North Coast Solar Stocks

November 30, 2009

Sun Light & Power Wins SunPower ‘Intelegant Award for Excellence’ in Residential Solar System Installation

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 4:30 pm

4:30 pm EST, Monday November 30, 2009

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — SunPower Corp. (SPWRA, SPWRB), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced that Sun Light & Power, a SunPower Premier Dealer, has won the prestigious SunPower ‘Intelegant Award for Excellence’ in residential solar-electric power system installation. The company received the award for its installation of a 4.05-kilowatt SunPower solar system on the San Mateo, Calif. home of D’Arcy Roche.

The SunPower Intelegant Award recognizes residential SunPower solar-electric power system installations that exemplify SunPower’s commitment to excellence in aesthetics, quality and performance. Award-winning installations are selected for the quality of the design and installation as well as homeowner satisfaction.

“Sun Light & Power has been installing solar systems for more than three decades and we’re thrilled that more and more homeowners are choosing to install solar systems to help power their homes,” said Gary Gerber, president and founder of Sun Light & Power. “Not only are we committed to delivering the highest level of products and services, we are experts in designing solar systems for challenging rooftops. SunPower’s high-efficiency solar panels help us to succeed with this goal and we are very proud to be this year’s recipient of the Intelegant Award.”

“My goal was to install a solar system that would equal or exceed my annual energy consumption measured in kilowatt hours,” said N. D’Arcy Roche, homeowner. “Sun Light & Power successfully designed and installed a solar-electric system for my tile roof that generates the highest energy yield with the fewest number of panels. Using SunPower’s high-efficiency all-black solar panels, the system has generated twice my summer electrical demand and I’m confident I will end the year as a net contributor to the grid. I’m very pleased with the appearance of the panels, too.”

There are more than 900 residential and small commercial solar installers in the SunPower global dealer network. Dealers are provided training in the installation of SunPower products, and work closely with the company to provide customers with superior levels of service.

About Sun Light & Power

Sun Light & Power was formed 33 years ago in Berkeley, Calif., by Gary Gerber as one of the first solar energy companies in California. With more than 1,000 solar installations in the Bay Area and a staff of 60 + employees, Sun Light & Power prides itself on its skilled engineering staff, which works with many technically-challenging projects. More information is available at: http://www.sunlightandpower.com or by calling: (510) 845-2997.

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Telkonet’s Powerline Communications System Selected for Hoku Solar’s Clean Technology Solar Power System

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

Telkonet iWire System Installed in Hawaii’s Lihue Airport to Enable LAN Connectivity for Rooftop Solar Panels

8:30 am EST, Monday November 30, 2009

GERMANTOWN, MD–(Marketwire – 11/30/09) – Telkonet, Inc. (TKOI), a Clean Technology company that develops and manufactures proprietary energy management and Smart Grid networking technology, today announced that Hoku Solar, a subsidiary of Hoku Scientific (HOKU), has installed Telkonet’s powerline communications (PLC) system for operation with its Clean Technology solar power system at Lihue Airport in Kauai, Hawaii. The Telkonet iWire System(TM) is enabling IP network connectivity for Hoku Solar’s 338 kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) power system that provides low-cost solar electricity to the airport.

The Lihue Airport project is one of seven PV systems installed recently by Hoku Solar as part of its power purchase agreement with the Hawaii State Department of Transportation (HDOT). Totaling nearly one megawatt of peak generating capacity, the rooftop projects are located primarily at airports throughout the state, supporting the energy efficiency goal of the Hawaii Clean Energy initiative, a partnership between the state of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy. Hoku Solar’s long-term contracts allow HDOT to enjoy the benefits of clean, renewable energy with no upfront cost, and serve to stabilize HDOT operating costs by acting as a hedge against future increases in the cost of electricity.

Ryan McCauley, Hoku Solar’s General Manager, stated, “Hoku chose PLC because it was cost-effective, simple and reliable. PLC used the electrical cabling we had already used to connect the inverters, so we were able to avoid the additional cost of routing CAT5 cable and conduit. In addition, PLC helped us avoid wireless interference issues that we would have otherwise faced in the sensitive airport operating environment. The product is performing well and we are evaluating the possibility of installing the Telkonet iWire System at some of our additional locations.”

At the Lihue Airport, Hoku Solar installed PV solar panels in three separate rooftop arrays. Each array generates DC power, which is converted into grid-ready AC power by inverters that are attached to the arrays. To monitor and maintain the inverters and arrays, each inverter must be connected to an external central monitoring system. Telkonet’s PLC system provides a cost-effective and efficient way to network the three inverter locations. Using PLC, Hoku Solar found a solution that not only reduced the required number of connections and routers, but also enabled a networked system that complied fully with the sensitive security and electromagnetic operating requirements of a modern airport.

About Telkonet

Telkonet, a clean technology company, provides integrated, centrally-managed energy management and Smart Grid networking solutions that improve energy efficiency and reduce the demand for new energy generation. The company’s energy management systems, aimed at the hospitality, commercial, government, healthcare and education markets, are dynamically lowering HVAC costs in over 170,000 rooms, and are an integral part of various utilities’ green energy efficiency and rebate programs.

Primarily targeting Smart Grid and utility applications, Telkonet’s patented powerline communications (PLC) platform delivers cost-effective, robust networking, with real-time online monitoring and maintenance capabilities, increasing the reliability and energy efficiency across the entire utility grid. http://www.telkonet.com.

November 25, 2009

A Competitive Boost For Solar Energy

Filed under: FSLR, KYO, SPWR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 5:43 pm

Christopher Helman, 11.25.09, 5:43 PM ET

HOUSTON – The dream of every green energy acolyte is that there will come a time when it is no stranger for homes to have solar panels than to have air conditioning units.

John Berger, chief executive of Standard Renewable Energy, thinks that in the next decade the U.S. could get well down the road to making that a reality.

Houston-based Standard Renewable got 75% of its $35 million in revenue this year from installing solar systems. Just 10 months ago it was buying solar panels from the likes of Kyocera (KYO), BP (BP), SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB) and First Solar (FSLR) for $4 per watt. Today, prices have plunged to $1.90 a watt.

It’s not for lack of demand. What’s brought prices down is a surge in worldwide manufacturing capacity. New plants have opened across China. Factories are even coming to the U.S.

As a result, insists Berger, solar power is starting to look affordable and even competitive with grid power. To the educated observer, this may sound implausible. But Berger says Standard has installed residential solar systems for as little as $4 per watt.

Berger’s bean counters have extrapolated that price for 31 metropolitan areas, factoring in average sunshine and cloud cover, applying the federal government’s 30% investment tax credit, and assuming that a homeowner can finance a system at the going mortgage rate of around 5%. Amortized over 20 years, the effective rate that a homeowner would pay for electricity in the New York metro area is 12.7 cents per kilowatt/hour. In Dallas it’s 11 cents/kwh, and in Las Vegas, just 9.3 cents.

The nationwide average residential electricity price is 12.05 cents, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Add in generous subsidies on municipal and state levels and in some green utopias like Austin, Texas, and Berkeley, Calif., and the cost goes even lower.

“In some locations,” says Berger, “solar could achieve grid parity next year.”

Yeah, we’re skeptical, too. Berger is, after all, trying to sell solar panels. But it’s nice to think that this could be possible. And the stars are aligning to make panels even cheaper. All this new panel production online is squeezing margins of big players like First Solar, whose shares have fallen 40% since May. Berger thinks that panel makers’ profit margins, now around 15%, will fade closer to 7% in the years to come–in line with the makers of other kinds of silicon-based chips.

The case for solar would also be helped by any carbon emissions legislation that might pass Congress some day. Carbon cap-and-trade would inevitably add costs to power generated from coal and natural gas. Utilities will try to pass costs onto ratepayers.

“The utilities are getting nervous. We provide a real opportunity for people to change where they get their electricity from,” says Berger.

One beauty of solar is that it is a distributed source of power generation–it can go anywhere that needs electricity and gets good sunlight. No need to build new transmission lines.

But don’t think solar will let you get off the grid entirely. The average home system that Standard Renewable installs is a 3.5 kw system that will produce, on average, 4,900 kwh of electricity a year, or less than a third of the average home’s electricity usage. It’ll cost roughly $14,000 installed. Payback period? If your utility charges, say, 13 cents per kwh, the system will pay for itself in 22 years.

Berger has expanded Standard beyond Texas to Oklahoma, New York, Florida, Arizona, Colorado and Georgia. Revenues have tripled in the past year and profitability is in sight, he says. He’s hired 130 new employees since July (green jobs!), bringing his total staff to 330.

Predictably, Berger says now’s the time to buy solar, as many state and local rebates will run out over the next year or so. “It’s the gift that keeps on giving.”

Hoku Announces Amendment to Contract With Jinko

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

4:15 pm EST, Wednesday November 25, 2009

HONOLULU, HI and JIANGXI, CHINA–(Marketwire – 11/25/09) – Hoku Materials, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU) established to manufacture and sell polysilicon for the solar market, and Jinko Solar Co., Ltd. (Jinko), formerly named Jiangxi Jinko Solar Co., Ltd., a vertically-integrated manufacturer of silicon ingots, silicon wafers, solar cells and solar modules in China, today announced the amendment of the polysilicon supply agreement in effect between the two companies.

According to the terms of the amendment, both companies have agreed to reduce the term of the sales agreement by one year, and to delay the first shipment date from December 2009 to December 2010. This will result in a ten percent reduction of the total volume of polysilicon to be sold by Hoku to Jinko. The pricing and other commercial terms of shipment for the remaining nine years remain unchanged.

“This amendment provides clear benefits to both parties by adjusting our agreement to account for the financing-related delays experienced by Hoku during the past year and the realities of the polysilicon market today,” said Dustin Shindo, chairman and chief executive officer of Hoku Scientific. “Jinko maintains its long-term pricing hedge and supply stability, and Hoku will enjoy some additional flexibility during our first year of production, the year in which our production cost per kilogram of polysilicon is expected to be the highest. We look forward to beginning our regular deliveries of polysilicon to Jinko in 2010.”

“This amendment shows Hoku’s continued commitment to its partnership with Jinko,” said Xiande Li, Chairman of Jinko Solar. “We look forward to receiving polysilicon from Hoku’s Pocatello plant in 2010.”

Hoku reported that Tianwei New Energy Holdings, Hoku’s prospective majority investor, had consented to the amendment.

About Jinko Solar Co., Ltd.

Jinko Solar Co., Ltd. is a large vertically-integrated solar product manufacturer based in China. Specializing in the production of silicon ingots, silicon wafers, solar cells and solar modules, Jinko’s silicon industry assets currently include monocrystalline furnaces, multicrystalline furnaces, wire saws, wire squarers, solar cell and solar module production lines, and related production facilities, among others. Jinko is an overseas funded, high technology enterprise wholly owned by JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd., a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

For more information, visit http://www.jinkosolar.com.

Yingli Green Energy Receives Multiple Business Awards

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 6:13 am

6:13 am EST, Wednesday November 25, 2009

BAODING, China, Nov. 25 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited (YGE; “Yingli Green Energy” or the “Company”), one of the world’s leading vertically integrated photovoltaic (“PV”) product manufacturers, today announced that it has recently received awards recognizing the Company’s growth, business prospects and competitiveness from Deloitte, The Asset magazine and the Institute of Industrial Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

“These awards are recognition of our leading position in the fast growing China market,” Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and CEO of Yingli Green Energy, commented. “2009 has been another remarkable year for us. During the year, we successfully expanded our annual capacity to 600 MW, continued to increase our market share in established markets and raise recognition in emerging markets as well as achieved substantial progress on Project PANDA and the construction of Fine Silicon, our own polysilicon manufacturing plant. We expect to deliver continued growth and innovation in the years to come.”

Deloitte Technology Fast 50 China

Yingli Green Energy has been ranked by Deloitte among its “Technology Fast 50 China” companies for the second time since 2007. The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 China program ranks leading companies in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors based on their average revenue growth rates over the last three years. Winners of the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 China program will automatically qualify for the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific Program, which is regarded as one of the most established and objective ranking programs of fast growing technology companies in the Asia Pacific Region, with results to be announced in December 2009.

The Asset China’s Most Promising Companies 2009

The Company has been named one of the most promising companies in the energy sector as part of The Asset China’s Most Promising Companies 2009 award by The Asset magazine, an Asia-based financial publication delivering authoritative coverage and independent research of Asia’s financial industry. The winners are selected from 300 China-based companies listed on stock exchanges worldwide by investment professionals and research analysts.

The Institute of Industrial Economics of CASS – 2009 Top 10 Most Competitive Overseas Listed Companies of China

The Company has been ranked among “2009 Top 10 Most Competitive Overseas Listed Companies of China” by the Institute of Industrial Economics, a branch of The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (“CASS”) and China Business, one of the leading economic and management newspapers in China. The Top 10 companies were selected from China-based overseas listed companies based on management capabilities, brand recognition and financial strength.

November 24, 2009

Yingli Slips As Broadpoint Downgrades

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 10:58 am

By Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Yingli Green Energy (YGE) Shares are trading lower this morning after Broadpoint.Amtech analyst John Hardy cut his rating on the stock to Neutral from Buy.

Hardy says a beat-and-raise solar earnings season is now finished; with “big guidance for Q1,” he writes, the risk is now that the 2010 first half will disappoint.

In particular, he sees risks for Yingli as it gets ready to turn on significant polysilicon manufacturing capacity. “With commercial production expected to begin in Q4, we believe this will likely become an even bigger focus for investors,” he writes. Hardy notes that early cost targets are in line current spot poly pricing at $60/kg, creating risks to margins in the early stages of the project.

Hardy also says that the company’s balance sheet “remains an eyesore,” with $389 million in cash against $820 million in debt. But the stock nonetheless trades in line with other solar companies at about 17.5x 2010. He says paying more than 15x-16x is not warranted ahead of the poly ramp.

“Despite our view that the industry will enjoy a strong [2010 first half] and that YGE will benefit through volumes and firming ASPs, we do not see the risk/reward as favorable ahead of significant poly
manufacturing ramp coupled with current state of the balance sheet,” he writes.

YGE today is down 57 cents, or 4.1%, to $13.29.

November 23, 2009

First Solar sells California project to NRG

Filed under: EIX, FSLR, NRG — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 1:25 pm

Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:25pm EST

* NRG to buy 21-megawatt solar project in Blythe

* Financial terms of deal not disclosed

LOS ANGELES, Nov 23 (Reuters) – U.S. solar power leader First Solar Inc (FSLR) said on Monday that it was selling the first of its utility-scale solar power projects in California to national power plant operator NRG Energy Inc (NRG).

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

First Solar will operate the 21-megawatt solar power project for NRG Energy under a long-term contract, the company said in a statement.

Macquarie Securities analyst Kelly Dougherty said in a note to clients that the news “is an incremental positive” for First Solar and will likely add to the company’s revenue for the fourth quarter.

Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar started building the project in September. The plant, about 200 miles east of Los Angeles in Blythe, California, is expected to be finished by the end of the year. Electricity from the plant will be sold to Southern California Edison, a unit of Edison International (EIX).

First Solar is one of the world’s largest producers of photovoltaic cells, which turn sunlight into electricity. Its production costs are the lowest in the industry, although its thin-film cadmium telluride cells are not as efficient in capturing sunlight as more traditional silicon-based cells.

The sale follows another recent deal for First Solar. In October, the company sold a 20-megawatt solar power project in Ontario to Enbridge Inc (ENB), Canada’s largest oil pipeline company.

Princeton, New Jersey-based NRG has mostly fossil fuel-heavy power plants that generate enough electricity to serve 20 million U.S. households, but plans to add a range of renewable energy technologies.

The company owns three land-based wind farms in Texas and invested in solar thermal start-up eSolar earlier this year.

Shares of First Solar were up half a percent at $121.84 each in trading on Monday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

China’s LDK posts surprise Q3 profit; shares up

Filed under: LDK, STP, TSL — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jason @ 12:50 pm

Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:50pm EST

* Q3 profit $0.27/ADS vs. est. loss of $0.10/ADS

* Sees sequentially higher shipments in Q4

* Sees Q4 sales above estimates

* Shares up 8.4 pct at $8.67 each

LOS ANGELES, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Chinese solar wafer maker LDK Solar Co Ltd (LDK) reported a surprise third- quarter profit on Monday and forecast better-than-expected fourth quarter sales and sequentially higher shipments, sending its shares up 8 percent in regular trading.

For the fourth quarter, LDK forecast sales between $280 million and $310 million, well above analysts’ estimates of $258.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company also expects higher wafer shipments of between 320 megawatts to 340 MW, compared with the 320.5 MW it shipped in the third quarter.

The company’s surprise profit was due to stronger gross margins and better material costs, as well as nearly $14 million in government subsidies, Needham and Co analyst Edwin Mok said.

“I am incrementally more positive about the company,” Mok added.

But he noted the balance sheet was “still an investor concern.”

LDK ended the third quarter with $1.1 billion in current assets, including $67.8 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $2.45 billion in current liabilities.

“The results are not as good as they appear at first blush,” Soleil Securities analyst Paul Leming said, adding that government grants and subsidies and other items helped the company’s earnings.

“Their level of debt is extremely worrisome. The fact that they still do not have their polysilicon plant up and running is bothersome.”

The solar wafer maker is working to produce its own polysilicon — a key raw material in the solar industry — in order to reduce costs.

(more…)

NRG buys Blythe solar project from First Solar

Filed under: EIX, FSLR, NRG — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 11:51 am

NRG buys largest utility-scale solar project in California from First Solar; terms undisclosed

11:51 am EST, Monday November 23, 2009

PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) — NRG Energy Inc. (NRG) on Monday said it bought the 21 megawatt Blythe solar energy project in California from First Solar Inc. (FSLR) for an undisclosed amount.

The New Jersey-based power plant owner said the site — located in Riverside County in southeastern California — is the first and largest utility-scale photovoltaic solar project in the state.

The Blythe plant will be connected to Southern California Edison’s (EIX) electrical distribution grid, and electricity will be sold to SCE under a 20-year power purchase agreement. At peak capacity, the site will be able to power almost 17,000 homes, NRG said.

Using First Solar’s thin film photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight directly into electricity, the project will generate more than 45,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, displacing more than 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. That’s the equivalent of taking 2,200 cars off the road.

The plant uses about 350,000 solar modules, each measuring 2 feet by 4 feet, which cover about 200 acres. The project uses no water during normal operation, the company said. Construction began in September and is expected to be completed by year-end.

First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services at Blythe under a long-term contract with NRG.

Shares of NRG rose 20 cents to $24.01 in morning trading. First Solar shares rose $1.48 to $122.67.

First Solar Sells California Solar Power Project to NRG

Filed under: EIX, FSLR, NRG — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 8:00 am

21 Megawatt Blythe Project is California’s Largest Photovoltaic Facility

8:00 am EST, Monday November 23, 2009

TEMPE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–First Solar, Inc. (FSLR), today announced the sale of the 21 megawatt (MW) AC solar energy project it has developed and constructed in Blythe, Calif., to NRG Energy, Inc (NRG).

Located in Riverside County about 200 miles east of Los Angeles, the Blythe project is California’s first and largest utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar generation facility, and among the largest in North America. Construction began in September and is expected to be completed by year-end. Electricity from the plant will be sold to Southern California Edison (EIX) under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

“First Solar is very pleased that the first of our utility-scale solar projects in California will be coming on line with a leading power producer like NRG,” said Bruce Sohn, president of First Solar. “This clean, affordable, and sustainable energy will help California meet the goals of its Renewable Portfolio Standard.”

Using First Solar’s industry-leading thin film PV panels that convert sunlight directly into electricity with no water consumption during operation, the project will generate over 45,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year. The solar generation displaces over 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year—the equivalent of taking 2,200 cars off the road. The construction of this project created 175 green jobs.

First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services at Blythe under a long-term contract with NRG. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

First Solar is developing 1,300 megawatts of PV solar projects under contracts with utilities in California and the Southwest.

MEMC Completes Acquisition of SunEdison

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

8:00 am EST, Monday November 23, 2009

ST. PETERS, Mo., Nov. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. (WFR), a leading provider of silicon wafers to the semiconductor and solar industries, has completed the acquisition of privately held Sun Edison LLC, a developer of solar power projects and North America’s largest solar energy services provider.

As previously disclosed, the purchase price of $200 million was paid 70% in cash and 30% in MEMC stock, plus certain retention payments, transaction expenses, and the assumption of net debt.

“This acquisition further enhances our positioning in the solar industry,” said Ahmad Chatila, Chief Executive Officer of MEMC. “Renewable, clean solar energy is still in its infancy as a growing global industry. Our role in reducing costs in both the components of solar modules and well as the actual solar plants will help to further accelerate this growth.”

“Our strategy is to drive revenue growth for our wafer business while SunEdison produces a recurring revenue stream from solar generated electricity. At the same time, SunEdison can directly benefit from the technological and cost advances that we are helping to create with continuing improvements in silicon wafer technology. This acquisition is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the successful 50 year history of MEMC.”

SunEdison is based in Beltsville, Maryland and employs approximately 300 people worldwide. It “simplifies solar” by managing the development, financing, operation and monitoring of solar power plants for commercial customers, including many national retail outlets, government agencies, and utilities. In a typical structure, SunEdison arranges third party, non-recourse financing for the facility and the customer has no upfront capital outlay.

With one of the strongest brands in solar, SunEdison will continue to operate with the SunEdison name, as a subsidiary of MEMC.

Other Events

The Company announced that, in connection with the acquisition of Sun Edison LLC, the Company granted special inducement grants under its 2009 Special Inducement Grant Plan to retain certain SunEdison employees (224_ in total) as employees of MEMC and its newly acquired SunEdison business unit. The Company granted an aggregate of 584,372 restricted stock units, which vest on the first anniversary of the Closing, subject to such employees being employed by MEMC and/or the SunEdison business unit on such date.

The Company also granted an aggregate of 1,644,529 restricted stock units, which are subject to vesting requirements based on both performance and time. The performance requirements are tied to the same metrics as the earnout contemplated by the merger agreement. Assuming the performance requirement is achieved, (i) 34% of such earned grants will vest on the date that MEMC determines to be the issue date following the end of the earnout period; (ii) 33% of such earned grants will vest on December 31, 2011; and (iii) the remaining 33% of such earned grants will vest on December 31, 2012, assuming that the subject employee is employed by MEMC or the SunEdison business unit as of those dates.

The Company’s Board of Directors approved the 2009 Special Inducement Grant Plan based on the employment inducement exemption provided under the NYSE listing standards. As a result, the Plan did not require shareholder approval, and this press release is being issued pursuant to applicable NYSE guidance.

Akeena Solar Partners With Highland Solar to Distribute 1.75 MW of Andalay AC Solar Panels in Canada

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

Andalay AC One of First Solar Panel Systems to Meet Ontario’s Feed-in-Tariff Requirements

7:00 am EST, Monday November 23, 2009

LOS GATOS, Calif. and TORONTO, Nov. 23, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Akeena Solar Inc (AKNS), a national designer, installer and distributor of solar power systems, today announced a distribution partnership with Ontario-based Highland Solar to sell the company’s award-winning Andalay AC solar panel system throughout Canada. According to terms of the agreement, Highland Solar will sell at least 1.75 megawatts of Andalay AC solar panels in Canada through 2010 through its network of local installation partners.

“Canada is shaping up to be a large market for rooftop solar with their generous new renewable energy programs in Ontario and other provinces,” said Barry Cinnamon, Akeena Solar CEO. “With our distribution agreement with Highland Solar, Andalay AC solar panels will now be available to Canadian homeowners eager to lower their electricity bills with safe, reliable solar panels that look like skylights.”

Andalay AC panels have built-in racking, wiring, grounding and inverters, reducing the overall parts count by 80 percent. Andalay’s award-winning technology safeguards against performance-threatening breakdowns and delivers optimum performance with 5 to 25 percent more energy output compared to ordinary DC solar panels. Since Andalay AC solar panels produce household AC power, they eliminate complicated and dangerous DC wiring and provide a safer and easier installation process to solar installers, trades workers and do-it-yourselfers.

The Andalay system is one of the first solar power systems to meet Ontario’s provincial content requirements, which require 40 percent of the content of solar systems to be sourced from Ontario. Ontario’s Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) provides generators of renewable energy a 20-year contract at a guaranteed price. Under the micro-FIT program, which includes solar systems of 10 kilowatts or less, homeowners are paid 80.2 cents for each kWh produced.

“Andalay AC is the perfect solar panel for Canadian homeowners,” said Highland Solar President Sean McCrae. “Not only is Andalay AC manufactured with parts sourced in Ontario, it also installs quickly and safely, has superior looks and reliably delivers clean solar power throughout its lifetime.”

Highland has manufactured its own brand of solar products since 2005, but the signing of this manufacturing license agreement with Akeena Solar is Highland’s first opportunity to manufacture products and create jobs within its home province. To help address the anticipated demand for the Andalay system, the company has leased a training facility and plans to provide hands on solar installation training to contracting companies.

The announcement marks the largest distribution partnership Akeena Solar has signed to date and the company’s first distribution arrangement outside of the United States. Since launching its direct-to-installers sales channels for Andalay systems six months ago, Akeena has expanded its distribution network to include 42 installers in 19 states. This partnership follows a recent award naming Andalay AC solar panels as a “2009 Breakthrough Product of the Year” by Popular Mechanics.

About Highland Solar

Highland Solar, a division of Highland Logic Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Andalay Solar in Canada. Highland Solar is the licensed manufacturer of Andalay’s mounting system which enables their system to meet the Feed-In Tariff’s Provincial Content requirements. They are based in the Greater Toronto Area but have warehousing and distribution capability across Canada. Solar installers and dealers interested in their products may sign up as partners at http://www.highlandsolar.ca as Highland Solar does not sell directly to the public.

LDK Solar Reports Financial Results for Third Quarter 2009

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

7:00 am EST, Monday November 23, 2009

XINYU CITY, China and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (“LDK Solar”; LDK), a leading manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers, today reported its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2009.

All financial results are reported in U.S. dollars on a U.S. GAAP basis.

Recent Highlights:

* Third quarter 2009 revenue was $281.9 million;
* Shipped 320.5 MW of wafers, up 26.8% year-over-year;
* Gross margin for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 was 20.1%;
* Net income was $29.4 million, or $0.27 per diluted ADS;
* Increased wafer capacity to 1.7 GW and started pilot production at first 5,000 metric ton (MT) train in 15,000 MT polysilicon plant; and
* Sold a 15% ownership stake in 15,000 MT annualized capacity polysilicon plant to Jiangxi International Trust and Investment Co., Ltd. for RMB1.5 billion (equivalent to approximately US$219 million)

Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 were $281.9 million, compared to $228.3 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2009, and $541.8 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

For the third quarter of fiscal 2009, gross profit was $56.8 million, compared to negative $205.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2009, and $122.9 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

Gross margin for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 was 20.1%, compared to negative 90.0% in the second quarter of fiscal 2009 and 22.7% in the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

Income from operations for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 was $37.1 million, compared to a loss of $235.0 million for the second quarter of 2009, and compared to income from operations of $107.8 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

Operating margin for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 was 13.2% compared to negative 102.9% in the second quarter of fiscal 2009 and 19.9% in the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

Income tax expense for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 was $6.6 million, compared to income tax benefit of $29.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2009.

Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 was $29.4 million, or $0.27 per diluted ADS, compared to a net loss of $216.9 million, or $2.03 per diluted ADS for the second quarter of fiscal 2009.

LDK Solar ended the third quarter of 2009 with $67.8 million in cash and cash equivalents and $72.7 million in short-term pledged bank deposits.

“We were pleased to see wafer demand strengthen across multiple geographies during the quarter, rebounding from the lower levels seen earlier this year. Our financial results for the third quarter reflect the recent improvement in the operating environment for the solar industry,” stated Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and CEO of LDK Solar. “During the third quarter, we continued to take steps to further strengthen our business. In addition to reaching important milestones for ramping our polysilicon production, we made great strides to further diversify and grow our business and improve our operating flexibility by increasing our near-term financial resources, while we continued to closely manage costs.

(more…)

November 22, 2009

First Solar plant re-energized

Filed under: AEP, FSLR, PCG, SRE — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 10:00 am

Expansion reflects growth in demand across North America

First Solar Inc., which began in Toledo and is headquartered in Arizona, has its only North American factory in Perrysburg Township. The plant is expanding.

By GARY T. PAKULSKI
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

A huge expansion of a solar panel manufacturing plant in Perrysburg Township is nearing completion just in time for a massive planned increase in solar energy use across the United States and Canada.

Utility-scale solar fields, mostly in the West and South, will consume the output of the First Solar Inc. (FSLR) plant through 2015 and probably will cause the company to import panels from its factories in Europe and Asia, an official said.

“We definitely have created demand in the United States far beyond what that single plant can supply and will need to supplement that with product from other plants,” said Alan Bernheimer, a company spokesman.

Executives launched an initiative two years ago to boost U.S. sales to correspond with the company’s growing manufacturing capacity and offset any cooling of a solar energy-building boom in Europe that consumed millions of Perrysburg Township-made panels. Those efforts are now bearing fruit.

Massive solar fields built by First Solar have been completed or are nearing completion outside Las Vegas, in southern California, and in Ontario along Lake Huron.

Five other big First Solar projects that probably will use panels from the suburban Toledo plant are under way or have been announced. They include one that would become the largest solar array in the nation, covering nearly seven square miles and producing enough electricity for 160,000 homes.

All of the projects are multiple-acre solar fields that will be connected to the nation’s electric grid.

An evolution
If the company moves forward on already-announced projects, the work would consume more than 18 million of the 2-foot-by-4-foot panels that First Solar produces.

“That’s great news,” said Steve Weathers, president of Toledo’s Regional Growth Partnership. “What we like to see with any company is growth in their customer base.”

He said the local plant’s growth demonstrates an evolution in the local economy as northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan shift to other industries and away from heavy reliance on jobs in auto manufacturing.

(more…)

November 21, 2009

Trony Solar raises IPO target to $241.5 mln

Filed under: TRO — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 5:51 pm

Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:51pm EST

* Raises amount of IPO to $241.5 mln from $200 mln

* Selling total of 19.5 mln shares

* Expects shares to price between $9 and $11

NEW YORK, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Chinese thin film solar company Trony Solar Holdings Company Limited raised the amount of its initial public offering on Friday, adding to the buzz around the many U.S.-based publicly traded solar companies.

The firm said in a regulatory filing that it would raise as much as $241.5 million in its IPO, up from the $200 million it filed for last month. The Shenzhen-based company said it plans to sell 15 million American depositary shares while shareholders sell an additional 4.5 million shares.

It said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission it expects the shares to price between $9 and $11.

JPMorgan Special Situations (Mauritius) Limited and Intel Capital Corp, which currently own a combined 11.9 percent of the company, are each selling half of their shares.

The firm reported revenue of 254.6 million yuan ($37.1 million) in the three months ended Sept. 30, up 44.8 percent from a year ago, and net profit of 72.5 million yuan, up 61.5 percent from a year ago.

Trony Solar plans to debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “TRO.” Lead underwriters for the deal are J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse. The underwriters may purchase an additional 2.925 million shares.

(Reporting by Clare Baldwin, editing by Matthew Lewis)

November 20, 2009

California utility wins OK for more transmission

Filed under: EIX, FSLR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 6:21 pm

Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:21pm EST

* California regulatory agency clears application

* Southern California Edison to build 150-mile line

* When completed, line to move 1.2 gigawatt of power

LOS ANGELES, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Southern California could gain more transmission capacity — needed to accommodate electricity from renewable resources — after a project by utility Southern California Edison won approval from a key state agency on Friday.

The California Public Utilities Commission cleared the utility’s proposal for the $537 million, 150-mile project, called the Devers Palo Verde2 line, the utility said in a statement.

Southern California Edison, a part of Edison International (EIX), modified its original 270-mile Devers Palo Verde proposal earlier this year after Arizona utility regulators rejected construction of the line in that state, saying they did not want to export additional power to California.

When completed in 2013, the project is expected to move an extra 1.2 gigawatts of power from Riverside County to energy customers in Southern California.

The 128-mile, 500-kilovolt line will connect SCE’s Devers substation near Palm Springs to a proposed Midpoint switchyard near Blythe, California. SCE also will build a 42-mile, 500-kv line between the Devers substation and its Valley substation in Riverside County.

The project will relieve transmission congestion in an area identified by federal agencies and could help move more electricity generated by solar and other renewable energy resources in the future, the utility said in a statement.

California has the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the United States, with a target to get a third of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.

A major hurdle, however, is a lack of transmission lines needed to move electricity from remote areas where solar, wind and other renewable power is produced, to cities where it is consumed.

In August SCE and U.S. solar leader First Solar Inc (FSLR) announced plans for two photovoltaic solar projects for a total of 550 megawatts in the California counties of Riverside and San Bernardino.

Arizona-based First Solar is one of the world’s largest producers of photovoltaic cells, which turn sunlight into electricity.

The SCE’s transmission line is also subject to approval of the California Independent System Operator.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee and Eileen O’Grady; Editing by Christian Wiessner)

LDK Solar Completes Sale of 15% Ownership Stake in its 15,000 MT Polysilicon Plant

Filed under: LDK — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 3:15 am

3:15 am EST, Friday November 20, 2009

XINYU CITY, China and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (LDK), a leading manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers, today announced that it completed the sale of a 15% ownership stake in its 15,000 metric ton (MT) annualized capacity polysilicon plant to Jiangxi International Trust and Investment Co., Ltd. for RMB1.5 billion. The proceeds from the sale have been received by LDK Solar.

November 19, 2009

Shares of Solarfun jump after 3Q profit

Filed under: SOLF — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 1:46 pm

Shares of Solarfun jump after 3Q profit, upgrade by analyst on ‘underappreciated’ stock

1:46 pm EST, Thursday November 19, 2009

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Shares of Solarfun Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (SOLF) jumped Thursday, a day after the Chinese solar cell maker posted a third-quarter profit.

Oppenheimer analyst Sam Dubinsky upgraded Solarfun Thursday to “Outperform” from “Perform,” saying its shares’ risk and reward are more favorable than most stocks in the sector. He said the company’s stock is “underappreciated.”

“Yesterday’s third-quarter results corroborate that turnaround efforts are bearing fruit,” he wrote in a client note.

Solarfun said rising demand pushed third-quarter shipments up 59 percent to a record high of 102.6 megawatts. Improved shipments and a 36 percent decline in the cost of revenue helped widen margins and outweigh the negative impact of declining selling prices, the company said.

Quarterly earnings rose to 136.6 million renminbi ($20 million), or 2.53 renminbi per American Depository Share (37 cents per ADS), compared with a loss of 44.3 million renminbi, or 0.86 renminbi per ADS, during the same period last year.

Dubinsky set a $10 price target, implying he expects the stock to rally 54 percent from Wednesday’s close.

Shares of Solarfun rose 38 cents, or 5.8 percent, to $6.86 in afternoon trading. Meanwhile, the broader markets declined in a sell-off triggered by a stronger dollar and weak economic data.

Oppenheimer raises Solarfun to outperform

Filed under: SOLF — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 11:11 am

Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:11am EST

Nov 19 (Reuters) – Oppenheimer & Co raised Solarfun Power Holdings Co Ltd (SOLF) to “outperform” from “perform,” a day after the Chinese photovoltaic cell maker posted a strong third-quarter profit, saying the stock offered more favorable risk/reward than its peers. While solar companies have indicated a rise in shipments for photovoltaic solar modules, that turn sunlight into electricity, they are now worried about the extent to which the German government might cut its aid to the domestic solar industry, the world’s top market for solar products.

Analysts Sam Dubinsky and Adam Baumgarten, who have a price target of $10 on shares of the company, said Solarfun has adequate earnings power to keep its stock at about $6 if macro conditions worsen.

“We believe a revamped/improving cost structure will lead to attractive gross margins and share gain opportunities in 2010,” the analysts wrote in a note to clients.

Jefferies & Co raised its price target on the stock to $5.75 from $4.50 and re-iterated its “underperform” rating on the stock, saying the company’s outlook for 2010 lacked clear visibility in the face of the challenges in the German market.

Shares of the Shanghai-based company were trading up 7 percent at $6.91 late morning Thursday on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Antonita Madonna Devotta in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

SunPower Completes 1-Megawatt Solar Power System at Agilent Technologies Headquarters

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

Santa Clara Campus Installation Features SunPower T5 Solar Roof Tile, the Solar Industry’s Most Powerful Rooftop System

8:00 am EST, Thursday November 19, 2009

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — SunPower Corp. (SPWRA, SPWRB), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced the completion of a 1-megawatt solar power rooftop system on three buildings at Agilent’s headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif. This is SunPower’s second project with Agilent, following the design and installation of a 1-megawatt solar tracking system at Agilent’s Santa Rosa, Calif., campus last year. Agilent expects to save $3.5 million in energy costs in the first 10 years of operation.

“Agilent is pleased to partner with SunPower on this second significant project, reinforcing our commitment to clean, renewable solar power and protecting the environment,” said Keith Morgan, Agilent director of environmental, health, safety and security. “Using high-efficiency solar technology maximizes the return on our investment and minimizes the environmental impact of our operations.”

The system features the SunPower T5 Solar Roof Tile, the solar industry’s first non-penetrating rooftop product that combines a high-efficiency SunPower solar panel, frame and mounting system into a single pre-engineered unit. Tilted at a five-degree angle, the T5 Roof Tile system approximately doubles the energy generated per square meter compared to systems that are mounted flat onto commercial rooftops.

“Combined with SunPower’s high-performance solar panels, the T5 Roof Tile will deliver more solar energy per square foot and greater energy savings than conventional systems,” said Bill Kelly, managing director at SunPower. “This is a real demonstration of Agilent’s commitment to sustainable practices, and will help the company maintain its position as an innovative business leader.”

According to conversion formulas provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Agilent’s solar system in Santa Clara is expected to displace more than 50 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the next 30 years. This is equivalent to the emissions displaced from removing more than 4,200 cars from California’s highways. Agilent owns the renewable energy credits and all environmental attributes associated with the system.

Etrion and SunPower Partner on 4-Megawatt Italian Solar Power Plants

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

7:00 am EST, Thursday November 19, 2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO and SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA–(Marketwire – 11/19/09) – Etrion Corporation, a Canadian energy company, and SunPower Corp. (SPWRA, SPWRB), a US-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced an agreement to build four solar power plants, totaling four megawatts, in the Puglia region of southern Italy. SunPower will design and construct the plants, and provide operations and maintenance services.

Etrion CEO Marco Northland commented, “Solar power generation will play an increasingly vital role in our efforts to build more renewable, clean energy sources. SunPower’s experienced approach to solar power plant design and construction will allow us to quickly and reliably complete these important projects.”

SunPower is installing proprietary SunPower� Tracker technology at the Italian sites. The Tracker follows the sun during the day and delivers up to 25 percent more energy than fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements.

The Italian bank, Centrobanca, is providing 83 percent of the financing for the project, while an Etrion subsidiary is contributing 17 percent of anticipated project costs.

“SunPower offers a unique value proposition to power plant developers in terms of technology and bankability. Our proprietary Trackers optimize our clients’ return on investment while our solid balance sheet and rigorous contract guarantees give financial institutions confidence,” said SunPower European Sales Director Mario Riello. “We are very pleased to partner with Etrion to deliver clean, reliable solar power to the rapidly expanding Italian market.”

Construction of the first of the four projects is targeted to begin by the end of this month. The first electricity sales from the projects under the Italian feed-in-tariff regime are expected during the third quarter of 2010.

SunPower has more than 500 megawatts of solar power plants installed or under contract around the world, including Italian power plants such as the 24-megawatt Montalto di Castro plant and a 5-megawatt plant in Tolentino. SunPower’s Italian operations are located in Milan and Faenza.

About Etrion

Etrion Corporation is a Canadian energy company based in Geneva, Switzerland and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (ticker symbol “ETX”). Etrion is focused on developing, financing, building, owning and operating global electrical power plants based on renewable sources of energy, including solar photovoltaic, solar thermal and wind. For additional information, visit http://www.etrion.ch.

Suntech Reports Third Quarter 2009 Financial Results

Filed under: STP — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 6:30 am

Shipments Grow More Than 60% Sequentially
Full Year 2009 PV Shipment Target Increased from 600MW to a Range of 640MW to 660MW

6:30 am EST, Thursday November 19, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP), the world’s largest crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer, today announced financial results for its third fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2009.

Third Quarter 2009 Highlights
— Total net revenues increased 47.4% sequentially to $473.1 million in the third quarter of 2009

— Gross profit margin for the core wafer to module business was 20.0% in the third quarter of 2009, compared with 19.1% in the second quarter of 2009

— Consolidated gross profit margin was 17.8% in the third quarter of 2009, compared with 18.6% in the second quarter 2009

— Net income attributable to holders of ordinary shares was $29.8 million, or $0.16 per diluted American Depository Share (ADS). Each ADS represents one ordinary share

— Suntech’s multi-crystalline Pluto-powered module achieved world record conversion efficiency of 16.53%

— Full-year 2009 PV shipment target increased from 600MW to a range of 640MW to 660MW

— Suntech targets to increase total PV cell and module production capacity to 1.4GW by the middle of 2010, of which 450MW will be Pluto-enabled

“We are very pleased to announce strong revenue growth and a healthy bottom line for the third quarter of 2009,” said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s Chairman and CEO. “The significant pick up in demand was largely due to a seasonal rush before end-of-year policy adjustments and improving customer returns on investments in solar projects. It was also due to customer recognition of Suntech’s attractive value proposition of exceptional product performance at a reasonable price.

“Complementing strong growth in the German market, we are particularly pleased to see 100% sequential shipment growth in the U.S. market and the rapid development of a number of non-traditional PV markets such as the Czech Republic, Benelux, China. This demonstrates the ongoing diversification of the solar industry and Suntech’s ability to enter emerging markets.

“During the third quarter we continued to develop Suntech’s industry-leading sales and service infrastructure and to differentiate our products through innovation. In Europe, we strengthened our local team with the addition of four new senior executives; in the U.S. we launched our North American Partner Program; and in China we continued to build one of the nation’s most capable system installation and project development teams.

“On the technology front, our proprietary Pluto technology set another world record conversion efficiency of 16.53% for a commercial grade multi-crystalline silicon module. This record beat all previous records for multi-crystalline silicon modules made in the lab or on commercial production lines and reinforces our dedication to providing the most advanced and cost-effective solar solutions. In addition, we introduced Reliathon(TM), an industry-first integrated utility-scale solar platform combining product and business-term innovations to lower costs and accelerate the path to grid parity.

“Looking forward, we expect the sales momentum to carry into the new year and see potential for at least 75% shipment growth in 2010. To support the increased volume we have decided to move forward with expansion plans and target to reach 1.4GW of PV cell and module production capacity by the middle of 2010. With our commitment to delivering premium quality products at a reasonable price, expanding our global service platform and delivering world-class innovation, we believe we are extremely well positioned to continue to build market share and serve a growing base of solar customers,” concluded Dr. Shi.

(more…)

Trina Solar Announces Third Quarter 2009 Results

Filed under: TSL — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jason @ 4:45 am

Shipment Volume, Gross Margin Exceed Company Guidance

4:45 am EST, Thursday November 19, 2009

CHANGZHOU, China, Nov. 19 /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 third quarter ended September 30, 2009.

Third Quarter 2009 Financial and Operating Highlights
— Solar module shipments were approximately 123 MW, above the Company’s previous guidance of 90 MW to 110 MW, representing an increase of 91.9% sequentially and 84.7% year-over-year
— Net revenues were $249.7 million, representing an increase of 66.5% sequentially and a decrease of 14.1% year-over-year
— Gross margin was 28.5%, above the Company’s guidance of 23.5% to 26.5%, compared to 27.4% sequentially and 22.4% year-over-year
— Operating income and operating margin were $45.5 million and 18.2%, respectively, compared to $18.6 million and 12.4%, respectively, in the second quarter of 2009
— Net income was $40.1 million, compared to $18.9 million in the second quarter of 2009
— Earnings per fully-diluted ADS was $1.29

“We are very pleased with our strong third quarter performance, which saw the highest shipment volumes and net income in our operating history and exceeded our previous guidance in shipment and gross margin,” said Jifan Gao, Chairman and CEO of Trina Solar. “We are seeing even stronger demand in the fourth quarter, reflecting increasing brand recognition for our products and a further improvement in financing conditions. Additionally, our focused strategy to deliver the highest product quality and performance to a diversified portfolio of end-markets has afforded us with increasing visibility into 2010’s first quarter despite seasonal market effects.

“With our third quarter results, successful follow-on public offering and five-year syndicated credit facility for our East Campus capacity expansion project, we have further strengthened our balance sheet as we continue to improve our market leading manufacturing efficiencies.”

(more…)

November 18, 2009

Solarfun Q3 profit beats, sees higher Q4 shipments

Filed under: CSIQ, CSUN, SOLF — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 11:36 am

Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:36am EST

* Q3 income/ADS $0.37

* Q3 revenue $144.6 mln

* Sees higher Q4 shipments

* Shares up 8 percent

By Arup Roychoudhury

BANGALORE, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Chinese photovoltaic cell maker Solarfun Power Holdings Co Ltd (SOLF) reported a third-quarter profit that beat analysts estimates, helped by higher shipment volumes, sending its shares up 8 percent.

Solarfun also forecast fourth-quarter shipments of about 110 megawatts (MW), up 7 percent sequentially. It expects module processing services to account for about 20 percent of the total shipments.

“It was a good quarter, aided by really strong margins… going forward they are guiding towards a pretty strong fourth quarter and first quarter,” Simmons and Co International analyst Burt Chao said by phone.

On a conference call with analysts, company executives said they had good visibility on the key German market for the quarter and that shipments were supposed to rise there too.

Demand for photovoltaic solar modules that turn sunlight into electricity has taken a hit because of the global financial crisis and an oversupply of cells and modules.

Another worry for solar companies is when and by how much will the Germany government cut aid to its solar industry, the world’s top market for solar products.

Analyst Chao said a lot of how Solarfun’s German business grew depended on government policies there.

“Other than that I would think their outlook is pretty positive right now and that they are expanding to other markets in case the German market is to slow down,” he added.

(more…)

Solarfun Reports Third Quarter 2009 Results

Filed under: SOLF — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jason @ 6:57 am

6:57 am EST, Wednesday November 18, 2009

SHANGHAI, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd. ( “Solarfun” or the “Company”) (SOLF), a vertically integrated manufacturer of silicon ingots, wafers and photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules in China, today reported its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2009.

THIRD QUARTER 2009 RESULTS

* Total net revenues were RMB 986.8 million (US$144.6 million) in the third quarter of 2009, representing a decrease of 22.6% from RMB 1,274.8 million in the third quarter of 2008 and an increase of 15.5% from RMB 854.6 million in the second quarter of 2009. The sequential increase was primarily related to higher shipment volumes reflecting improved industry demand.
* PV module shipments reached 102.6 MW in the third quarter of 2009, an increase from 41.8 MW in the third quarter of 2008 and from 64.3 MW in the second quarter of 2009. The increase from the second quarter of 2009 was due to increases in both PV module shipments and PV module processing services. PV module processing services represented approximately 40% of the total PV module shipments in the third quarter of 2009. In the third quarter of 2009, excluding module processing, the Company recorded greater geographic diversity in its sales, with Germany accounting for 60% of the Company’s total PV module shipments, down from 83% in the previous quarter. The Czech Republic, a relatively new market for the Company, continued to grow to 9% of total shipments, and a rebound was seen in Portugal and Spain, representing 11% and 6% of total shipments, respectively. Australia, Italy and Korea combined for another 14% of total shipments.
* Average selling price, excluding module processing services, declined, as expected, to US$2.03 per watt in the third quarter of 2009 from US$2.66 per watt in the second quarter of 2009, primarily due to the decrease in the market prices of PV products.
* Gross profit was RMB 204.4 million (US$29.9 million) in the third quarter of 2009, compared to a gross profit of RMB 46.1 million in the third quarter of 2008 and a gross loss of RMB 53.0 million in the second quarter of 2009. Gross margin was 20.7% in the third quarter of 2009, compared to negative 6.2% in the second quarter 2009. No provision for pre-payments on supply agreements were made in the third quarter of 2009, compared to a provision of RMB 236.5 million in the second quarter of 2009. Gross margin in the third quarter of 2009 reflected lower raw material costs primarily as a result of renegotiated supply agreements and increased spot market purchases. Vertical integration to the ingot and wafer level also led to reduced costs from higher utilization and continued process improvements.
* Operating profit was RMB 129.4 million (US$19.0 million) in the third quarter of 2009, compared to an operating loss of RMB 25.9 million in the third quarter of 2008 and an operating loss of RMB 121.9 million in the second quarter of 2009. The operating margin for the third quarter 2009 was 13.1%. The Company continued to maintain tight discipline on operating expenses, which as a percent of revenues should trend lower as revenues grow.
* Interest expense was RMB 40.8 million (US$6.0 million) in the third quarter of 2009, an increase from RMB 21.6 million in the third quarter of 2008, and an increase from RMB 36.1 million in the second quarter of 2009.
* Fair value of the conversion feature of the Company’s convertible bonds increased by RMB 82.4 million (US$12.1 million) in the third quarter of 2009, due to a number of factors including changes in the Company’s ADS prices during the third quarter of 2009. This line item has fluctuated, and is expected to continue to fluctuate quarter-to-quarter in line with standardized accounting practices, of which the Company has no control.
* Net income attributable to shareholders was RMB 136.6 million (US$ 20.0 million) in the third quarter of 2009, compared to a net loss of RMB 44.3 million in the third quarter of 2008 and a net loss of 319.9 million in the second quarter of 2009. Net income per basic ADS was RMB 2.53 (US$0.37) in the third quarter of 2009, compared to a net loss per basic ADS of RMB 0.86 in the third quarter of 2008 and a net loss per basic ADS of RMB 5.95 in the second quarter of 2009.

Peter Xie, President of Solarfun, commented, “We are extremely pleased with the continued progress achieved in the third quarter of 2009. Of particular note were quarterly shipment volumes exceeding 100 MW for the first time in the Company’s history, gross margins reaching 20%, and a return to profitability. We also improved our capital structure by reducing short-term bank borrowings and raising additional equity capital.”

(more…)

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