina Solar to bring their high quality modules and premium service to our customers across Italy and throughout Europe,” commented Kerself Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pier Angelo Masselli.

About Kerself S.p.A

Kerself S.p.A. (KRS IM), a company listed on Borsa Italiana’s electronic equities market (MTA), is a leading player in photovoltaic solar plant engineering, development, production, installation and distribution in Italy and Europe. The Kerself Group Companies includes Distribuzione Energie Alternative (DEA), Ecoware, Helios Technology, Nuova Thermosolar, SAEM, IRCEM Industriale Srl and JET S.p.A. The Group recently established a new company in Turkey to build photovoltaic plants and a joint venture in Israel with key local players in the sector. Today Kerself Group exports in Europe (Greece, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal), the Middle East and the Far East.

ReneSola Announces Pricing of Follow-on Public Offering of 15,500,000 American Depositary Shares

Filed under: SOL — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 9:37 am

Wednesday September 30, 2009, 9:37 am EDT

JIASHAN, China, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-PRNAsia-FirstCall/ — ReneSola Ltd (“ReneSola” or the “Company”) (SOL), a vertically integrated Chinese manufacturer of solar products, announced today that its follow-on public offering of 15,500,000 American depositary shares, or ADSs, each representing two shares of no par value in the Company, was priced at $4.75 per ADS. The offering is expected to close on October 5, 2009. ReneSola has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 2,325,000 ADSs.

ReneSola intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes, including capital expenditures, working capital, and repurchases and redemptions of its U.S. dollar settled 1% convertible bonds due 2012, of which $99.0 million in aggregate principal amount was outstanding as of June 30, 2009. ReneSola may repurchase its convertible bonds through tender offers, open market purchases, negotiated transactions or otherwise. The Company’s management will retain broad discretion over the use of proceeds, and the Company may ultimately use the proceeds for different purposes.

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and UBS AG are joint bookrunners for the offering, and Lazard Capital Markets LLC is a co-manager for the offering.

This offering is being made under ReneSola’s “shelf” registration statement on Form F-3 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 25, 2009. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities, in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. The Company’s registration statement on Form F-3 and preliminary prospectus supplement are available from the SEC website at: http://www.sec.gov.

Copies of the final prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, when available, may be obtained by contacting Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Eleven Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10010-3629, U.S.A., or by telephone at 1-800-221-1037, or contacting UBS Investment Bank, Prospectus Department, 299 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10171, U.S.A., or by telephone at 1- 877-827-6444 ext. 561-3884.

China: From Clean-Energy Producer to Clean-Energy Consumer

Filed under: AMAT, FSLR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 9:29 am

By Keith Johnson

When it comes to China and clean energy, so much of the hand-wringing in the West, and especially in the U.S., hinges on China’s role as a producer of clean-tech gear. That’s true for everything from batteries for electric cars to wind turbines to solar panels.

Yet the real story might not be so much China’s global arrival as a maker of clean-tech stuff as a clean-energy consumer.

Take Applied Materials (AMAT), which makes computer chips and solar panels. Mark Pinto, the head of the company’s solar unit, told The Wall Street Journal that Beijing’s clean-energy push will drive China past Germany and the U.S. to become the largest consumer of solar power in the world “in the next two years.”

Part of that transformation is already underway. First Solar’s (FSLR) deal to build a 2-gigawatt solar-power installation in China was a coming-of-age moment both for the industry and the country. And as big as First Solar’s planned plant is, Chinese officials expect to add another 2 gigawatts to that same renewable-energy park. That single project has more solar power—on paper—than the entire U.S.

The growth in Chinese consumption of clean energy contrasts with the government’s plans to slow down the production of some clean-energy gear. Today, as expected, Chinese officials laid out new guidelines to throttle back industrial capacity in wind turbines and silicon used for solar panels, as well as traditional sectors such as aluminum, steel, and cement.

So for Western clean-energy companies, China will very much continue to be part of the equation—but not just as low-cost competition. The Chinese market will become the real clean-energy battleground.

That may not happen overnight—even with the industrial slowdown, China has enough domestic production capacity to meet its own clean-energy needs. As Clean Tech Insight notes, China exports 98% of its solar-panel production, leaving it plenty of capacity to feed a growing solar market at home.

Longer term, though, China’s need for state-of-the art clean technology—one of the reasons it tapped First Solar–will open up a potentially huge market. Then, all Western clean-tech firms will have to worry about are simmerings of protectionism and learning how to navigate ever-shifting government rules to promote clean energy.

Trina Solar Announces Extension of Long-Term Supply Agreement with GCL-Poly

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

Wednesday September 30, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

CHANGZHOU, China, Sept. 30 /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 that it has extended its eight year long-term supply agreement with Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon Technology Development Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited (“GCL-Poly”) by another five years. Initial delivery of polysilicon to Trina Solar started in April 2008.

Under the adjusted terms of this agreement, the total consideration will remain unchanged from the combined total of the original and supplemental agreements signed in 2008, whereas additional polysilicon and wafer deliveries will be provided starting in 2016 for a five year period at pre-determined shipment volumes and prices. The agreement also contains a price adjustment clause that offers a market-linked price formula. GCL-Poly will supply the Company with high-quality polysilicon and wafers sufficient to produce approximately 8,500 MW of solar modules over 13 years. Wafer deliveries to commence in 2010 are expected to support production above the Company’s in-house integrated manufacturing capabilities to address growing customer demand.

“We are very pleased to strengthen our long-term relationship with GCL-Poly by further extending the tenure of the agreement,” said Jifan Gao, Trina Solar’s Chairman and CEO. “This extension will provide a stable source of high-quality materials as well as support our cost reduction initiatives to solidify our position as a high-quality global integrated PV manufacturer.”

“We are pleased to extend our business relationship with Trina Solar whom we value as a strategic long-term customer,” said Mr. Zhu Gong Shan, Executive Director, Chairman and CEO of GCL-Poly. “We look forward to continue delivering high-quality polysilicon and wafers on schedule through 2020.”

About GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited

GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited (SEHK: 3800 – News) is a world leading polysilicon manufacturer for the solar industry and a leading integrated green energy enterprise in China. Production capacity of GCL Solar, a subsidiary of the Group, is expected to reach 18,000 metric tonnes of polysilicon by the end of 2009, and 1 GW of solar wafers by mid 2010. In addition, the Group operates a total of 18 cogeneration power plants, 1 incineration power plant and 1 windpower plant. Most of these plants are located in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces with strong economic growth and robust demand for electricity and steam. All these plants are advocated and encouraged by Chinese government.

For more information about GCL-Poly, please visit the company’s website at http://www.gcl-poly.com.hk .

Suntech Brings Utility-Scale Solar to China

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

China’s First 10MW Ground Mount Solar System Connects to the Grid

Wednesday September 30, 2009, 3:00 am EDT

WUXI, China, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP), the world’s leading manufacturer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules, today announced the completion and grid connection of the first 10MW utility-scale solar power project in China. Located in Shizuishan, Ningxia Autonomous Region, the 10MW ground mount solar system is the first phase of a 50MW solar plant that is targeted to be completed by 2011 in conjunction with Suntech’s strategic partner, China Energy Conservation Investment Corporation (CECIC). In addition to supplying high quality solar modules for the system, Suntech designed, installed and managed the development of the solar system and holds a minority share of the project.

Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s Chairman and CEO said, ”Suntech is very pleased and honored to play a leading role in the development of the first on-grid 10MW solar PV power plant in China, which represents a major milestone in the development of China’s renewable energy industry. We applaud the decisive steps taken by China’s central government and local government to support sustainable energy development and establish a greener economy in China. With closer cooperation between strategic energy investors, power developers and solution providers, I am confident that solar energy will become increasingly cost effective and achieve grid parity in many locations over the next few years.”

Mr. Longsheng Li, Deputy General Manager of CECIC commented, ”We believe that plentiful, large-scale solar resources, powered by Suntech’s premium quality solar systems and system integration capabilities, can deliver decades of clean, renewable electricity throughout many regions in China. We will continue to actively promote the adoption of large-scale solar PV projects and solutions for reducing carbon emissions and solving problems associated with climate change.”

The 10MW solar system, which was approved by the Ningxia Autonomous Region Development and Reform Commission in June, 2009, is powered by more than 37,000 Suntech solar panels and is projected to displace approximately 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Under a strategic agreement announced in 2009, Suntech and CECIC plan to focus on the development of large scale on-grid solar projects, urban building integrated PV projects, rural off-grid solar projects, and wind-solar hybrid projects. For such projects, CECIC will primarily be responsible for project investment and solar project development and Suntech will supply solar products, system design, installation and technical support.

About China Energy Conservation Investment Co. Ltd. (CECIC)

CECIC is a wholly state-owned enterprise and the largest Chinese energy company dedicated to environmental protection. Its primary focuses are energy conservation, emissions reduction, waste treatment, environmental cleanup, and new energy technology. Its current operations have resulted in the recycling of 2 million tons of industrial waste, the reduction of 5 million tons of carbon dioxide, and the substitution of 1.6 million tons of coal per annum. CECIC-backed solar PV projects under contract and construction to date exceed 1.1GW of total installation capacity, making CECIC the largest solar PV project investor and operator in China.

September 29, 2009

U.S. Bancorp, SolarCity double fund for solar

Filed under: FSLR — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 7:40 pm

Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:40pm EDT

* Fund to finance solar projects to rise to $100 mln

* Backs leases and power purchase agreements for SolarCity

LOS ANGELES, Sept 29 (Reuters) – U.S. Bancorp and privately held SolarCity are doubling the size of their fund for solar power projects in 2009 to $100 million, the companies said on Tuesday.

U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp, a unit of U.S. Bancorp (USB) and SolarCity teamed up in June to put solar electric panels on homes and businesses in California, Oregon and Arizona with no upfront costs. The companies did not disclose the value of the deal when it was first announced, but said its expansion will double the size.

The agreement allows the bank to take advantage of tax breaks, including a solar tax credit. In return, the bank pays for the purchase and installation of solar power by SolarCity, which markets and maintains the systems.

SolarCity’s chief executive Lyndon Rive said in a statement that the company expanded its partnership to “keep pace with the nation’s growing appetite for clean power.”

The solar power industry has been hard hit by the credit crisis, but several solar companies have said in recent weeks that financing is beginning to return to the sector.

Privately held SolarCity is three years old and has received $25 million from solar panel producer First Solar Inc (FSLR) among its venture capital backing.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee; editing by Mary Milliken and Andre Grenon)

Hoku and Tianwei Announce Financing Agreement

Filed under: HOKU — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 4:20 pm

Company to Resume Accelerated Construction of Polysilicon Plant

Tuesday September 29, 2009, 4:20 pm EDT

HONOLULU, HI and CHENGDU, CHINA–(Marketwire – 09/29/09) – Hoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU), a diversified, clean energy company with headquarters in Honolulu, and Tianwei New Energy Holdings Co., Ltd., a leading provider of silicon wafers, photovoltaic (PV) cells, modules and systems, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement providing for a majority investment in Hoku by Tianwei and debt financing by Tianwei and China Construction Bank for the construction and development of Hoku’s polysilicon production facility in Pocatello, Idaho.

The transaction will involve the conversion of $50 million of an aggregate of $79 million in secured prepayments previously paid by Tianwei to Hoku under certain polysilicon supply agreements into shares of Hoku’s common stock and related warrants, plus the provision of $50 million in initial debt financing for Hoku, together with a commitment from Tianwei to assist Hoku in obtaining additional financing that may be required by Hoku to construct and operate the Pocatello facility.

The conversion of the $50 million in secured prepayments will be reflected in amendments to Hoku’s existing supply agreements with Tianwei that the parties intend to sign upon the closing of the transaction. Over the term of the two supply agreements, the cancellation of the $50 million in prepayments will reduce the price at which Tianwei purchases polysilicon by approximately 11% per year.

Hoku confirmed that the $50 million in debt, plus prepayments from its existing customers, is expected to be sufficient to complete construction to the point where it could commence shipments to customers, and it intends to delay any additional financing until such time. On the basis of these funding sources, Hoku reported it is preparing to issue orders to resume full scale plant construction at an accelerated pace upon closing of the financing, which is expected to occur in October 2009.

In exchange for the value being provided by Tianwei, Hoku will issue to Tianwei 33,379,287 newly-issued shares of its common stock, which will represent 60% of Hoku’s fully-diluted outstanding shares. Hoku will also grant Tianwei warrants to purchase an additional 10 million shares of Hoku’s common stock at a price per share equal to $2.52.

At closing, Hoku’s current shareholders will continue to own 40% of the voting shares, and Hoku will continue to be traded publicly on Nasdaq. Additionally, Tianwei has agreed to a one year lock-up of 70% of its shares, further affirming its commitment to Hoku’s long-term success.

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ProLogis, Recurrent Energy tie up on solar project

Filed under: none — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 2:40 pm

Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:40pm EDT

* ProLogis, Recurrent Energy partner on solar project

* To build 4.8 megawatts of solar power in Spain

* ProLogis forms global renewable energy group

LOS ANGELES, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Warehouse and distribution facilities developer ProLogis (PLD) and Recurrent Energy will team up develop 4.8 megawatts of solar power projects in Spain, by the middle of 2010.

ProLogis said on Tuesday it will lease industrial rooftop space in Barcelona and Madrid to power provider Recurrent Energy, which will finance, own and operate the envisioned solar systems and eventually sell the resultant power to local Spanish utilities through a feed-in tariff.

Neither company revealed the financial terms of the deal.

The projects will be spread out over eight rooftops in the two cities, with construction expected to start in a month and slated to finish in the middle of 2010.

Recurrent Energy’s chief executive, Arno Harris, said the project — where an established renewable energy developer rents rooftops from a major real estate owner and uses the space as a site — could provide a model for future solar power projects.

“We feel we’ve cracked the code on how to tap large industrial roofs as solar sites,” Harris said.

He pointed to challenges in developing solar rooftop systems if projects were signed one at a time. Harris added that the process became more efficient and scalable when there is a single lease transaction that covers several rooftops and a single arrangement to sell the power.

For its projects with ProLogis, Recurrent Energy will use flexible thin-film solar laminates. Harris said that the company has a pipeline of 500 MW of solar power projects — each between 2 and 20 MW — in development.

ProLogis also announced on Tuesday it had formed a global renewable energy group to drive business, manage installations and provide consultant services in its renewable energy program.

ProLogis has more than 450 million square feet of rooftop space worldwide. And with the new project with Recurrent, the company will have 11 MW of solar installations around the world.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee; Editing Bernard Orr)

Spire Enters into Commercial Agreements with Korea’s Uni-CHEM

Filed under: SPIR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 9:05 am

Tuesday September 29, 2009, 9:05 am EDT

BEDFORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Spire Corporation (SPIR), a global solar company providing capital equipment to manufacture photovoltaic (PV) modules and turnkey manufacturing lines worldwide today announced that it entered into two contracts to supply Uni-CHEM Co., Ltd. (Uni-CHEM) of Seoul, South Korea, via its United States (US) entity, Uni-CHEM Solar, a 60 megawatt (MW) per year turnkey Cell Line and a 50MW per year turnkey Module Line, as well as the associated utilities and infrastructure support.

Uni-CHEM has indicated its intent to lease space from Spire at its Hudson, New Hampshire’s Spire Semiconductor facility to house the automated 60MW Cell Line and 50MW Module Line. Terms of the sub-lease are not yet fully defined and currently under negotiation. The Uni-CHEM integrated Cell and Module Lines are planned to become operational in the second half of 2010.

Additionally, Uni-CHEM has agreed it will form a US entity, which will purchase 51% of Spire Solar Systems, Spire Corporation’s system integration business, subject to definitive documentation. Such definitive agreements have not yet been finalized.

Roger G. Little, Chairman and CEO of Spire Corporation, said, “We are excited to have finalized the cell and module turnkey manufacturing agreements with Uni-CHEM. We believe their cell and module manufacturing will position them to participate in the US solar market, which is anticipated to be one of the world’s fastest growing. The total value of the contracts, including those relating to the investment in the systems integration business, is approximately $60 million.”

About Uni-CHEM Co., Ltd.

Uni-CHEM Co., Ltd. (Korea Stock Exchange: 011330.KS) produces and markets leather products for Korea’s major automakers and luxury goods companies such as Burberry and Coach. It was formerly known as Shinjin Leather Industrial Co., Ltd. and changed its name to Uni-CHEM Co., Ltd. in April 2000. The company was founded in 1974 and is based in Ansansi, South Korea. For more information, visit: http://www.uni-chem.net.

China Sunergy Provides Additional Details Regarding REC Wafer Injunction Granted in Norway

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

Tuesday September 29, 2009, 8:30 am EDT

NANJING, China, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, has provided additional insight regarding the injunction granted by the Salten District Court in Norway related to the ongoing proceedings with REC Wafer.

On September 11, 2009 the Norwegian court granted a preliminary injunction, based on China Sunergy’s petition, prohibiting REC Wafer Norway AS from drawing on the USD50 million in bank guarantees. One of the key reasons for this decision is the fact that the original party to the contract, REC SITECH AS, no longer exists given its merger with REC ScanWafer AS, which later changed its name to REC Wafer Norway AS after the merger. China Sunergy was never informed of this merger despite the contractual obligations of REC to do so prior to any such action.

The court refers in particular to the fact that it has been impossible for China Sunergy to extend the guarantees. The reason for this is that the original party to the contract and supplier has merged with another company, namely REC Wafer. The court has not found evidence that Nordea Bank has consented to the merger and thus has consented to the change to the parties on the rights side. Despite the fact that REC SiTech AS never informed China Sunergy of its dissolution after the merger, even though the merger plans had come far by the time the contract was entered into, the inability of China Sunergy to extend the guarantees in the name of REC SiTech AS has been stated as a basis for REC Wafer’s current claims. The preliminary injunction inhibits REC Wafer’s ability to draw on the bank guarantees before the legal situation is clarified.

Salten District Court has also noted that there must be a breach of contract on the part of China Sunergy in order for REC Wafer to be able to draw on the guarantees. There have been no wafer shipments from REC Wafer to China Sunergy, and the court has found that REC Wafer has not pleaded that any fundamental breach of the contract with China Sunergy exists. The court states that the conditions for drawing on the guarantee are therefore not present.

The preliminary injunction is in effect until October 15th, 2009. The court has stated that China Sunergy and REC Wafer should clarify the legal issues that the merger has created by that time.

September 28, 2009

Applied Materials upgraded on coming SunFab orders

Filed under: AMAT, WFR — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 12:36 pm

Applied Materials upgraded on coming orders for solar production equipment, MEMC downgraded

Monday September 28, 2009, 12:36 pm EDT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Shares of Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) advanced on Monday after a Citigroup analyst upgraded his recommendation on the stock based on “significant” upcoming orders for its solar modules production equipment.

Analyst Timothy Arcuri raised Applied Materials, a maker of chip production equipment, to “Buy” from “Hold” and added the stock to Citi’s top picks list for investors, replacing MEMC Electronic Materials Inc (WFR). He also raised his Applied Materials target price by $2 to $17 and bumped up his 2010 earnings estimate by 4 cents to 46 cents per share.

Wall Street analysts expect 2010 earnings of 33 cents per share, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

Arcuri said checks at the Hamburg solar show led him to believe that Applied Materials is about to sign a “significant” second wave of orders for its SunFab solar production equipment, including four new lines of about 300 megawatts in India.

While the analyst noted that SunFab’s long-term success isn’t certain given that module prices are falling in the market, the company is adding new customers, cutting costs, lined up about $1 billion in savings and has a renewed focus on regaining market share. These factors are enough to drive the stock higher, Arcuri said in a research note.

As the largest solar equipment provider, Applied Materials also will benefit from market growth in 2010 and sidestep the problem of weakened pricing.

“As these catalysts play out, the Street will no longer be able to ignore the stock,” Arcuri said.

Shares of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Applied Materials rose 42 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $13.52, in midday trading.

While Applied Materials got kudos, the analyst was bearish on silicon wafer maker MEMC, which he downgraded to “Hold” from “Buy.” He cut his target price to $20 from $24. He said the company’s polysilicon production problems still are unresolved, thereby risking missing seasonal demand and could lead to its missing this quarter’s financial outlook.

Earlier this month, MEMC reduced its third-quarter revenue forecast due to a disruption at a polysilicon Texas plant caused by equipment failure. The failed equipment was replaced but new problems delayed production again.

Arcuri slashed his 2010 earnings estimate for MEMC to 73 cents per share from $1.33, and to $1.56 from $2.82 in 2011. Analysts expect the company to post a profit of 98 cents per share in 2010, and $1.86 per share in 2011.

Shares of St. Peters, Mo.-based MEMC dropped 55 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $16.75.

Famous Bob’s Big Boy Hosts ‘Sixty and Solar’ Celebration

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

Dedicates 26 kW Canadian Solar panel system on historic building in Burbank to mark 60th year of operation

Monday September 28, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

TORONTO, Canada, and LOS ANGELES and MURRIETA, Calif., Sept. 28 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (“Canadian Solar”) (CSIQ), HelioPower, and Bob’s Big Boy of Burbank were joined last week by Burbank Mayor Gary Bric and other local officials to inaugurate a 26 kW Canadian Solar photovoltaic panel system installed at the historic restaurant. Commemorating 60 years of operation by going a modern “green”, Bob hosted dignitaries to dedicate its new solar panel system and educated a new generation by inviting local Habitat for Humanity volunteers to a Fifties-era Sock Hop under the canopy of the solar power system.

“We’ve brought Bob into the 21st century,” said owner Philip MacDonald. The MacDonald family has owned the Bob’s since 1949 and took over operations in 1993, the same year it was designated a California Point of Historical Interest. Located at 4211 Riverside Drive in Burbank, California, the restaurant is the oldest remaining Bob’s in the United States. “Solar technology is a viable option for powering retail buildings. Bob is setting an example for the community and our fans worldwide by employing solar power to generate a portion of the electricity used by the restaurant,” continued MacDonald.

Joining Mayor Bric were Gregory W. Ashley, President, Canadian Solar USA; Robert Liggett, Jr., Chairman, Bob’s Big Boy International; Gary Olson, President/CEO, Burbank Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Lance Williams, Executive Director, U. S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles and Wayne Colmer, Board President, Habitat for Humanity of SF/SCV, the official charity of the Bob’s “Sixty and Solar” celebration.

“Sixty years old — and going solar — Bob’s Big Boy is an American icon taking part in our new energy future. Canadian Solar is honored to be working with HelioPower to support Bob’s Big Boy,” said Gregory Ashley, acting President of the Canadian Solar U.S. division. “Partners like HelioPower who install these projects quickly and efficiently make it easier for buildings to use clean, renewable energy directly generated at their sites. We celebrate this dedication with Bob’s today and this solar system generating power for years to come.”

The restaurant is now generating a portion of its own electricity from a solar power system consisting of 132 Canadian Solar CS6P 200 Modules and two SMA inverters, a Sunny Boy 6000US and a Sunny Boy 3000US. Energy generation is monitored by an SMA Sunny WebBox and graphically displayed through the SMA Sunny Portal system. System specifications and live performance data can be seen at: http://www.heliopower.com/projects/california/burbank/bobs-big-boy.

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September 27, 2009

Solar analyst sees supply, other challenges-Barron’s

Filed under: FSLR, SPWR, STP, TSL, WFR, YGE — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 5:32 pm

Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:32pm EDT

NEW YORK, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Hapoalim Securities analyst Gordon Johnson, who accurately predicted a fall in solar stocks last year, said solar companies face excess supply and other challenges through 2010, according to Barron’s on Sunday.

The photovoltaic sector will see a supply of 7.1 gigawatts this year and about 10.8 GW the next, compared with demand of roughly 4.3 GW this year and some 6 GW in 2010, Johnson told the weekly business newspaper.

Manufacturers of crystalline polysilicon, which is used in some solar cells, could also face lower demand, even as plants that take three years to build come online, Johnson told Barron’s in an interview.

Johnson told the paper that polysilicon prices, now $50 per kilogram to $60 per kilogram, are likely to fall and might dip below the break-even level — $25 per kg to $28 per kg — which is bad news for producers like MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) and Wacker Chemie.

Johnson has a price target of $9 on MEMC. It closed at $17.29 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Johnson told Barron’s that solar companies have seen their stocks rise of late on expectations of demand from China this year and the next, but those hopes were overblown.

He downgraded one such company, China-based Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd (STP), to “sell” this year because of accounting and other risks, according to Barron’s.

Suntech faces certain cost disadvantages compared with some rivals as Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd (YGE) and Trina Solar (TSL), Johnson said.

(more…)

September 25, 2009

Spire Establishes Spire Taiwan LLC Branch Office

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

Spire Taiwan Extends Solar Presence to Service Asian Markets

Friday September 25, 2009, 9:00 am EDT

BEDFORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Spire Corporation (SPIR), a global solar company providing capital equipment to manufacture photovoltaic (PV) modules and turnkey manufacturing lines today announced it has established a wholly-owned subsidiary, Spire Taiwan LLC that will have an office in Hsinchu County, Taiwan.

“Spire Taiwan will provide rapid customer communications and will enhance its growing position within the region,” said Roger G. Little, Chairman and CEO of Spire Corporation. “It is a headquarters for equipment service operations and will support customers throughout China, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, and the Philippines, as well as others in the region. The branch is also staffed with multilingual sales and service engineers, allowing our customers to receive immediate care. Spire will also be establishing a regional spare parts inventory warehouse in Taiwan.”

“And of course, Taiwan itself is a major player in solar manufacturing, having recently established the Taiwan PV Standards Committee and has initiated government incentives to stimulate the industry,” concluded Mr. Little.

To contact the Spire Taiwan branch office:

Telephone:
+886.3.667.2727

Fax:
+886.3.667.2121

Address :
Spire Taiwan, LLC
7F, No. 253, Dong Sec. 1

Guangming 6th Road
Zhubei City, Hsinchu County 302
Taiwan, R.O.C.

Watch Out: Solar Stocks Might Sink

Filed under: ENER, FSLR, JASO, LDK, SOL, SOLF, STP, YGE — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 8:52 am

By James Altucher

As a financial adviser you have one goal: Don’t lose clients’ money. So even more important than finding stocks that could double or triple over the next year, you want to steer clear of stocks that could collapse.

It’s ugly, it’s painful, and nobody wants to call a client and point out an investment sank 90%.

Over the next two articles I’ll be analyzing a few stocks that fit this category. This is purely my view, of course, and I’d welcome anyone with differing views to use the comments section. (As I say in the comments section, I am not shorting these stocks.)

In general I don’t like the solar industry as an investment opportunity, which includes First Solar (FSLR), Energy Conversion Devices (ENER), JA Solar (JASO), LDK Solar Co. (LDK), Suntech Power (STP), Solarfun Power (SOLF), Yingli Green Energy (YGE), and Rene Sola (SOL).

First Solar, for instance, has been a glam stock for day traders for the past few years as the solar industry had almost as much hype behind it as the dot-com industry back in the heyday.

Let’s look at the macro picture and then the micro picture and you’ll see why this stock could go down 90%.

Macro picture:

Solar power is more expensive than other forms of power: coal, natural gas, nuclear, even wind, so the primary customer for all of the solar companies are the countries where solar power is subsidized with no cap on how high the subsidy could go.

In other words: Germany, which is the only such country. Spain tried it, but it was too expensive, so they began to cap the subsidy and as a result the solar industry is now one-fifth the size in Spain that it was when the subsidy was in place.

In fact, approximately 60% of First Solar’s revenue comes from sales to Germany.

(more…)

Canadian Solar Moves Headquarters to Kitchener, Ontario

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 7:44 am

Leading Solar Solution Innovator to Provide Turnkey Hardware Solutions for Rooftop and Ground Mounted Solar Power Systems

Friday September 25, 2009, 7:44 am EDT

KITCHENER, Canada, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ), a leading provider of vertically integrated solar cells, solar module and custom-designed solar application products, today unveiled its new global headquarters in Kitchener, ON, at 650 Riverbend Dr., further underscoring its commitment to maintain and deepen its relationship with the Canadian solar solution market.

Canadian Solar is a $700M (US) company and has operations in seven different countries around world. The Canadian Solar management team has extensive experience in managing large, complex projects that require precision planning and execution. The new headquarters in Kitchener, Ontario will be the hub of testimony, education and guidance on a wide range of turnkey solar solutions and opportunities.

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO, Canadian Solar Inc. remarked, “The opening of this permanent headquarters is a milestone in our continuing relationship with the Canadian market. Our new headquarters is the symbolic foundation of our respect and determination to be a fully integrated and reliable solar turnkey solutions provider in Canada.”

Canadian Solar’s headquarters is located in Canada’s first C-2000 office building, called Green on the Ground, which further reflects the Company’s dedication to energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.

Canadian Solar has made strong strides towards being recognized as a leading provider of vertically integrated solar solutions, including developing complete turnkey hardware solar solutions catering to the Ontario commercial and residential Feed-in-Tariff market.

“We are extremely proud of the Ontario government and congratulate them for pursing the Feed-in-Tariff aggressively as it propels Ontario as the green energy leader,” Dr. Qu added. “Canadian Solar supports the benefits of conservation and renewable energy in Ontario and our business plan reflects those very same qualities.”

Ascent Solar and Energy Technologies, Inc. Sign Cooperation Agreement

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

Friday September 25, 2009, 6:00 am EDT

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer of flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules, today announced the signing of a definitive Cooperation Agreement with Energy Technologies, Inc. of Mansfield, Ohio. The agreement focuses on the development of new photovoltaic products intended for the U.S. military.

The parties have agreed to collaborate in the development of hybrid solar power generation systems for rapidly deployable tactical soft-walled shelters. Ascent Solar has supplied Energy Technologies with product from its existing commercial production line for a military shelter that has been used in demonstrations to potential military customers. Energy Technologies will also showcase Ascent’s 2-Meter modules on a soft-walled shelter at two upcoming expositions: Modern Day Marine on Monday, September 29, 2009 in Quantico, Virginia and the 2009 Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting & Exposition in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, October 1, 2009. Ascent Solar intends to supply Energy Technologies with modules for subsequent 2010 demonstration projects from its upcoming 30MW high volume production line.

Tim Lowe VP Sales, Energy Technologies stated, “Ascent Solar’s flexible, light weight PV modules work well with our hybrid military power systems and are now being integrated into ETI’s tactical soft-walled shelter which will be on demonstration in Quantico, Virginia and Washington DC.”

Ascent Solar President and CEO Farhad Moghadam added, “Our material is well suited for integration into various portable and tactical solar powered solutions for the military. Working with experienced specialty integrators like Energy Technologies has helped expand our development and penetration into this exclusive market. We look forward to the demonstration of these new concepts and products for this premium market opportunity at the upcoming expositions.”

About Energy Technologies:

Energy Technologies, Inc. has been providing field proven reliability with its cost effective products since 1992. These product solutions cover the production, conditioning, and control of AC and DC power in a wide range of environments. These rugged products meet the demands and rigors of military, government, industrial, medical and telecommunications sectors. Mobile applications include shipboard, submarine, vehicular, aircraft and field deployment. Stationary applications consist of factories, process plants, utilities, networks, even offshore platforms and desert installations. Energy Technologies is located in Mansfield, Ohio. Additional information for Energy Technologies can be found at http://www.powersource.net or http://www.tacticalsolar.com.

September 24, 2009

Solar Power: Finally, A Reason to Invest Says HSBC

Filed under: LDK, STP, YGE — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 2:07 pm

By Keith Johnson

After being relentlessly negative about the solar industry since the summer of 2008, investment bank HSBC is starting to warm up to the sector again.

A ray of hope

The upshot: The worst of the solar sector’s woes may be behind us. That doesn’t mean the good times are here yet—but it does open the door to selective investments in companies that can weather the three years of so of storms that still lie ahead, the bank says in a new report.

The thesis of “Global Solar Power: Solar Eclipsed?” is straightforward: The supply glut that has plagued the sector all year will persist until 2012. That will keep pushing prices down—bad news for corporate profits, good news for the sector as a whole as it becomes more competitive with traditional sources of power generation.

HSBC’s winners include Yingli Green Power (YGE), Sharp, Solar World, and REC. The bank doesn’t care as much for Suntech Power (STP) and LDK (LDK), among many others.

What’s really interesting about HSBC’s new report is how solar power stacks up today against other ways of generating electricity—it doesn’t. That is, all the other power-generation technologies are in roughly the same neighborhood, even wind power—but not solar.

For instance, HSBC estimates costs per megawatt for different options: Combined-cycle gas, 43 euros; regular coal, 62 euros; onshore wind, 58 euros; nuclear power, 48 euros; geothermal, 43 euros. Photovoltaic solar power costs 290 euros per megawatt; concentrated solar power 181 euros.

Or put another way: What price would oil or gas have to be for each technology to be break-even without subsidies, using combined-cycle gas turbines as the low-cost yardstick?

Geothermal is the cheapest: It is competitive with natural gas at $5.16 per million BTUs or oil at $57 a barrel. Nuclear power breaks even at $6.26 and $69.

Traditional, onshore wind power breaks even with gas at $8.33 or oil at $92. Offshore wind still needs a push: It requires gas at $17.14 or oil at $189.

In contrast, solar thermal needs to see natural gas at $35.66 or oil at $393. And good old photovoltaic solar, like the kind on rooftops? Natural gas needs to be at $59.61 or oil at $657 a barrel.

Quick reality check: Gas today is at $3.93 and oil is at $66.

That’s not to say there’s no hope for solar power. There’s always the government.

Thanks to price supports, HSBC expects solar power to reach retail “grid parity” in some places—California and New York—as soon as next year. That means solar power will generate electricity that’s competitive with what you pay on your bill every month. It will take another five years or so for solar to reach wholesale grid parity—when it becomes a no-brainer investment for big utilities.

Houston selects NRG for 10-MW solar project

Filed under: FSLR, NRG — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 1:43 pm

Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:43pm EDT

HOUSTON, Sept 24 (Reuters) – The City of Houston has selected NRG Energy Inc (NRG) to develop and operate a 10-megawatt solar project, the mayor’s office said on Thursday.

Under the agreement, the city will purchase the power under a 25-year, fixed-price contract for 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour the first year.

The price will change over time and is a blended rate that includes higher-priced solar power and back-up power from NRG’s nuclear, coal and natural gas-fired generating portfolio for periods when solar power is unavailable.

The solar power price tag is 19.8 cents per kwh under the contract.

NRG will build the facility, expected to be operational next year, on 70 acres (28 hectares) at its Wharton Generating Station in northwest Houston, according to a release.

NRG, the second largest power producer in Texas, plans to use photovoltaic modules manufactured by First Solar Inc (FSLR).

The agreement is subject to approval by the Houston City Council and the mayor.

Ten megawatts is roughly 6 percent of the city’s annual consumption. One megawatt serves about 500 homes in Texas.

Texas is already the leading wind-power state with installed capacity of 8,100 megawatts and a number of utilities and municipal utilities are exploring options to add other renewable power resources, such as solar and biomass.

NRG is also working to develop a 92-MW solar thermal power plant in New Mexico as part of its plan to have 500 MW of solar generation in its U.S. generating fleet of 24,000 MW.

(Reporting by Eileen O’Grady; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Evergreen Solar sales chief leaving to run solar start-up

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 8:56 am

Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:56am EDT

*Head of sales leaving to run solar company

*CEO to assume marketing, sales responsibilities

*CFO will oversee global operations

NEW YORK, Sept 24 (Reuters) – U.S. solar panel maker Evergreen Solar Inc (ESLR) said on Thursday its head of sales is leaving to run another solar company.

J. Terry Bailey, Evergreen’s senior vice president of marketing and sales, will leave at the end of the month to become chief executive at a venture-backed solar company in California, the company said in a statement.

Richard M. Feldt, Evergreen’s CEO, will assume marketing and sales responsibilities on an interim basis.

Michael El-Hillow, the chief financial officer, will assume responsibility for global operations and administration, the company said.

Bailey’s departure is the latest in a string of bad news for Marlboro, Massachusetts-based Evergreen.

The company, which makes silicon wafers used in solar panels, posted a slightly bigger-than-expected second-quarter loss in July as well as a loss in the first quarter.

Additionally, the company is embroiled in litigation with bankrupt Lehman Brothers (LEHMQ.PK), claiming that British bank Barclays PLC inappropriately acquired shares of the company as part of its purchase of Lehman’s brokerage business, and that the lack of clarity about the status of its shares could hurt its ability to raise capital.

Shares of Evergreen closed Wednesday at $1.98. The stock has traded between $1 and $6.58 in the past 52 weeks.

(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

ICP Solar Sees Initial Demand for Energizer® Line

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

American Retailers to Replace Generic or Other Branded Products

Thursday September 24, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

MONTREAL–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ICP Solar Technologies Inc. (ICPR.OB), a developer and marketer of innovative, proprietary solar panels and products, today announced that the Company has received positive feedback from two of its largest customers and several new retail prospects regarding the launch of its upcoming Energizer® branded solar chargers. These well-known retail channel partners plan to help market the new products and provide significant exposure on shelves. Initial shipments are still anticipated for the fourth quarter.

“Strong brands build strong bonds with their customers, and our retail partners know this is the case with Energizer® branded products,” said Sass Peress, Chairman and CEO. “Our retailers expect high demand for Energizer® solar chargers – anticipated to out sell all other brands in the category – and we will likely have firm orders in place before the end of the third quarter. In addition to traditional retail channels, the upcoming November launch of the e-Commerce focused Energizersolar.com website, as well as several social media initiatives, are expected to increase overall consumer awareness, visibility and sales of Energizer branded® solar solutions. Our products will form part of the Energizer® ‘Complete Solution’ for portable, rechargeable energy storage worldwide, and we are excited to move forward with this rollout as soon as possible.”

September 23, 2009

Energy co PSEG to develop 30 MW in solar projects

Filed under: FSLR, PEG — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 5:41 pm

Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:41pm EDT

* PSEG solar unit to work with juwi solar Inc on projects

* Three U.S. projects total almost 30 megawatts

* Represents about $100-million investment

LOS ANGELES, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Energy company Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG) said its solar unit will develop nearly 30 megawatts of solar power projects with juwi solar Inc, representing an investment of about $100 million.

The three U.S. projects are located in Florida, Ohio and New Jersey and will use First Solar Inc’s (FSLR) thin-film panels. They are expected to be finished in 2010.

Under the deal, juwi solar will construct and maintain all the projects while PSEG Solar Source will own them.

Separately, PSEG is developing a 350 MW wind project off the coast of New Jersey.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, juwi solar is a unit of Germany’s juwi Holding AG.

Shares of Ascent Solar jump on 67 megawatt supply deal with TurtleEnergy

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 2:27 pm

Wednesday September 23, 2009, 2:27 pm EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Ascent Solar Technologies Inc. (ASTI) jumped Wednesday on news that the solar company signed a multiyear supply agreement with TurtleEnergy LLC, a New Jersey-based photovoltaic systems integrator.

Ascent Solar shares rose $1.22, or 17.4 percent, to $8.22 in afternoon trading.

On Wednesday the company said it has agreed to deliver up to 67 megawatts of its high-efficiency flexible CIGS photovoltaic modules — or solar cells made from copper, indium, gallium and selenium — during the five-year contract period. Shipping is scheduled to begin early next year.

Rodman & Renshaw analyst Amit Dayal said he is encouraged by the company’s updates on building integrated photovoltaic supply agreement developments.

“These are good indications for the market’s reception of Ascent Solar’s technology,” Dayal said.

Dayal maintained a rating of “Market Outperform” and a $10 price target.

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