North Coast Solar Stocks

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.

November 12, 2009

Q-Cells posts Q3 loss on write-downs, restructuring

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 1:25 am

Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:25am EST

* Q3 net loss 248.2 mln eur vs 146 eur loss forecast

* Q3 sales 184.2 mln eur vs 191 mln eur forecast

* Sees positive impact from cost cuts from Q1 2010 onwards

FRANKFURT, Nov 12 (Reuters) – Q-Cells posted its third consecutive quarterly net loss on write-downs and restructuring costs, but said cost cuts would start having a positive impact on earnings from early 2010.

The company’s third-quarter net loss came in at 248.2 million euros ($371.9 million), below the forecast in a Reuters poll for a 146 million loss.

The company said on Thursday the net loss was due to reorganization costs related to job cuts, as well as impairment losses on inventories and investments.

Earlier this year Q-Cells said it would cut about a fifth of its workforce as it battles a price slump that has pushed the entire solar industry into crisis.

Although demand for solar equipment has somewhat stabilized at low levels in the second half of 2009, European and U.S solar companies are still grappling with price declines of up to 50 percent and stiff competition from Asian peers that manage to produce at lower prices.

Q-Cells’s peer Renewable Energy Corp (REC), too, said in late October that an impairment test of joint venture Sovello had led to an impairment charge, prompting REC to swing to a third-quarter operating loss of 665 million Norwegian crowns ($119 million).

Sovello — in which Q-Cells, REC and U.S. peer Evergreen Solar (ESLR) hold a third each — makes solar modules in Thalheim, Germany.

November 6, 2009

Evergreen Solar shares fall 8 pct, hurt by results

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 2:24 pm

Fri Nov 6, 2009 2:24pm EST

* Solar-panel price drop hurts profit

* Pacific Crest analyst cuts stock to “sector perform”

LOS ANGELES, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Shares of Evergreen Solar Inc (ESLR) fell 8 percent on Friday as its quarterly results weighed on the U.S. solar equipment maker’s stock.

Like many in the industry, Evergreen has been hurt by a lack of financing for new solar projects and a drop in prices for solar panels that has eaten into profits.

Citi analyst Timothy Arcuri on Friday downgraded the stock to “sell” from “hold” while Pacific Crest Securities analyst Mark Bachman cut the stock to “sector perform” from “outperform,” noting that the company faces challenges in 2010.

“While we commend Evergreen in its efforts to lower manufacturing costs by moving to China and outsourcing its module business, we believe that the company faces an uphill battle” as Chinese competitors offer solar products at significantly lower prices, Bachman wrote in a note to clients.

Arcuri said that the company also remains in a “liquidity struggle” and seem less likely to maintain a brand premium on its solar products.

Still, an uptick in demand helped Evergreen post better-than-expected revenue for the third quarter and its executives said on Thursday the company has “significant” cash to meet its operating needs.

The Marlboro, Massachusetts-based company makes photovoltaic equipment that turns sunlight into electricity.

Its shares were down 8 percent at $1.42 in afternoon trading on Friday on the Nasdaq. The stock has lost more than 70 percent of its value since hitting a year-high of $5.20 in November 2008.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Matthew Lewis)

Evergreen Solar Slides; Citi Cuts Rating To Sell

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 11:34 am

By Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Evergreen Solar (ESLR) shares are down sharply this morning, pressured by downgrades from both Citigroup analyst Timothy Arcuri and Pacific Crest analyst Mark Bachman.

* Arcuri cut his rating to Sell from Hold, with a new target of $1, down from $3. “Customers like the product, but ESLR remains in a liquidity struggle that is forcing it toward what should have been done from the get-go, focusing on its competitive advantage, making wafers,” he writes. “Near-term, gross margins turns negative again” until it finishes transitioning manufacturing to China, he adds, while cash will stand at at just $50 million by the first half of 2010. Longer-term, he adds, the company’s module cost position won’t be any better than peers. And he says that it could take a few years for the company to make larger wafers that comply with current industry standards; for now, the company is the only taker for the wafers.
* Bachman cuts his rating to Sector Perform from Outperform. “Given the near-term challenges ahead, we no longer have the conviction to recommend putting new money into the stock,” he writes. “We have modeled for further declines in average selling prices,” as well as under-utilization of the company’s facility in Devens, Massachusetts, ramping expenses from China and continued losses from the company’s investment in Sovello, “all of which weigh on Evergreen’s financial outlook over the near term.” He added that “although management outlined a positive cash position through 2010, it remains possible that Evergreen may need to return to the capital markets late next year and either increase its debt or add further dilution.”

ESLR today is down 12 cents, or 7.7%, to $1.43.

November 5, 2009

Once lauded Mass. company moving jobs to China

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 1:15 pm

Mass. company once lauded by governor and backed by state money moving some jobs to China

1:15 pm EST, Thursday November 5, 2009

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — A solar panel company is moving some jobs overseas after receiving $58 million in state aid and being touted by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick as a symbol of the state’s economic future.

Evergreen Solar Inc. (ESLR) said Wednesday it is moving panel assembly jobs currently done at a plant in Devens to China next year. The announcement came as the company announced that it lost $167 million in the first nine months of this year.

About half of the 577 full-time and 230 contract employees at the Devens factory are involved in putting the panels together, but the company did not say how many jobs the state would lose.

Ian Bowles, secretary of the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, called Evergreen’s decision disappointing.

Evergreen Solar says has enough cash, shares up

Filed under: ESLR, SPWR, STP — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 11:45 am

Thu Nov 5, 2009 11:45am EST

* U.S. solar co expects to have $115 mln cash before end Q4

* Accelerates strategy to outsource work in China

* Shares up 1.4 pct at $1.44

LOS ANGELES, Nov 5 (Reuters) – U.S. solar company Evergreen Solar Inc (ESLR) has “significant” cash to meet its operating needs, the company’s chief financial officer said on Thursday on a conference call with investors, as the company’s shares rose slightly in trading.

The Marlboro, Massachusetts-based company posted better than expected revenue on Wednesday and said it ended the third quarter with $91 million in cash.

“As you can see, we have significant cash to meet our operating needs,” said Michael El-Hillow, the company’s CFO.

Like other solar companies such as SunPower Corp (SPWRA, SPWRB) and Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd (STP), Evergreen has been hit by a tumble in panel prices this year amid a lack of financing for new projects and a global oversupply.

Evergreen is accelerating its strategy to outsource solar work to China as the company, faced by stiff pricing competition from Chinese rivals, races to cut costs.

By the middle of 2010, the company will start moving panel assembly from its Devens, Massachusetts, plant to China, where it is building a 100 MW plant with Jiawei Solar. The company will continue to make wafers and cells in Devens.

The move is “evidence that the operation here (in the United States) is not being cost competitive,” said Cowen and Co analyst Rob Stone.

“It’s possible that market prices are going to keep moving down faster than they can bring their cost down, which will make it difficult for them to … make a positive margin,” said Stone, who has a “neutral” rating on the company.

Evergreen cut its manufacturing cost by 17 percent to $2.24 per watt in the third quarter and plans the shift to China will drive down costs another 35 cents.

Stone said saving seemed high and that it was “less clear” how much Evergreen will be able to maintain its pricing premium with the move to China.

At its current model, Evergreen sees that it can break even on cash-flow at $2 per watt.

Before the end of 2010, the company expects to have a cash balance of $115 million and to need $69 million through late next year for its factories in the United States and China and for other items.

The company is also seeking to increase the number of its authorized shares to 450 million from 250 million, a move El-Hillow called “prudent” to maximize its liquidity.

Shares of Evergreen were up 1.4 percent at $1.44 on Thursday in late morning trading on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Gunna Dickson)

November 4, 2009

Evergreen Solar’s Sequential Shipments Increase 35% to 31 MW for the Third Quarter

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

Transition of Devens Panel Assembly to China Planned for 2010

Wafer and Cell Production to Remain in Devens

4:01 pm EST, Wednesday November 4, 2009

MARLBORO, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Evergreen Solar, Inc. (ESLR), a manufacturer of String Ribbon™ solar power products with its proprietary, low-cost silicon wafer technology, today announced financial results for the third quarter ended October 3, 2009.

Key accomplishments during the quarter were:

* Shipped 31.3 MW from our Devens facility, an increase of 35% over second quarter shipments of 23.2 MW;
* Reduced total manufacturing cost to $2.24 per watt, down 17% from $2.70 per watt for the second quarter. Wafer manufacturing cost was approximately $0.75 per watt, down from $0.85 per watt in the second quarter;
* Generated EBITDA of $6.3 million, compared to $1.4 million in the second quarter;
* Finalized agreements with Jiawei Solar and the Wuhan, China Government’s Hubei Science & Technology Investment Co., Ltd. (“HSTIC”), under which:
o Evergreen Solar will manufacture String Ribbon wafers using our state-of-the-art Quad furnaces at a leased facility currently being built by Jiawei in Wuhan, China on Jiawei’s campus;
o Jiawei will convert the String Ribbon wafers into Evergreen Solar-branded panels on a contract manufacturing basis beginning in the spring 2010; and
o HSTIC provided $33 million of 7.5% financing, which Evergreen Solar must repay no later than July 2014, all of which has been received.
* Hired our Chinese executive team, including Henry Ng, former General Manager of Suntech Power Company Ltd.’s factory in Wuxi, China;
* Began pilot production at our Michigan high-temperature filament plant.

“Due to strong demand from our customers, we were able to increase our sequential production substantially and sell everything we produced,” stated Richard M. Feldt, Chairman, CEO and President. “While demand continues to be solid early in the fourth quarter, we expect to experience some of the typical seasonal moderation in December which we expect will extend into the first quarter.

“Our Devens facility has continuously met its key operational goals of rapid sequential production increases and significantly reduced manufacturing costs since opening in mid-2008. In particular, we are especially pleased with the success of our Quad wafer production performance, which has met or exceeded our expectations to date. However, panel prices have fallen over 30% since mid-2008 making it very difficult for manufacturers located in high-cost regions to remain price competitive. Therefore, we are accelerating our strategic initiative of increasing the focus on our unique wafer manufacturing technology; and we will begin to transition our Devens-based panel assembly to China in mid-2010,” continued Feldt.

(more…)

October 27, 2009

Evergreen Solar Showcases New ES-C Series Off-Grid Solar Panels at Solar Power International in Anaheim, California

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 10:21 am

ES-A Series On-Grid Panels also on display at America’s largest solar event

10:21 am EDT, Tuesday October 27, 2009

MARLBORO, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Evergreen Solar, Inc. (ESLR), a manufacturer of String Ribbon™ solar power products with its proprietary, low-cost silicon wafer technology, will introduce its ES-C Series String Ribbon solar panels, the company’s first-ever off-grid panels, at its booth during Solar Power International 2009 in Anaheim, Calif., October 27-29. Also showcased will be the company’s ES-A line of 200, 205 and 210 watt high output solar panels designed with its new black frame for increased aesthetics.

Evergreen Solar’s new line of ES-C Series off-grid panels and its ES-A Series on-grid panels will be available for viewing throughout Solar Power International at the company’s booth # 2001. Both product lines, like all Evergreen Solar panels, are manufactured using its proprietary silicon wafer technology which is the most environmentally-friendly process in the industry.

The ES-C Series of panels are suitable for direct 12, 24 or 48 volt battery charging in a wide variety of off-grid applications. The panels provide higher voltages for superior battery charging performance, particularly in hotter climates. Similar to the current line of Evergreen Solar panels serving on-grid markets, the ES-C line of panels deliver more electricity with the least environmental impact of any silicon-based solar panel currently available.

“The ES-C Series enables Evergreen Solar to capitalize on the expanding off-grid solar market and further positions the company as a leader in the global solar industry,” said Alan King, Director of Sales for the Americas. “Like all Evergreen Solar products this product line has been designed with differentiating performance characteristics to distinguish it from commodity-like competitors and provides better battery charging capability than other major brands. At the same time, we are proud to lead the industry in environmental credentials with the smallest carbon footprint and the quickest energy payback of any silicon-based panel available today.”

The ES-C Series panels are constructed with conduit-ready, multi-configuration junction boxes for easy, flexible installation. The panel’s double-walled, high-strength frame allows it to withstand the harshest of wind or snow conditions. The panels are also designed to fully comply with UL 1703 (for U.S. and Canada) and IEC standards (approval pending) and carry with them a five-year workmanship and 25-year power warranty. Evergreen is accepting orders now for initial shipments beginning in November. For more information call Alan King at 508-251-3301 or visit http://www.evergreensolar.com/ES-C

October 26, 2009

Evergreen Solar Announces Opening of New European Headquarters in Berlin

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

Key location will expand company’s presence in German market

8:00 am EDT, Monday October 26, 2009

MARLBORO, Mass. and BERLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Evergreen Solar, Inc. (ESLR), a manufacturer of String Ribbon™ solar power products with its proprietary, low-cost silicon wafer technology, today announced that it has opened a new European headquarters in Berlin, Germany, further increasing the company’s presence in the German market.

Evergreen Solar began its European operations in 2002 and became a fully-registered German company in 2004. Since that time European sales have grown nearly 20 times, equivalent to a 180% compound annual growth rate. The new Berlin headquarters will help the company keep pace with the rapid business growth in the European market, particularly in Germany, a country featuring notable incentives for commercial and residential solar installations.

The new headquarters is located at Wallstraße 65, 10179 Berlin.

“Berlin is an ideal location for us to establish our European headquarters,” said Peter Rusch, Managing Director of Evergreen Solar GmbH and Vice President of Sales for Evergreen Solar, Inc. “Our excellent products and strong relationships with customers have allowed us to establish ourselves very quickly as a leader across the European market.”

Evergreen Solar produces high output solar panels that are the most environmentally friendly of any silicon-based panel. They have the smallest carbon footprint with the quickest energy payback of any silicon based panels in the industry.

“Evergreen Solar’s panels produce more electricity and less impact on the environment than any other silicon based panel,” Rusch said. “If you want to judge the performance of a panel the delivery of kilowatt hours per kilowatts installed is the best measure. From an ecological impact of a solar panel, the carbon footprint and energy payback are the most important factors. That’s what stands behind our slogan: More electricity, less impact.”

The European headquarters is in addition to the company’s worldwide headquarters in Marlboro, Mass., USA. The company also has a sales office for the Asia Pacific Region in California, as well as manufacturing plants in Devens, Mass., Midland, Michigan and one currently under construction in Wuhan, China.

October 13, 2009

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 1, 2009

U.S. solar industry to challenge tariff ruling

Filed under: ENER, ESLR, FSLR, SPWR, STP, TSL, YGE — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 7:10 pm

Thu Oct 1, 2009 7:10pm EDT

* U.S. importers could face $70 million in tariffs, fines

* Industry hopes to persuade US Customs to reverse ruling

* Some see move counterproductive to global climate goals

By Doug Palmer

WASHINGTON, Oct 1 (Reuters) – The U.S. solar energy industry hopes to persuade Customs officials to reverse a decision to impose a 2.5 percent tariff on solar panel imports after more than two decades of duty-free trade in the product, an industry official said on Thursday.

“We’re taking it very seriously and we will be responding. … The industry is in the process of preparing a challenge,” said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, whose members include both U.S. and foreign solar energy companies.

In the worst case scenario, U.S. importers of solar panels could face some $70 million in tariffs and penalties for product already imported this year.

The tariff comes at a time when concern about global climate change has prompted the United States and the European Union to push for deal with other leading developed countries and China to eliminate duties on environmental goods.

As the New York Times reported on Wednesday, the U.S. Custom service ruled in January a panel made by Trina Solar (TSL) of China was a generator because it contains a diode that allows electric current to pass around shaded areas of the panel.

That ruling was a surprise because “all solar panels contain bypass diodes and have forever. It’s a safety issue not to have them,” one industry official said.

Although the ruling only applies to the Trina panel, it has implications for other manufacturers, he said.

(more…)

September 24, 2009

Evergreen Solar sales chief leaving to run solar start-up

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

Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:56am EDT

*Head of sales leaving to run solar company

*CEO to assume marketing, sales responsibilities

*CFO will oversee global operations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

September 15, 2009

Evergreen Solar disputes claims from Lehman unit

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 8:01 pm

Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:01pm EDT

* Evergreen Solar files SEC response to Lehman unit letter

* Evergreen Solar says unit lacks right to terminate

* Disputes claim that it defaulted on payment obligations

LOS ANGELES, Sept 15 (Reuters) – U.S. solar panel maker Evergreen Solar Inc (ESLR) said on Tuesday that Lehman Brothers does not have the right to terminate a “capped call” transaction that occurred in connection with its 2008 note offering.

Evergreen Solar said in an SEC filing that Lehman Brothers Derivatives Inc sent the company a letter in September “purporting to terminate a capped call transaction” between LB OTCD and that the solar power company had defaulted on payments.

The company received a letter from LB OTCD, which claimed that Evergreen failed to pay more than $2.7 million on two dates plus about $200,000 in interest, in July.

Evergreen rejected that claim in the filing, citing its belief that it can suspend obligations due to what it considers defaults by LB OTCD related to bankruptcy filings by the Lehman unit and its parent company Lehman Brothers.

Evergreen entered into the $68.1 million capped call transaction with LB OTCD in connection with the solar power company’s $373.75 million note offering in 2008.

The transaction was designed to reduce the potential dilution from the conversion of the 4 percent senior convertible notes due in 2013 into shares of the company’s stock.

Evergreen said in the filing that it “intends to vigorously defend against any such claims by LB OTCD and/or its affiliates” and will continue to pursue its claims in bankruptcy against Lehman Brothers (LEHMQ.PK) entities.

Evergreen has been in litigation with Lehman Brothers since the investment bank filed for bankruptcy a year ago. Evergreen, a start-up, has claimed in court papers that British bank Barclays Plc inappropriately acquired shares of the company as part of its purchase of Lehman’s brokerage business, and that the lack of clarity about the status of its shares could hurt its ability to raise capital.

As of June 30, 2009, Barclays Global Investors is the company’s second-largest shareholder.

Evergreen, which is based in Marlboro, Massachusetts, makes silicon wafers used in solar panels.

Evergreen Solar’s shares were at closed up 2 percent at $1.98 in Tuesday trading on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee; Editing by Matthew Lewis, Bernard Orr)

September 11, 2009

Evergreen Solar Launches New Line of Solar Panels for the Off-Grid Market

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 8:15 am

Features 80, 120, and 125W panels providing better battery charging capability than major competitors

Friday September 11, 2009, 8:15 am EDT

MARLBORO, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Evergreen Solar, Inc. (ESLR), a manufacturer of STRING RIBBON™ solar power products with its proprietary, low-cost silicon wafer manufacturing technology, today introduced its new ES-C Series solar panels, designed to substantially expand the company’s offering for the global off-grid market. This new line of 80, 120 and 125 W panels will be manufactured by Evergreen Solar’s contract manufacturing partner, Jiawei Solarchina Co., Ltd., using cells supplied by Evergreen Solar.

The ES-C Series of panels are suitable for direct 12, 24 or 48V battery charging in a wide variety of off-grid applications. The panels provide higher voltages for superior battery charging performance, particularly in hotter climates. Similar to the current line of Evergreen Solar panels serving on-grid markets, the ES-C line of panels deliver more electricity with the least environmental impact of any silicon based solar panel currently available.

“The ES-C Series enables Evergreen Solar to capitalize on the expanding off-grid solar market and further positions the company as a leader in the global solar industry,” said Dr. Terry Bailey, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales. “Like all Evergreen Solar products this product line has been designed with differentiating performance characteristics to distinguish them from commodity-like competitors and provides better battery charging capability than other major brands. At the same time, we are proud to lead the industry in environmental credentials with the smallest carbon footprint and the quickest energy payback of any silicon-based panel available today.”

The ES-C Series panels are constructed with conduit-ready, multi-configuration junction boxes for easy, flexible installation. The panel’s double-walled, high-strength frame allows it to withstand the harshest of wind or snow conditions. The panels are also designed to fully comply with UL 1703 (for U.S. and Canada) and IEC standards (approval pending) and carry with them a five-year workmanship and 25-year power warranty. Evergreen is accepting orders now for initial shipments beginning in October. For more information visit http://www.evergreensolar.com/ES-C.
About Jiawei Solarchina Co., Ltd. Inc.

Jiawei Solarchina Co., Ltd. is a fully integrated manufacturer of solar products serving OEM and ODM customers around the world, including SunPower Corporation. Jiawei offers its global customers high-performance solar products for a broad range of applications including residential and commercial end-users for off-grid and on-grid applications. Jiawei Solar is dedicated to providing its world-class customer base with innovation, manufacturing excellence and superior product quality. For more information about Jiawei Solar, please visit http://www.solarchina.com.hk.

September 3, 2009

Evergreen Solar Showcases Solar Power at Deutsche Bank Championship

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 3:00 pm

Solar installation will help offset power used during PGA TOUR Playoff event at Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston

Thursday September 3, 2009, 3:00 pm EDT

MARLBORO & NORTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Evergreen Solar (ESLR), a manufacturer of STRING RIBBON™ solar power products with its proprietary, low-cost silicon wafer manufacturing technology, today announced that a solar power system using Evergreen Solar panels has been installed on the grounds of the TPC Boston in Norton for the 2009 Deutsche Bank Championship, a PGA TOUR Playoff event.

The goal of incorporating solar energy into the Deutsche Bank Championship is to highlight the importance of solar energy and its potential to help meet the nation’s energy needs while addressing concerns about the environment and global warming. The solar installation is part of the Deutsche Bank Championship’s overall greening initiative through which, for the second consecutive year, the tournament is the only carbon-neutral event on the PGA TOUR.

“We’re thrilled to be involved with the Deutsche Bank Championship and the PGA TOUR on its biggest stage – the PGA TOUR Playoffs,” said Dr. Terry Bailey, Evergreen Solar’s senior vice president of marketing & sales. “We commend the Deutsche Bank Championship for its commitment to being the greenest event on the PGA TOUR and are proud to be able to contribute clean, solar energy to help make that possible.”

The solar system, which is housed between the ninth green and 10th tee box on the TPC Boston course, demonstrates to the public a typical photovoltaic (PV) system that produces enough energy to power the average American home. The energy produced by the installation will be put back into the local power grid to help offset some of the power used throughout the Championship.

“We take great pride in being the first and only carbon-neutral event on the PGA TOUR,” said Eric Baldwin, Deutsche Bank Championship Director. “We’re excited to partner with Evergreen Solar in order to not only offset our power consumption throughout Championship Week but also demonstrate the benefits of solar power.”

All of the solar panels for the installation were donated by Evergreen Solar. Evergreen panels deliver more electricity with less impact on the environment including the smallest carbon footprint and quickest energy payback of any silicon panel. Alteris Renewables, the Northeast’s leading installer for homes, businesses and organizations, donated and oversaw the system design and installation materials and services.

August 31, 2009

Evergreen Solar and Jiawei Solar Hold Ceremonial Groundbreaking at Wuhan, China Manufacturing Plant

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 9:10 am

Construction of 100MW Factories Underway and Set to be Complete by Spring of 2010

Monday August 31, 2009, 9:10 am EDT

MARLBORO, Mass. and WUHAN, China–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In a ceremony today in Wuhan, China, Evergreen Solar, Inc. (ESLR), a manufacturer of String Ribbon™ solar power products with its proprietary, low-cost silicon wafer technology, and its contract manufacturing partner, Jiawei Solarchina Co., celebrated the groundbreaking for their new 100 megawatt manufacturing plants.

Evergreen Solar Chairman, President and CEO Richard M. Feldt was joined by Mr. Qing-Quan Lo, Hubei Province party leader; Mr. Hong-Zhong Li, Governor of Hubei Province; Mr. Song Yang, Wuhan City party leader; Mr. Chen-Fa Ruan, Wuhan City Mayor and other high ranking government officials as well as Professor Ding Kongxian, chairman of Jiawei Solarchina Co., Ltd., and senior management from Jiawei and the Hubei Science & Technology Investment Co for the ceremony celebrating the start of the plant’s construction, which actually began in July of 2009. Construction is on schedule to be completed by spring 2010.

These manufacturing plants are part of an agreement between Evergreen Solar and Jiawei through which Evergreen Solar will manufacture String Ribbon wafers using its state-of-the-art Quad furnaces at this leased facility being built on Jiawei’s campus. Jiawei will convert the String Ribbon wafers into Evergreen Solar-branded panels on a contract manufacturing basis.

“Today represents an important step in the growth of Evergreen Solar,” said Feldt. “When you combine Evergreen Solar’s unique wafer technology and Jiawei’s high quality, cost efficient cell and panel conversion processes, we believe we have a winning formula that will produce the best performing and lowest cost multi-crystalline solar panels in the world. We’re extremely pleased that construction proceeds according to schedule and look forward to beginning production of our String Ribbon solar panels in the spring of 2010.”

About Jiawei Solarchina Co., Ltd. Inc.

Jiawei Solarchina Co., Ltd. Inc., through its subsidiary Jiawei Solar (Wuhan) Co. Ltd., is a fully integrated manufacturer of solar products serving OEM and ODM customers around the world, including SunPower Corporation. Jiawei offers its global customers high-performance solar products for a broad range of applications including residential and commercial end-users for off-grid and on- grid applications. The Company is dedicated to providing its world- class customer base with innovation, manufacturing excellence and superior product quality. For more information about Jiawei Solar, please visit http://www.solarchina.com.hk.

About Hubei Science & Technology Investment Co., Ltd.

Hubei Science & Technology Investment Co., Ltd. (“HSTIC”) is a state owned investment company focusing on science and technology development with registered capital of approximately 2.8 billion of RMB ($410M USD). HSTIC is composed of the Administrative Committee of Wuhan East Lake High-Tech Development Zone and its holding company, Optics Valley Investment Company, Hi-Tech Productivity Enhancement Center and Overseas Scholar Incubation Company. The Hubei state government and Wuhan city government have announced HSTIC will manage 10 billion RMB funded by the National Development Bank to develop central China. According to Hubei state government’s planning, 6 billion of RMB will be dedicated to Wuhan East Lake High-Tech Development Zone.

August 21, 2009

Jefferies Turns Cautious; Downgrades Many Stocks

Filed under: ASTI, CSUN, ENER, ESLR, FSLR, SOLF, SPWR, STP, WFR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 9:31 am

Posted by Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Jefferies & Co. analyst Paul Clegg this morning turned cautious on the solar sector, slicing his ratings on many companies in the sector.

A key issue, Clegg writes in a research note, is that the downward spiral in pricing is likely to continue. “While accompanied by reduced production costs, we believe this could lead to weaker-than-expected 2010 ests and concerns about value destruction in the sector,” he writes. ” In our view, liberal Chinese lending practices encourage over-production and capacity expansions in a market that needs rationalization.”

Clegg concedes that falling prices bring the market closer to grid parity, but he adds that the slide could also trigger political backlash to government incentives, as European PV makers get hurt by Chinese competition with the help of European tax-payer and rate-payer money. While end markets are showing signs of improvement, he adds, “they are slow and do not appear ready to support the levels of volume production being planned for 2010.”

Clegg adds that even if falling silicon prices help solar companies maintain unit gross margins, “lower ASPs make them more dependent on chasing volumes to support the marketing and distribution networks necessary to drive growth.”

The Jefferies analyst sees ASPs down 20%-25% by Q4 from Q2, with another 15%-20% drop by Q4 2010.

Here’s a rundown on his downgrades today:

* Ascent Solar (ASTI): To Underperform from Hold.
* China Sunergy (CSUN): To Underperform from Hold.
* Energy Conversion Devices (ENER): To Underperform from Hold.
* Evergreen Solar (ESLR): To Underperform from Buy.
* First Solar (FSLR): To Hold from Buy.
* Solarfun (SOLF): To Underperform from Hold.
* SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB): To Hold from Buy.
* Suntech (STP): To Underperform from Hold.
* MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR): Maintains Buy rating.

Jefferies downgrades 8 solar companies on pricing, other concerns

Filed under: ASTI, CSUN, ENER, ESLR, FSLR, SOLF, SPWR, STP, WFR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 8:47 am

Friday August 21, 2009, 8:47 am EDT

HOUSTON (AP) — Jefferies & Co. lowered its ratings on eight solar companies Friday, citing numerous risks that could play out in the coming months, including a continuation of falling prices.

In reports to clients, Jefferies noted that a continued downward spiral in pricing, while accompanied by lower production costs, may lead to weaker-than-expected estimates for 2010 and concerns about value destruction in the solar sector.

“Liberal Chinese lending practices encourage overproduction and capacity expansions in a market that needs rationalization, in our view,” Jefferies analyst Paul Clegg said.

Evergreen Solar Inc. (ESLR) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Buy.” Jefferies also lowered its price target to $1 from $3. Jefferies said Evergreen’s low silicon usage advantage has been obscured by high manufacturing costs and pricey silicon contracts.

First Solar Inc. (FSLR) was downgraded to “Hold” from “Buy.” Jefferies also lowered its price target to $130 from $200. It noted, however, that it expects First Solar’s cost structure to remain the lowest in the industry even if silicon prices continue to decline.

Solarfun Power Holdings Co. (SOLF) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold” and the price target was cut to $4 from $6.

Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ENER) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold” and the firm set a price target of $8. Jefferies noted Energy Conversion has a unique product and market niche, but analysts remain concerned about weak demand.

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc. (ASTI) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold.” Jefferies’ said its $4 price target reflects increased investor risk tolerance.

China Sunenergy Co. Ltd. (CSUN) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold” and trimmed its price target to $3.50 from $4. “Despite strong cell technology and a stable liquidity position, we believe CSUN’s strategic position in only one segment of the value chain could become a more notable disadvantage in an increasingly competitive environment,” Jefferies noted.

SunPower Corp. (SPWRA, SPWRB) was downgraded to “Hold” from “Buy” and its price target was lowered to $30 from $35. Jefferies said SunPower’s diverse and flexible business model bodes well for its market-share prospects in a recovery.

Suntech Power Holdings (STP) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold” and its price target was trimmed to $12 from $14. “STP is positioned to generate rapid growth in key (markets) and to remain a leader on cost and quality,” Jefferies said.

In another report, Jefferies maintained its “Buy” rating on MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR). The company’s “very strong balance sheet” positions it well “as a survivor and potential consolidator,” analysts said.

August 19, 2009

Evergreen Solar operations executive leaving

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:26 pm

Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:26pm EDT

* Evergreen Solar operations executive Archbold leaving

* Company cites move toward contract manufacturing

* Shares down 2 pct to $1.93

LOS ANGELES, Aug 19 (Reuters) – U.S. solar company Evergreen Solar Inc’s (ESLR) vice president of operations, Rodolfo Archbold, will resign this month, the company said on Wednesday, citing its push toward contract manufacturers for cell and panel production.

Evergreen, which makes silicon wafers used in solar panels, said in in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that its plan to outsource manufacturing to cut costs had altered the need for a worldwide manufacturing operations executive.

Evergreen, which is based in Marlboro, Massachusetts, plans to expand in China, where it will build a 100 megawatt plant though a deal with Jiawei Solarchina Co Ltd.

The company’s results have lagged analysts profit expectations this year. It posted a slightly bigger-than-expected second-quarter loss in July as well as a loss in the first quarter.

Archbold, the out-going operations executive, is leaving effective Aug. 28 and is expected to have a severance agreement that will continue paying his salary and benefits for six to 12 months, according to the SEC filing.

Archbold has led Evergreen’s operations since 2007 and previously worked as an operations consultant at Teradyne Inc (TER), which makes test equipment for the electronics and telecommunications industries.

The solar power industry has suffered this year as the credit crunch has choked off financing for new projects, creating a global glut of solar panels. That has sent prices falling and hurt companies’ profits.

Shares of Evergreen were down 4 cents at $1.93 in trading on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee; editing by Steve Orlofsky)

July 31, 2009

Solar stocks slide on First Solar rebate plan

Filed under: ESLR, FSLR, SPWR, STP — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 2:37 pm

Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:37pm EDT

* First Solar shares slide 10 pct, drag down sector

* Credit Suisse cuts First Solar rating to “neutral”

* Shares of German stocks edged down

LOS ANGELES, July 31 (Reuters) – Shares of First Solar Inc (FSLR) slid 10 percent and dragged down the rest of the solar sector Friday, a day after the industry bellwether posted a quarterly profit that pummeled Wall Street estimates but said it would resort to rebates to defend its market position in Germany.

The stock fell $18.09 to $155.46 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq. Shares of U.S. rival Sunpower Corp (SPWRA, SPWRB) were down 4.25 percent at $32.03, while top Chinese solar company Suntech Power (STP) slid 4.6 percent to $18.38.

Evergreen Solar Inc (ESLR), which reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss on Thursday, fell 12.6 percent to $2.08.

Credit Suisse analyst Satya Kumar downgraded First Solar to “neutral” from “outperform,” saying the current quarter would “be the last good quarter for a while … we expect the stock to look ahead of this peaking earnings momentum and pull back to lower levels.”

Other analysts, including from Barclays Capital, Jefferies & Co and UBS, lowered their price targets for Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar’s stock.

Caris & Co downgraded Evergreen to an “average” rating, saying price erosion was taking a toll on profitability.

The solar power industry has suffered this year as the global credit crisis has dried up available financing for renewable energy projects and a pullback in government subsidies in Spain and Germany has made demand fall. That slump has created a global glut in the supply of solar panels, which has sent prices tumbling and hurt producers’ profits.

INDUSTRY BELLWETHER

First Solar has weathered the global recession better than many of its peers because its cadmium telluride panels are cheaper to produce than the silicon-based panels that dominate the market. A slide in prices on silicon-based panels, however, has started to chip away at First Solar’s competitive edge.

On Thursday, the company disappointed investors when it said it would offer a rebate program in Germany to preserve its market position. The market was also disappointed that the company left its revenue and gross margin outlook for 2009 unchanged, rather than raising it.

Since the beginning of the year, First Solar shares have rallied about 13 percent, but they are still well below the lifetime high of $317 reached in May 2008.

About 8.8 million First Solar shares were held in short positions as of July 15, an increase of 7 percent from two weeks earlier. That accounts for about 10.3 percent of the company’s 85.7 million shares outstanding as of June 27. when it reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss.

In Germany, where First Solar will start to offer rebates, shares of German solar companies fell. SolarWorld edged down 2.29 percent, while Q-Cells and Conergy fell slightly before closing unchanged on Friday.

“We thus continue to believe that there are more downside risks rather than upside opportunities in most of the German solar stocks, especially for the downstream manufacturers,” said Equinet analyst Sebastian Growe.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee, editing by Nichola Groom and John Wallace)

Shares of Evergreen Solar decline on dismal 2nd-qtr results, fears of continued price erosion

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 11:47 am

Friday July 31, 2009, 11:47 am EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Evergreen Solar Inc. (ESLR) shares tumbled on Friday, a day after it reported a wider second-quarter loss, driven by falling selling prices for silicon wafers used in solar panels.

In midday trading on Friday, shares of the company fell 31 cents, or 13 percent, to $2.07.

The Marlboro, Mass.-based company said its loss more than doubled and was worse than Wall Street expectations. Evergreen cited lower selling prices and lower fees from its Sovello joint venture. It also cited higher costs related to greater production at its Devens facility.

Caris & Co. analyst Ben Pang said Evergreen’s margins are at risk as pricing erosion cuts away at profitability and demand has struggled due to a lack of product differentiation.

“Although there are signs of industry stabilization, we do not think margins can recover in the near term and losses are likely to drag on longer than expected,” Pang said.

He downgraded the stock to “Average” from “Above Average” and lowered his price target for the stock to $2, from an earlier target of $2.50.

July 30, 2009

Solar company results reflect weak global market

Filed under: AKNS, ESLR, FSLR, HOKU — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 8:02 pm

Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:02pm EDT

* First Solar 2nd-qtr profit, revenue top Street

* Stock falls 3 pct after rebate announcement

* Evergreen Solar Q2 loss before items misses Wall St view

* Evergreen shares down 10 pct after hours

* Hoku Scientific, Akeena Solar post quarterly losses

By Nichola Groom and Matt Daily

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, July 30 (Reuters) – First Solar Inc (FSLR) reported a quarterly profit on Thursday that handily topped Wall Street estimates, but its shares fell in extended trading after the company said it would start offering rebates to defend its position in Germany.

The solar panel maker’s shares soared more than 10 percent after it announced its results but reversed course and fell 3.2 percent after the rebate program was outlined during a conference call with analysts.

“They say they’re doing it through a rebate program, but it doesn’t matter what you call it, they still have to cut prices,” said Kaufman Bros analyst Theodore O’Neill.

First Solar, based in Tempe, Arizona, has weathered the global recession better than many of its peers because its cadmium telluride panels are cheaper to produce than the silicon-based panels that dominate the market.

That was underscored on Thursday as three smaller U.S. solar companies, Evergreen Solar Inc (ESLR), Hoku Scientific Inc (HOKU) and Akeena Solar Inc(AKNS), said they lost money in the second quarter.

A dearth of financing for renewable energy projects has contributed to a global glut of solar panels that has sent prices falling, hurting panel makers’ margins.

At the same time, prices of silicon-based panels have come closer to those of First Solar’s low-cost panels, chipping away at its competitive edge.

(more…)

Lower prices send Evergreen Solar profits tumbling

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 5:20 pm

Evergreen Solar profits fall sharply, tough gross margins show slight uptick

Thursday July 30, 2009, 5:20 pm EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Evergreen Solar’s (ESLR) loss more than doubled in the second quarter due to falling prices, the company reported Thursday.

The Marlboro, Mass.-based company reported losses of $20.3 million, or 11 cents per share, compared with a loss of $8.9 million, or 8 cents per share, during the same period last year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, expected a loss of 8 cents per share.

Revenues soared to $63.8 million, easily surpassing last year’s second-quarter revenue of $22.8 million and beat Wall Street expectations of $63.4 million in sales.

Alternative energy companies have operated in a difficult climate with credit markets tight.

“We remain confident in our ability to be well positioned when the industry returns to significant growth as fundamental structural issues like those facing global credit markets begin to resolve,” said Richard M. Feldt, chairman, CEO and president at Evergreen.

Analysts are paying closer attention to improvements from the first quarter, when many smaller companies were trying to hold out for any uptick in business.

Evergreen reported gross margins for the past three months were 1.9 percent, compared with 1.2 percent during the first three months of the year.

That was well below the 34.7 percent gross margin achieved last year in the second quarter, however.

The company cited lower selling prices and lower fees from its Sovello joint venture. It also cited higher costs related to greater production at its Devens facility.

Evergreen released its earnings after the market closed on Thursday. The company’s stock fell more than 7 percent, or 18 cents, to $2.20 in electronic trading.

Evergreen Solar Inc. makes silicon wafers used in solar panels.

FSLR, ESLR Q2 Diverge; First Solar Up, ESLR Down

Filed under: ESLR, FSLR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 4:46 pm

Posted by Tiernan Ray
barrons.com

Two prominent solar power technology providers are diverging in after-hours trading this evening, with First Solar (FSLR) rising about $3.70, or 2%, to $177.25, and Evergreen Solar (ESLR) falling 16 cents, or 6.7%, after the two companies reported their respective Q2 results this evening.

First Solar Q2 sales rose 26% from Q1, and almost doubling year over year, yielding earnings per share of $2.11, nearly double the year-earlier profit. That compares to the average $459 million and $1.62 estimate. First Solar plans to discuss its Q3 outlook on its conference call that started at 4:30, which you can catch here.

Evergreen, meanwhile, said Q2 revenue rose about 14% from Q1 and nearly tripled year over year, to $63.8 million, for a net loss of 11 cents per share. The revenue was slightly ahead of estimates of $63.4 million, but the net loss was wider than the 8 cents analysts were looking for.

Evergreen did not offer a forecast.

Evergreen Solar Signs Contract Manufacturing Agreement with Jiawei Solar

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

Wuhan Government to Provide $33 Million for Evergreen Solar’s 100 MW Wafer Manufacturing Plant

Thursday July 30, 2009, 4:01 pm EDT

MARLBORO, Mass. & WUHAN, China–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Evergreen Solar, Inc. (ESLR), a manufacturer of String Ribbon™ solar power products with its proprietary, low-cost silicon wafer technology, today announced it has finalized its agreements with Jiawei Solarchina Co., Ltd., and the Wuhan Government’s Hubei Science & Technology Investment Co., Ltd. (“HSTIC”). Under these agreements:

* Evergreen Solar will manufacture String Ribbon wafers using its state-of-the-art Quad furnaces at a leased facility being built by Jiawei in Wuhan, China on Jiawei’s campus.
* Jiawei will convert the String Ribbon wafers into Evergreen Solar-branded panels on a contract manufacturing basis.
* Evergreen Solar will reimburse Jiawei for its cell and panel conversion costs, plus a contract manufacturing fee. The actual price paid to Jiawei will be negotiated annually.
* Evergreen Solar will invest $17 million in cash and equipment in the Wuhan String Ribbon operation. HSTIC will provide Evergreen Solar $33 million of 7.5% financing, which Evergreen Solar must repay no later than July 2014. Jiawei will make a similar investment for its cell and panel operations with the support of HSTIC.
* Initial capacity will be approximately 100 MW. Factory construction has begun and the parties expect that wafer, cell and panel production will begin in the spring of 2010.
* The parties intend to expand production capacity of their respective manufacturing operations to approximately 500 MW by 2012, the timing and extent of any potential expansion will be determined in 2010.
* Evergreen Solar and Dynamic Green Energy, Ltd, Jiawei’s parent company, have agreed to exchange warrants representing 1% of their outstanding shares. These warrants will have a five-year term and may be exercised for 20% of the warrant shares for each incremental 95 MW of production capacity achieved.

“Our String Ribbon wafer technology, combined with Jiawei’s low-cost manufacturing capabilities, should enable our products to stand out distinctly among customers seeking both value and dependability for their solar energy solutions,” commented Richard M. Feldt, Chairman, President and CEO. “As we reach the 25 MW quarterly capacity by the end of 2010, we expect total manufacturing costs of our String Ribbon panels produced in China to be in the range of $1.40 per watt to $1.50 per watt with both companies working aggressively to further improve technological performance as well as reduce manufacturing costs. Our mutual goal is to drive conversion efficiency and manufacturing performance so that panels are produced at the $1.00 per watt level by no later than 2012.”

About Jiawei Solarchina Co., Ltd. Inc.

Jiawei Solarchina Co., Ltd. Inc., through its subsidiary Jiawei Solar (Wuhan) Co. Ltd., is a fully integrated manufacturer of solar products serving OEM and ODM customers around the world, including SunPower Corporation. Jiawei offers its global customers high-performance solar products for a broad range of applications including residential and commercial end-users for off-grid and on-grid applications. The Company is dedicated to providing its world-class customer base with innovation, manufacturing excellence and superior product quality. For more information about Jiawei Solar, please visit http://www.solarchina.com.hk.

About Hubei Science & Technology Investment Co., Ltd.

Hubei Science & Technology Investment Co., Ltd. (“HSTIC”) is a state owned investment company focusing on science and technology development with registered capital of approximately 2.8 billion of RMB ($410M USD). HSTIC is composed of the Administrative Committee of Wuhan East Lake High-Tech Development Zone and its holding company, Optics Valley Investment Company, Hi-Tech Productivity Enhancement Center and Overseas Scholar Incubation Company. The Hubei state government and Wuhan city government have announced HSTIC will manage 10 billion RMB funded by the National Development Bank to develop central China. According to Hubei state government’s planning, 6 billion of RMB will be dedicated to Wuhan East Lake High-Tech Development Zone.

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