North Coast Solar Stocks

December 3, 2009

Canadian Solar Announces Intention to Build Solar Panel Manufacturing Facility in Ontario

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 7:30 am

Two year, C$24 million investment in the province is expected to result in 500 new direct manufacturing jobs and annual capacity to supply electricity to 60,000 homes

7:30 am EST, Thursday December 3, 2009

KITCHENER, Canada, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ), a leading vertically integrated provider of solar cells, solar module, custom-designed solar application products and turnkey solutions for the residential, commercial and solar farm markets, today announced that it is commencing the site selection and approvals process to establish a 200 megawatt (MW) module manufacturing facility in Ontario.

Canadian Solar has recently submitted a significant number of FIT applications to Ontario Power Authority and has also received considerable customer interest for “Made in Ontario” solar systems. Canadian Solar expects to make definite decisions about the plant site, cost and ultimate size in Q1 2010.

The new facility is expected to result in 500 new direct manufacturing jobs in Ontario and sufficient capacity to supply electricity to 60,000 homes per year. The estimated cost of the plant will be C$24 million, and once completed, it will be one of the largest solar panel manufacturing facilities in North America, further strengthening Canadian Solar’s position as the country’s leading, Canadian-owned manufacturer of solar modules. The plant will be completed in stages, with the first phase of operations expected to commence in 2010.

Canadian Solar’s manufacturing facility is expected to help drive Ontario’s emerging solar industry, which is growing rapidly as a result of the provincial government’s recently launched feed-in-tariff (FIT) program. “Our new facility will help expand “green” skilled jobs and investment in Ontario as well as the rest of Canada,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar Inc. “Additionally, with this facility, our leading-edge photovoltaic technology will be manufactured and readily available in Ontario for those who are ready to take advantage of the FIT programs.”

Canadian Solar will be exploring federal and provincial programs that can help us build an Ontario based manufacturing facility. “When considering Ontario for our next investment in manufacturing, we looked at the strength of R&D and the governments’ commitment to investing in a low carbon economy. We are looking forward to working with government representatives in creating jobs and a viable solar market in Ontario and across Canada,” said Milfred Hammerbacher, President of the subsidiary, Canadian Solar Solutions Inc.

Canadian Solar designs complete, turnkey solution packages for the residential, commercial and solar farm markets in Ontario. The solutions enable the installations to take place rapidly, at a lower cost and at a higher level of quality and reliability. Canadian Solar panels are silicon-based, have a 25-year warranty backed by one of the most reputable brands in the industry. They have been installed and tested amid extreme weather conditions around the world with outstanding results in terms of performance, resistance and reliability. Canadian Solar is compliant with FIT commercial rooftop solar and microFIT 10 kilowatt solar Ontario content requirements.

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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…)

November 17, 2009

Canadian Solar sees doubling shipments in 2010

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:17 pm

Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:17pm EST

* Q3 shr $0.69 vs est of $0.54

* Backs FY shipment view, sees shipments doubling in ’10

* Says Q3 ASP was “just over” $2, sees Q4 prices below $2

* Sees Q1 ASPs down 7 to 8 pct sequentially, on Euro basis

* Shares rise 7 pct to new year-high

Nov 17 (Reuters) – Canadian Solar Inc’s (CSIQ) third-quarter profit rose sharply on strong demand, comfortably beating estimates, and the company said it expects to more than double shipments in 2010, sending its shares up more than 7 percent to their highest levels in a year.

The company, which backed its 2009 shipment view of about 295 megawatts (MW) to 305 MW, currently sees shipping about 600 MW to 700 MW in 2010.

On a conference call with analysts, the company said it had “reasonable” visibility into the first quarter and 2010.

“We have seen reasonable visibility. Our customers have already given us firm purchase orders for both December and January,” company executives said.

The company added that while the first quarter was usually weak, the first quarter of 2010 will be relatively stronger compared with last year.

Canadian Solar said major markets, including Germany, Italy and the U.S. would drive demand, adding that it expects strong growth from newer markets, such as Canada, Japan and China.

“For 2010…countries such as France and India might prove to be dark horses,” a company executive said.

“Basically our strategy is to improve our position in traditional markets such as Germany, Italy and Spain, while at the same time, diversifying into other significant markets.”

Given strong demand, Canadian Solar said it plans to increase its solar module production capacity to 1 gigawatt by the end of April 2010 from 820 MW currently.

The company, however, warned that average selling prices (ASP) would continue to fall.

“Third-quarter ASPs were just over $2, which reflects the industry average,” the company said, adding that prices in the fourth-quarter would likely come in below $2.

Canadian Solar said it was modelling for a sequential decline of about 7 percent to 8 percent for the first quarter, on a Euro basis.

While a fall in prices might be bad for component companies, customers benefit as the lower prices bring progress towards so-called “grid parity”, the point at which renewables cost the same as fossil fuel-based forms of power generation.

For the latest third-quarter, the company earned 69 cents a share, more than double the 31 cents a share it earned last year, comfortably beating estimates of 54 cents a share.

Sales nearly doubled sequentially to $213.1 million, coming in above Wall Street view.

Shares of the Chinese solar-cell maker rose $1.35 to a year-high of $21.05, before paring gains to trade up 2 cents at $19.72 Tuesday on Nasdaq. The stock has so far risen nearly seven-fold from a March low.

About 3.4 million shares changed hands in intra-day trade, 2.5 times the company’s 10-day moving average.

(Reporting by Adveith Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

Canadian Solar Reports Third Quarter 2009 Results and Issues 2010 Guidance

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

Q309 Highlights
— 87% increase in net revenues to $213.1 million, compared to Q209 net revenues of $114.2 million.
— 113% increase in shipments of 102.6 MW, compared to Q209 shipments of 48.2 MW, setting a new quarterly shipping record.
— Gross margin of 16.3%, compared to Q209 gross margin of 20.2% and Q308 gross margin of 15.5%.
— Net income of $0.69 per diluted share in Q309, compared to $0.49 per diluted share in Q209. Net profit of $25.3 million sets new quarterly record. Net profit margin reaches 11.9%.

7:00 am EST, Tuesday November 17, 2009

ONTARIO, Canada, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (the “Company”, “Canadian Solar” or “we”) (CSIQ) today announced its unaudited financial results for the third quarter of 2009 ended September 30, 2009 and its outlook for the fourth quarter of 2009 and the full year 2010.

Net revenues for the third quarter of 2009 were $213.1 million, compared to net revenues of $114.2 million for the second quarter of 2009 and $252.4 million for the third quarter of 2008.

Net income for the third quarter of 2009 was $25.3 million, or $0.69 per diluted share, compared to $17.7 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2009 and $11.1 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2008.

Shipments for the third quarter of 2009 were 102.6 MW, compared to shipments of 48.2 MW for the second quarter of 2009 and 60 MW for the third quarter of 2008. Third quarter 2009 sales came from all geographic markets important to the solar industry, with Europe continuing to be the Company’s largest contributing geographic market. Sales in that region grew strongly in the quarter, increasing 179% from the second quarter of 2009.

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, commented: “We broke our previous records on both MW shipment volumes and net profit in this quarter. The significant increases in sales and earnings were the result of the successful implementation of our global sales strategy combined with our strong brand name recognition, cost control and effective supply chain management. Our flexible vertical integration model allowed us to capture the sharp increase in market demand during the quarter and to raise our module sales faster than the growth of our internal cell capacity. Our R&D capability is another important competitive differentiator for Canadian Solar. During the quarter, three of our solar module products recorded the highest scores for P-type solar modules during the PV USA (PTC) tests, which are mandatory for the California Solar Initiatives. Subsequent to the quarter end, we pre-launched our high-output premium products using our enhanced selective emitter technology. These products are expected to have monocrystalline cell conversion efficiencies of 18.5% and multicrystalline cell efficiencies of 17%. We are also in the process of testing a cost effective two-axis tracker.”

(more…)

November 16, 2009

Solar Stocks Rally As Yingli Forecasts Stable Pricing

Filed under: CSIQ, ESLR, FSLR, LDK, SPWR, STP, YGE — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 3:37 pm

By Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Solar stocks are flying today after some bullish comments Friday on pricing in the solar sector by Yingli Green Energy (YGE) CFO Bryan Li on the company’s Q3 conference call on Friday. Li said he expects Q4 average solar products pricing to be flat to down slightly in Q4 from Q3, with flat to up pricing in Q1 of next year.

Merrill Lynch/Bank of America analyst Lu Yeung wrote in a Friday research note that the ASP forecast “bodes well for the broader industry group.”

Barclays Capital Vishal Shah likewise noted in a report today that the comments from YGE management suggest that “the price war in the solar industry may be temporarily over.” He added that while weather, Germain feed-in-tariff reductions and development of non-German markets will be important in how 2010 plays out, “YGE’s comments increase the prospects of potential upward earnings revisions for the sector in the near term.”

Janney Capital Markets analyst John Roy today upped his rating on on YGE to Buy from Neutral, “as the outlook for pricing and thus margins have improved.” He contends that “Yingli is a major price setter, and they are guiding to a more benign pricing environment in 2010.” He adds that “there is other evidence that prices are beginning to stabilize,” and that the trend should continue.

Ergo, most solar stocks are sharply higher:

* Suntech (STP) is up $1.75, or 12.8%, to $15.47.
* Sunpower (SPWRA) is up 63 cents, or 2.4%, to $27.05.
* Canadian Solar (CSIQ) is up 74 cents, or 4%, to $19.19.
* Yingli is up 54 cents, or 4%, to $13.99.
* First Solar (FSLR) is up $4.74, or 4%, to $123.04.
* Evergreen Solar (ESLR) is up 8 cents, or 5.4%, to $1.56.
* LDK Solar (LDK) is up 58 cents, or 9.1%, to $6.97.

Solar Leaders One Year Later

Filed under: CSIQ, ENER, FSLR, HOKU, SPWR, STP — Tags: , — Jason @ 11:02 am

From our entry November 13, 2008 in Time to start re-entering the leaders.

Company Entry Last $ G / L % G / L
CSIQ – Canadian Solar Inc. $    5.50 $   19.48 $   13.98 254%
ENER – Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. $   25.00 $   11.11 $  (13.89) -56%
FSLR – First Solar Inc. $ 110.00 $ 123.03 $   13.03 12%
HOKU – Hoku Scientific Inc. $    4.00 $    2.42 $   (1.58) -40%
SPWRA – SunPower Corp. $   25.00 $   27.09 $    2.09 8%
STP – Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. $   10.00 $   15.26 $    5.26 53%
Average Gain 39%

November 3, 2009

Canadian Solar shares rise after analyst upgrade

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:23 pm

Canadian Solar shares rise with broader market and as analyst upgrades stock to ‘Equal Weight’

1:23 pm EST, Tuesday November 3, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) jumped on Tuesday along with the broader solar sector and as an analyst upgraded the stock, citing an attractive stock value, reduced risk and better visibility.

The solar energy system maker’s shares climbed $1.56, or 11 percent, to $16.25 in morning trading.

Barclays Capital analyst Vishal Shah raised his rating for Canadian Solar to “Equal Weight” from “Underweight.”

Canadian Solar recently completed a common stock offering of 6.9 million shares, generating $103.3 million in net proceeds. The move raised concerns over the possible risk of share dilution, but Shah said this potential risk is out of the way.

“We see a more balanced risk-reward resulting from robust near term fundamentals, improving bankability situation (ability to secure project financing) and relatively attractive valuation,” Shah said in a note to clients.

In the near term, Shah expects shares to reach as high as $18 per share and believes the company’s downside is limited $12 per share. Shah raised his price target for the company to $16 from $11.50.

Shah estimates a full-year profit of $1.34 per share, compared with analyst estimates of $1.43 per share, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters. For 2010, Shah expects earnings at $1.60 per share, compared with analyst predictions of $1.54 per share.

October 26, 2009

High-Performance CS Modules Series Set New PTC Ratings Records for P-Type Silicon Modules

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

Separately, Enhanced Selective Emitter Technology Tests Successfully

8:00 am EDT, Monday October 26, 2009

ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (“the Company,” “Canadian Solar” or “we”) (CSIQ) today announced at the Solar Power International 2009 Event that two of their solar module series, CS5A and CS5P, have set the new record in PV USA (or PTC) ratings. In addition, the Company announced the successful test of cells produced with Enhanced Selective Emitter (ESE) technology, a breakthrough technology for the Company. In the development of increased conversion efficiencies for scale production, Canadian Solar is on track to boost performance of these cells to 18.5% for mono crystalline and 17% for poly crystalline.

The Canadian Solar High Performance CS modules were tested in June and July of this year, setting new PTC rating records for P-type silicon modules. PTC measurement, a mandatory test in the state of California, measures a PV system power output at atmospheric conditions closer to real-world climatic conditions. A higher PV rating indicates higher actual production on site per watt installed — which translates directly into higher California rebates for system owners. Part of the Company’s industry-leading “CS” solar module series, the High Performance modules include ratings of 190 and 250 watts. They are available for immediate delivery.

The Company also announced it is accepting orders for cells and modules with ESE technology for delivery in early 2010. The ESE technology, developed in Canadian Solar laboratories, will enhance module performance and thus is expected to lead to increased revenues and returns on investment for customers.

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, commented, “Canadian Solar continues to advance the field of photovoltaics through our commitment to R&D. The record-setting PTC efficiencies of our High Performance CS modules are a clear validation of the progress we’ve made to bring high quality products and long-term reliability to real solar projects around the world. Our Enhanced Selective Emitter technology is a breakthrough in terms of the efficiency and value we bring to our customers. We will continue to invest in R&D and manufacturing processes, allowing us to further increase our module efficiency, while improving cost structures and driving down the cost of solar.”

For more information about the High Performance CS modules and the ESE technology, visit Canadian Solar at the Solar Power International 2009 Event, Booth 2408. The conference and exposition is held at the Anaheim Convention Center from October 27 – 29, 2009.

About Canadian Solar Enhanced Selective Emitter (ESE) Technology:

Canadian Solar’s Enhanced Selective Emitter (ESE) technology will lead the industry in efficiency and performance due to several ground-breaking improvements. The ESE technology for cell structure eliminates the “dead layer” and gets super-blue response, resulting in higher conversion efficiency.

The modules to be produced through the ESE technology will generate more field energy output due to better low irradiance performance. This improvement is due to Canadian Solar’s advanced process on raising shunt resistance, unique texturing to absorb more light, and superior temperature performance.

About Canadian Solar High Power CS Series:

The Canadian Solar CS series has set new records in PV USA testing. According to CEC listing data(1), Canadian Solar’s key products rank TOP 3 with the highest per Watt PTC ratings (CS5P-240M for 91.8%, CS5A-180M for 91.11% and CS5P-230M for 91.04%) among key module manufacturers with mainstream P-type silicon technology. PTC test conditions more closely simulate real-world solar and climatic conditions than STC ratings, giving a closer indication of real-world performance. The PTC rating is a better measurement of PV system’s power output than that of STC rating. The test conditions for PTC are similar to the real-world solar and climatic conditions. All ratings in the list are in DC (direct current) watts.

The High Power CS Series is immediately available and now includes the following higher efficiency modules available for immediate delivery:

High Power CS5A-190M: 190Watt of 72pics 5″ Mono module, suitable for all PV applications

High Power CS5P-250M: 250Watt of 96pics 5″ Mono module, recommended for utility-scale or large commercial-scale use

High Power CS6P-250M: 250Watt of 60pics 6″ Mono module, suitable for all PV applications

High Power CS6P-250P: 250Watt of 60pics 6″ Mono module, suitable for all PV applications

Clear-sheet CS5A-180M: 180Watt of 72pics 5″ Mono module with transparent back sheet. This module meets the aesthetics, design, and engineering needs for carport, facade, or skylight uses.

All-black CS5A-180M: 180Watt of 72pics 5″ Mono module with black back sheet and black frame. The all black model meets the aesthetics, design and engineering needs for roof-top uses.

The High Power CS series products are guaranteed by a 6-year industry- leading warranty and the tightest power tolerances +/-5W (+/- 2% for CS5P- 250M), resulting in more real-world kilowatt-hour production.

(1) *Resource: Go Solar California, List of Eligible SB1 Guidelines Compliant Photovoltaic Modules http://www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/equipment/pvmodule.html

October 22, 2009

Canadian Solar Announces Closing of Follow-on Offering of Common Shares

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 1:24 pm

1:24 pm EDT, Thursday October 22, 2009

ONTARIO, Canada, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (the “Company”, “Canadian Solar” or “we”) (CSIQ) today announced the closing of its previously announced follow-on offering of common stock. In total, the Company sold 6,900,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $15.75 per share, including 900,000 shares purchased by the underwriters in connection with their exercise, in full, of their option to purchase additional shares in connection with the offering.

Canadian Solar received total net proceeds of approximately $103.3 million after underwriting discounts and commissions and before offering expenses. Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Piper Jaffray & Co. served as joint bookrunners in the offering, and Wells Fargo Securities served as co-manager.

This communication shall 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 state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

October 19, 2009

Canadian Solar Announces Exercise of Option to Purchase Additional Shares

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 7:26 am

7:26 am EDT, Monday October 19, 2009

ONTARIO, Canada, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (the “Company”, “Canadian Solar” or “we”) (CSIQ) today announced that the underwriters of its previously announced follow-on public offering of common stock have fully exercised their option to purchase 900,000 additional shares of common stock. The option was granted in connection with the follow-on public offering of 6,000,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $15.75 per share. The exercise of the option brings the expected total net proceeds to approximately $103.3 million after underwriting discounts and commissions and before offering expenses.

The Company plans to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes. Pending application of the funds, the Company expects to invest the net proceeds in short-term interest-bearing securities or bank deposits.

The offering is being made solely by means of a prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus. 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 is unlawful.

Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Piper Jaffray & Co. are serving as joint bookrunners of this offering, and Wells Fargo Securities is serving as co-manager. Copies of the final prospectus supplement may be obtained from Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, 1585 Broadway, New York, NY 10036. The Company’s final prospectus supplement may also be obtained from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at: http://www.sec.gov.

October 15, 2009

Canadian Solar Announces Pricing of Follow-on Public Offering

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 8:46 pm

8:46 pm EDT, Thursday October 15, 2009

ONTARIO, Canada, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (the “Company”, “Canadian Solar” or “we”) (CSIQ) today announced that it has priced the sale of 6.0 million shares of its common stock at $15.75 per share. In connection with this offering, the Company has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 900,000 shares of common stock. The Company is conducting the offering pursuant to an effective registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933.

The Company plans to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes. Pending application of the funds, the Company expects to invest the net proceeds in short-term interest-bearing securities or bank deposits.

The offering is being made solely by means of a prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus. 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 is unlawful.

Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Piper Jaffray & Co. are serving as joint bookrunners of this offering, and Wells Fargo Securities is serving as co-manager. Copies of the final prospectus supplement, when available, may be obtained from Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, 1585 Broadway, New York, NY 10036. The Company’s final prospectus supplement, when available, may also be obtained from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at: http://www.sec.gov.

October 13, 2009

Canadian Solar Announces Follow-on Public Offering

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 10:18 pm

10:18 pm EDT, Tuesday October 13, 2009

ONTARIO, Canada, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (the “Company”, “Canadian Solar” or “we”) (CSIQ) today announced that it intends to offer, subject to market and other conditions, approximately 6 million shares of common stock. In connection with this offering, the underwriters will have an option to purchase up to an additional 900,000 shares of common stock. The company is conducting the offering pursuant to an effective registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933.

The company plans to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes. Pending application of the funds, the Company expects to invest the net proceeds in short-term interest-bearing securities or bank deposits.

The offering is being made solely by means of a prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus. 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 is unlawful.

Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Piper Jaffray & Co. are serving as joint bookrunners of this offering, and Wells Fargo Securities is serving as co-manager. Copies of the preliminary prospectus supplement and final prospectus supplement, when available, may be obtained from Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, 1585 Broadway, New York, NY 10036. The Company’s F-3 Registration Statement and preliminary prospectus supplement are available from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at: http://www.sec.gov.

Canadian Solar Expects 3Q 2009 Shipments to Exceed Prior Guidance; Company Raises Full Year 2009 Guidance

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 4:07 pm

4:07 pm EDT, Tuesday October 13, 2009

ONTARIO, Canada, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (“the Company,” “Canadian Solar” or “we”) (CSIQ) today announced that based on selected unaudited financial results, it expects shipments for the third quarter of 2009 will exceed the high-end of its prior guidance. The Company also announced it is raising its guidance for the full year of 2009.

Based on its selected unaudited financial results, Canadian Solar believes that its net revenues for the third quarter of 2009 will be approximately $210 million to $215 million, with shipments of approximately 101 MW to 103 MW, compared to prior guidance for shipments of approximately 90 MW to 100 MW. We expect to report a gross margin of 16% to 17% for the third quarter of 2009.

Based on the high level of interest in Canadian Solar’s products at the Hamburg trade show and subsequent purchase orders, the Company is raising its guidance for full year 2009 shipments to approximately 295 MW to 305 MW, including expected shipments of 127 MW to 137 MW for the fourth quarter of 2009. This compares to prior guidance for shipments of approximately 260 MW to 270 MW for the full year 2009, and earlier full year 2009 guidance of 200 MW to 220 MW. The Company continues to make improvements in its cost structure, which it expects will positively impact ongoing profitability.

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO said: “Demand has continued to be strong among our core customer group as well as among new customers. We anticipate that Q4 2009 will be even stronger than Q3 2009 in terms of shipments and we expect to maintain similar gross margins. We plan to increase our solar module manufacturing capacity to 1 GW, our solar cell capacity to 700 MW and our ingot and wafer capacity to 350 MW by the end of 2010 to meet demand levels.”

No conference call will be held in conjunction with this guidance update. Additional information related to the third quarter and full year 2009 will be available when the Company reports its third quarter 2009 results on Tuesday, November 24, 2009. The above outlook is based on the Company’s current views with respect to operating and market conditions, which are subject to change. The risks to its guidance also include changes in product pricing and the project financing environment.

Solar Stocks Slide On Worries Over German Subsidies

Filed under: CSIQ, ENER, ESLR, FSLR, SPWR, STP, WFR, YGE — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 2:23 pm

By Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Uh-oh.

For years, Germany has been by the far the world’s largest solar market, thanks to an extremely lucrative feed-in-tariff program. But the cost of the program has become a political issue in Germany recently. And now a spokesman for the ruling Christian Democrats has warned that the government intends to reduce incentives for generating solar power as early as next year.

According to Bloomberg, Joachim Pfeiffer, the “energy spokesman” for the party, noted that there has been a massive increase in solar capacity in the country, at a time when solar-power panel prices have plummeted. “We will review the overall renewable energy law in 2011 but will undertake reductions in solar subsidies taking effect as soon as next year,” Pfeiffer said. Solar panel owners are paid as much as 43 Euro cents per kilowatt hour of power generated; Bloomberg says, while consumers in Germany generally pay about 20 euro cents per KwH.

In a research note this morning, Citigroup analyst Timothy Arcuri notes that the government’s stance is “decidedly more negative” than original expectations.

Arcuri says the news could be a temporary positive, pulling some solar projects forward to avoid missing the window on the current FIT structure. But longer term, it clearly is not good news.

Arcuri says that of the companies he covers, First Solar (FSLR) has the most exposure, with about 70% of sales in Germany; SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB) has about 20% exposure. Arcuri writes that he continues to expect 2010 to be a year of “profitless prosperity” for the solar sector, “in which profits contracts even in a year of more significant demand growth.”

Among the solar stocks:

* First Solar is down $3.40, or 2.1%, to $156.60.
* SunPower is down 27 cents, or 0.8%, to $32.55.
* SunTech (STP) is down 63 cents, or 4%, to $15.18.
* Yingli Green Energy (YGE) is down 31 cents, or 2.3%, to $13.29.
* Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) is down 73 cents, or 5.8%, to $11.79.
* Canadian Solar (CSIQ) is down 48 cents, or 2.6%, to $17.57.
* MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) is down 75 cents, or 4.6%, to $15.69.
* Evergreen Solar (ESLR) is down a penny at $1.81.

October 2, 2009

Canadian Solar and Satcon Launch First Strategic Partnership Meeting Ontario’s Feed-in-Tariff Domestic Content Requirements

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

Leading Solar Solution Innovators Partner with Distribution Agreement to Optimize Turnkey Solutions for Commercial and Industrial Rooftop Solar Power Systems

Friday October 2, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

KITCHENER, Canada, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ), a leading provider of vertically integrated solar cells, solar module and custom-designed solar application products, and Satcon Technology Corporation (SATC), the industry’s leading utility scale distributed power solutions provider for the renewable energy market, today announced they have signed a turnkey solution distribution agreement. As part of the contract, Canadian Solar and Satcon will market Canadian Solar’s commercial solar PV systems with Satcon’s commercial solar PV inverters for commercial rooftop and ground mounted power stations.

The partnership between Canadian Solar and Satcon provides customers with a complete best in class system solution that enables optimal system design flexibility and the highest levels of system performance and uptime for a rapid and continuous return on investment. This partnership also meets the domestic content requirements outlined by the Ontario government in its recently announced feed-in-tariff program.

The combination of Canadian Solar’s quality products and services, credible partnership reputation and prudent financial management compliments Satcon’s innovative power platforms, field proven performance and reliability and their wide range of commercial inverter power ratings provide highly optimized, flexible total system solutions.

The opportunity in the emerging solar markets in Ontario, Canada and China complement both companies who have manufacturing plants in each respective country. They can leverage their presence and experience, which will only enhance the partnership and the products being produced by Canadian Solar and Satcon.

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO, Canadian Solar Inc. remarked, “The Canadian Solar and Satcon turnkey solutions agreement enables customers to maximize rooftop solar energy generation through a combination of Canadian Solar’s distinct PV panels with Satcon’s tested and proven large scale solar inverter solutions. The partnership assures maximum power production in virtually any rooftop environment. ”

“The partnership between Satcon and Canadian Solar brings together two of the solar industry’s leading technology innovators and allows us to combine our expertise to deliver high performance, complete large scale solar power solutions to our customers,” said Steve Rhoades, President and Chief Executive Officer of Satcon Technology Corporation. “Our partnership will allow us to set the new standards for performance, quality and value for utility scale solar installations worldwide.”

About Satcon (SATC)

Satcon Technology Corporation is the leading provider of utility scale distributed power solutions for the renewable energy market, enabling the industry’s most advanced reliable and proven clean energy alternatives. For over 24 years, Satcon has designed and delivered the next generation of efficient energy systems for solar photovoltaic, stationary fuel cells, and energy storage systems. To learn more about Satcon, please visit http://www.Satcon.com .

September 28, 2009

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.

(more…)

September 25, 2009

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.”

September 17, 2009

China Feed-In-Tariff Could Be 2 Years Away

Filed under: CSIQ, FSLR, LDK, STP, YGE — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 2:43 pm

By Eric Savitz
barrons.com

It could be two years or more before China adopts a national feed-in-tariff program, Hapoalim Securities analyst Gordon Johnson writes in a research note.

Johnson points out that there have been widespread expectations on the Street that China would adopt a national FIT during 2009. But he notes that an official with the Energy Research Institute at China’s National Development and Reform Commission apparently told a reporter at a conference in Shanghai that it will take at least two years to decided on a national FIT policy. Johnson refers to a Chinese-language Web story dated Tuesday; here is an English version, via Google Translate. Johnson says the comments came from Hu Runqing (you will notice that the translation garbles the name) who in fact has a Web page on the NDRC’s English language site. I’ve e-mailed her seeking comment, and will follow up with any response.

Anyway, Johnson notes that a number of solar companies – including Yingli (YGE), Suntech (STP), Canadian Solar (CSIQ), LDK Solar (LDK) and First Solar (FSLR) – have recently announced large solar projects in China that are least partially dependent on adoption of a national feed-in-tariff.  Those companies, which benefited from the announcement of their new China projects, now ought to warn investors that the projects face delays, Johnson asserts.

Johnson – a long-time bear on the solar sector – believes that this situation poses risks to the solar stocks, given that a 2-year delay for adoption of an FIT in China “contrasts with the current thinking from investors and solar companies alike.”

In today’s trading:

* Suntech is down 64 cents, or 3.7%, to $16.62.
* Canadian Solar is up 10 cents, or 0.6%, to $17.45. (See also the upgrade today from Collins Stewart.)
* LDK Solar is down 20 cents, or 2.1%, to $9.38.
* First Solar is up $4.17, or 2.8%, to $151.16. (See also the bullish comments today from Barclays.)

Solar: Analyst Sees Signs Of Demand Recovery

Filed under: CSIQ, STP, TSL, YGE — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 12:58 pm

By Eric Savitz
barrons.com

The clouds may be clearing for the solar sector.

Collins Stewart analyst Dan Ries writes this morning that “for the first time in nearly a year, channel checks point to a demand recovery in the solar market.” He says the recovery has been clear in Germany, the world’s largest solar market, accounting for an expected 36% of the global market in 2009. Ries adds that there has been improvement, as well, in Italy, France and the U.S. And he says that the new government in Japan is likely to “sharply increase” subsidies in that country starting in November.

According to Ries, “demand is exceeding expectations in Q3, a situation that should carry into Q4.”; He says multiple channel checks indicate that demand has been strong enough to create stock-out conditions for modules from multiple vendors in Germany, including those from Yingli Green Energy (YGE), Suntech (STP) and Trina Solar (TSL). Ries writes that there are “obvious positive implications” for the stocks from data suggesting demand has improved and is exceeding expectations set as recently as mid-August. He thinks module vendors will likely report strong Q3 results, with many topping guidance and Street estimates.

Ries is feeling especially upbeat about Canadian Solar (CSIQ), and today raised his rating on the stock to Buy from Hold, setting a price target of $21. He writes that the combination of a strengthening of demand, cost reduction moves and a relatively low valuation “gives us great comfort that CSIQ can outperform the market in the quarters ahead.”

In today’s trading:

* Yingli is up 7 cents, or 0.5%, to $13.95.
* Trina is off 21 cents, or 0.7%, to $31.26.
* Suntech is up 14 cents, or 0.8%, to $17.49.
* Canadian Solar is down 61 cents, or 3.5%, to $16.65.

Canadian Solar’s PV Reliability Testing Centre Joins Intertek’s ‘Satellite Program’

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 8:36 am

Thursday September 17, 2009, 8:36 am EDT

ONTARIO, Canada, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Intertek and Canadian Solar (the “Company”, “Canadian Solar” or “we”) (CSIQ) announced today the official designation of Canadian Solar’s PV Reliability Testing Center as the first PV partner to join Intertek’s “Satellite Program”. This designation by Intertek is another recognition of Canadian Solar’s quality control system and its state-of-art ISO17025 accredited internal laboratory.

Intertek developed its “Satellite Program”, a new Client Data Acceptance Program, in response to the ever increasing market requirements for product certification. Conducting tests in customers’ own labs, on their own schedule, customers obtain Intertek’s market-leading certifications for their products. Under the “Satellite Program”, customers can choose the level of service that’s right for their compliance and sales goals. When the testing results meet all certification requirements, Intertek will issue the requested certificate, such as ETL based on UL1703 standards. The practice under the “Satellite Program” can greatly reduce the testing/certification lead time, thus facilitating the timely introduction of new products into the market place.

Dr. Shawn Qu, the President and CEO of Canadian Solar, commented: “In July of this year, our photovoltaic reliability testing center became the first PV manufacturer owned testing center to receive the ISO 17025 accreditation. I am glad that Canadian Solar’s state-of-the-art PV Reliability Center became the first center in the PV industry to partner with Intertek in its ‘Satellite Program’. This recognition is another example of our reputation in stringent quality control in our products and our deep knowledge in reliability testing of PV products.”

Mr. Frank Pan, President of Intertek Commercial and Electrical Asia Pacific, remarked: “We have been looking for a business model that best accommodates the market requirements and customers’ product and service needs. The ‘Satellite Program’ is the outcome of our search. The PV market has a great potential for further development globally. Intertek undertakes its mission and mandate to work together with PV manufacturers around the world to further facilitate the process of quality management in each stage of PV manufacturing. Canadian solar is well-known for its unwavering adherence to the highest quality standards in its production. We are honored to have Canadian Solar join this ‘Satellite Program’.”

About Intertek

Intertek is a leading international provider of quality and safety services to a wide range of global and local industries. From auditing and inspection, to testing, quality assurance and certification, Intertek people are dedicated to adding value to customers’ products and processes, supporting their success in the global market place.

Intertek has the experience, expertise, resources and global reach to support its customers through its extensive network of 1000 laboratories and offices and over 24,000 people in more than 100 countries around the world.

The Commercial & Electrical division of Intertek provides product testing and certification services, including safety testing and certification, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing, and performance testing. These services provide global market access to customers in industries such as Audio and video products, Automotive, Building products, Cables and wiring accessories, Electronics, Gas appliances, Household appliances, HVAC, IT, Industrial machinery, Installation accessories, Lighting, Medical devices, Power supply, Security, Semiconductor, Telecommunications, Wireless technology etc. For further information, visit http://www.intertek.com .

September 16, 2009

China’s Plan To Rule The Sun

Filed under: CSIQ, FSLR, SPWR, STP, YGE — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 5:20 pm

Christopher Helman, 09.16.09, 05:20 PM EDT

Building the world’s biggest solar field will help Beijing at upcoming climate change negotiations.

HOUSTON — First Solar’s two-gigawatt solar installation in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia will be the biggest in the world, covering 25 square miles of the Ordos Desert with solar cells. When completed in 2019, the solar field (roughly the area of Manhattan) will generate as much electricity as two nuclear reactors or three coal-fired power plants, enough to power 3 million Chinese homes.

In announcing the deal last week, Arizona-based First Solar (FSLR) indicated that build-out would cost upward of $6 billion–if it were in the U.S. The price in Mongolia, using low-cost Chinese labor, will be quite a bit cheaper.

It’s huge, but it’s just a portion of China’s solar plans: Since May, nearly 9 gigawatts of solar projects have been announced. Nationwide, China plans 20 gw of solar by 2020. A quarter of that will likely be built in Inner Mongolia, alongside 7 gw of wind, 310 mw of biomass and 70 mw of hydropower. If it happens, it would make China the solar center of the world.

“China needs to grow its power portfolio in every way possible,” says Robert Stone, analyst at Cowen & Co. in Boston.

The First Solar deal, the first of its kind with a non-Chinese solar company, was a surprise to industry observers who view China mainly as a source of demand for domestic manufacturers like Suntech (STP), Yingli Green Energy (YGE) and Canadian Solar (CSIQ), which makes all its panels in China. The deal proves that China’s energy sector is open to foreign competition.

In that vein, First Solar helps China achieve political, not just electric power, goals. This is important as the United Nations shepherds representatives of the world’s top carbon-emitting nations through a series of climate meetings in Washington, New York and Pittsburgh, where the G-20 summit will be held later this month. In December, meetings in Copenhagen, Denmark, will seek to write a global treaty on greenhouse gas emissions. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has floated the idea of taxing imports from countries that don’t meet renewable energy standards.

(more…)

Solar Power On Pause

Filed under: AMAT, CSIQ, SPWR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 3:30 pm

Peter C. Beller, 09.16.09, 03:30 PM EDT

With falling prices and scarce financing for solar panels, investors have few opportunities.

Like the microchip industry, makers of photovoltaic panels have to deal with rapidly falling prices for their latest products. Unlike the computer business, though, solar power (for the moment) lives and dies by two things: government subsidies to customers and financing for big projects. Both are on the wane, and that means investors who want to bet on the sun’s unlimited energy have few places to turn, say analysts at Deutsche Bank.

Just a few years ago, solar stocks were the hot thing. Government incentives in Germany, the U.S. and elsewhere had homeowners getting paid to install panels on their roofs. Cheap credit led to a host of projects, some of them far-fetched, to build solar arrays in deserts and empty fields. Oil’s soaring price helped, too. Nowadays, solar makers produce a commodity product (few companies can claim to make a more efficient solar cell) at a time when consumers and businesses look first at their bottom line. In that light, solar power is still too costly for too many people.

The result is that prices are falling dramatically. Even Deutsche Bank can’t keep up. In July, they thought prices could slip to $2 a watt this year and $1.85 next year. Now $1.50 a watt looks likely in 2010. That’s one reason the analysts, Steve O’Rourke and Peter Kim, have a “hold” on many of the industry’s major firms.

One of the few solar players that can actually claim a better product is SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB), based in San Jose, Calif. SunPower charges slightly more for its panels, in part because it provides certain services to the mom-and-pop distributors that effectively retail its products to customers. O’Rourke and Kim expect the company to maintain its advantage but predict earnings of just 89 cents a share this year, less than half the profit of 2008. They have a “hold” rating on the stock, which has fallen 60% in the past year.

Another longtime favorite of Wall Street is Applied Materials (AMAT), which turned its expertise in making the precision equipment that produces microprocessors into a business supplying solar makers (both chips and photovoltaics rely on silicon wafers). Solar is only a portion of Applied’s sales, but it became a big reason to like the stock, with the booming green energy sector countering the up-then-down cycle of the microchip business. No more, say the analysts, who rate the stock a “hold” with the chip and solar segments slumping at the same time.

Canadian Solar (CSIQ) has actually fared better than many peers through the downturn, with its stock off 27% in the last year. The firm is investing in new technology that could make its panels more efficient than the industry standard and is on track to cut costs, not just for raw materials, substantially. While Canadian Solar says prices could stabilize at $1.50 a watt next year, O’Rourke and Kim have their doubts. They have a “hold” rating on the stock.

Good news for the industry is that residential customers have continued to buy, thanks to continuing, if diminished, subsidies around the globe and the social cachet of lower utility bills. Financing from banks for commercial projects is still at a trickle, but a trickle can turn back into a steady flow, say the analysts.

September 15, 2009

Canadian Solar Signs Technology Agreement with Energy Research Center of the Netherlands

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

Tuesday September 15, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

ONTARIO, Canada, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (the “Company”, “Canadian Solar” or “we”) (CSIQ) announced today that it has signed a joint technology development and transfer agreement with Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (“ECN”) to apply the technology for metal wrap-through (“MWT”) cells to Canadian Solar’s production lines.

MWT cells eliminate the need for front side bus-bars and therefore increase effective surface and the conversion efficiency of a solar cell. A more advanced version of this technology, emitter wrap-through (“EWT”) structures, can further eliminate the front surface grid and therefore further increase the cell conversion efficiency. Both of these wrap-through technologies also increase module conversion efficiency by enabling back-side interconnection technology in module production. The specialized module assembly equipment will be developed and manufactured in co-operation with Eurotron, a Netherlands based manufacturer and supplier of handling equipment for module assembly. Higher conversion efficiency cells will allow the Company to produce more powerful solar modules, while potentially reducing manufacturing costs. The transfer of MWT cell technology is expected to take approximately 6 months.

This agreement is part of Canadian Solar’s comprehensive high-efficiency research program. In the fourth quarter of 2009, the Company expects to begin commercially introducing a new cell structure which combines a modified selective emitter process and, better texturization, precise state-of-art screen printing and several other improvements. The new structure is expected to raise the conversion efficiency of monocrystalline cells to 18.5% and multicrystalline cells with an estimated 16.8% conversion efficiency. Longer-term objectives for Canadian Solar’s research program include researching on hetero-junction intrinsic thin-layer cells and tandem junction cells. These activities are expected to take several years and could result in cells with conversion efficiencies in excess of 20% to as high as 25%.

Canadian Solar’s Chairman and CEO, Shawn Qu, said, “We are very pleased to have the Energy Research Center as a technology partner. ECN is a leading institute for high-efficiency cell and module technologies such as MWT. Working together will help us to improve the higher-powered modules currently preferred as a premium product by Canadian Solar’s customers. Producing high-efficiency cells is an important part of our commitment to producing premium branded products. In addition to the brand value of these products, higher power modules can reduce manufacturing and installation costs, both of which are critical to making PV systems more cost-effective for end customers.”

ECN’s chairman of the board, Ton Hoff, said, “Canadian Solar is an ideal partner for us. Its long-term commitment to leveraging R&D to provide higher quality, more cost-effective PV products has made it an industry leader. As a strong and independent research institute, ECN gives their partners a perfect opportunity to apply the latest technologies. By working with ECN, Canadian Solar now has created an opening to achieve a better competitive edge in the PV market. We are excited to be working together because Canadian Solar has the financial strength, global reach and scale needed to move our technology from a laboratory environment to real-world, commercial applications that can help increase the use of environmentally friendly, solar energy systems.”

Bram Verschoor, commercial director of Eurotron, said, “We are very eager to make this a successful project. We have collaborated with ECN for several years now and developed the technology to a level that it can be taken out of the research phase. We foresee that this project will be the launch of back-contact module technology into the PV market. We will support Canadian Solar in making this happen.”

About The Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands

The Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands is the largest research center in the field of energy in the Netherlands. ECN’s technology is used in solar energy conversion, as well as for other alternative energy sources, such as biomass, wind energy, hydrogen & clean fossil fuels. In cooperation with universities, ECN develops high-quality knowledge and technology for a sustainable energy system, and transfers these to the market. ECN is located near Petten, the Netherlands, and employs approximately 630 people. For more information please visit http://www.ecn.nl .

About Eurotron

Eurotron is a company, specialized in powerful handling equipment for module assembly. A team of dedicated employees invents and produces handling equipment in order to address tomorrows PV questions today. A pro-active attitude and a strong orientation on customer demands have been key factors for Eurotron’s success. For more information, visit http://www.eurotron.nl .

September 9, 2009

Canadian Solar Announces 10 MW Co-Operation Memorandum of Understanding with LG in Korea

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , — Jason @ 9:46 am

Wednesday September 9, 2009, 9:46 am EDT

ONTARIO, Canada, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (the “Company”, “Canadian Solar” or “we”) (CSIQ) today announced it has entered into a second memorandum of understanding with LG CNS Co. Ltd. (“LG CNS”), a subsidiary of the LG Group of South Korea, to implement a minimum 10 MW of PV power projects in Korea in 2010. Canadian Solar modules will be used in these projects. LG CNS has been a customer of Canadian Solar since early this year.

This non-binding memorandum expands on the first memorandum of understanding between Canadian Solar and LG CNS signed in April of this year and confirms the parties’ desire to strengthen the existing close business partnership between the two companies. The Korean government recently announced the details of its 2010 PV programs, which include the Feed-in- Tariff (“FIT”) program and the pilot stage of a renewable energy portfolio standard program (“RPS”) program.

Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar said, “South Korea has been a good market for Canadian Solar this year and our agreements with LG CNS have played an important role in this success. LG CNS is one of the best solar system integrators and EPC providers and is a well recognized player in the Korean and worldwide solar markets. We are very pleased to have LG CNS’s endorsement of the quality of our products and services. We believe that combining the strength of both companies will allow us to offer our high- quality, one-stop services to many more project owners in Korea.”

Michael Park, Vice President of LG CNS said, “Canadian Solar is a leading supplier of high-quality, high performance solar modules in the Korean market. Canadian Solar modules are quickly recognized by our customers as a product with one of the best energy production ratios. We are happy to expand our relationship with Canadian Solar, which will allow us to provide long-term superior solutions to the attractive solar market in Korea, especially to our important local power utility customers.”

About LG CNS

LG CNS has 7,000 employees at its headquarters, 7 overseas subsidiary companies and 4 subsidiary companies around the world to help clients with IT challenges; LG CNS provides comprehensive solutions from consulting to system deployments and operations. With abundant industry-specific knowledge, proven advanced IT technology experts and the industry’s top service quality, LG CNS makes people’s lives more convenient, futuristic and enjoyable by driving the national and corporate information-oriented culture.

September 8, 2009

First Solar to build huge Chinese solar plant

Filed under: CSIQ, FSLR, JASO, SOLF, STP, TSL, YGE — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:30 pm

Tue Sep 8, 2009 1:30pm EDT
By Matt Daily

NEW YORK (Reuters) – First Solar Inc. (FSLR) said on Tuesday it plans to build the world’s largest solar plant in China in the first major foray by a U.S. company into the Asian nation’s fast growing alternative energy sector.

Under a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government, First Solar will build a 2-gigawatt power plant, enough to power about 3 million Chinese households, at Ordos City, in Inner Mongolia, and consider building a new manufacturing plant in China.

The announcement comes as the solar industry struggles to emerge from a year-long slump that saw financing for new projects dry up and reduced subsidies in Spain create a glut of unsold cells and panels.

The project is part of China’s program to generate 10 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2010 and 15 percent by 2020 to help meet its growing energy appetite that has made the country the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide.

First Solar will begin constructing a 30 megawatt demonstration project in June 2010 in Ordos. The second and third phases call for 100 megawatt and 870 megawatt projects that will be completed in 2014. A final 1,000 megawatt installation will be finished in 2019.

Solar projects have so far been built on a smaller scale, and the First Solar project will be a test of whether the technology behind the plant — which will be 30 times the size of the largest current plant — can be scaled up.

“In most people’s heads, (solar) is a nice little niche thing,” First Solar Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Ahearn told Reuters. “Having a demonstration of something that’s nuclear plant size will begin to change that image.”

(more…)

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