North Coast Solar Stocks

December 14, 2009

JA Solar gives sunny forecast for 4th quarter 2010

Filed under: JASO, STP, TSL — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 7:47 pm

Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:47pm EST

* Shipments in 4th quarter to exceed 210 megawatts

* Expects shipments in 2010 to be 750 MW to 800 MW

* Shares up 6 pct at $5.65 each after closing up 16 pct

LOS ANGELES, Dec 14 (Reuters) – JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd (JASO) expects an uptick in demand to continue, as the company upped its forecast for shipments in the fourth quarter and expects annual shipments to rise 60 percent in 2010.

JA Solar, one of the sector’s lowest-cost producers of the silicon cells that help convert sunlight into electricity, issued on Monday a bright forecast for the full year and gave investors the first glimpse at demand for the company’s products in 2010.

Solar companies struggled for much of 2009 with a dearth of financing and drop in panel prices, but JA Solar and other solar power players have seen demand rebound in recent months.

In particular, JA Solar and other low cost Chinese solar players, such as Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd (STP) and Trina Solar(TSL), have seized on rising demand, parlaying their low cost structures into sales.

In the third quarter, JA Solar saw its shipments surge, lifting the solar cell maker to a profit.

For the fourth quarter, JA Solar expects shipments to exceed 210 megawatts, topping its previous expectations of a range of 170 to 200 MW.

For 2009, JA Solar expects shipments for 2009 to surpass 488 MW, which represents nearly the same amount of power that a traditional coal-fired power plant generates.

The company said it sees “strong shipments” in 2010 and predicted that they would rise more than 60 percent next year and reach a range of 750 MW and 800 MW, citing “robust orders from existing customers and new customer wins.”

“Demand has continued to be strong from our existing customers as well as new customers,” said Baofang Jin, the company’s chairman and chief executive, in a statement.

The news marked a “positive in the short term, but more of a neutral” for the year ahead, said Simmons and Co analyst Burt Chao.

Chao said the forecast for 2010 indicated a strong first half, but was not “far and above” previous expectations.

“Things are better than they used to be but I don’t think they’re all the way back,” Chao said, citing low module prices and issues with financing.

“In a downward trending price environment, the low cost guys are the most insulated. This has been the case,” he said.

JA Solar’s board of directors also moved on Monday to repurchase up to $75 million of its American Depositary Shares, or ADSs. The company plans to buy back the shares on the open market, through negotiations off the market and in block trades “from time to time.”

JA Solar shares were up 6 percent, or 35 cents, at $5.65 each in after-hours trading after closing up nearly 16 percent in regular trading on Monday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee; editing by Phil Berlowitz, Gunna Dickson and Andre Grenon)

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December 10, 2009

Akeena to sell solar panels at retailer Lowe’s

Filed under: AKNS, SPWR, STP — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 5:59 pm

Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:59pm EST

* All-in-one panels to sell at 21 Lowe’s stores for $893

* Part of company’s strategy to boost revenue

* Akeena shares close up 56 cents, or about 57 pct

By Laura Isensee

LOS ANGELES, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Akeena Solar Inc (AKNS) will start selling its all-in-one solar panels at Lowe’s Cos Inc (LOW) retail stores in California, Akeena said on Thursday, as the company looks to boost revenue.

The Los Gatos, California, company hopes to break even by selling panels at retail stores and to installers outside its home state, in addition to its traditional installation business. The move puts the company in competition with the likes of SunPower Corp (SPWRA, SPWRB) in selling panels.

“The key for us to get to the break-even level is to work on top-line revenue … This Lowe’s distribution gives us another channel where we can build that top line,” Akeena’s chief executive, Barry Cinnamon, said in an interview.

Cinnamon declined to say when Akeena expects to break even or how much revenue is expected from the new retail sales. But the executive said that Akeena expects a 15 percent gross margin on panels sold through Lowe’s.

Akeena’s panels hit the shelves on Thursday at 21 Lowe’s home-improvement stores in California. Each panel will sell for $893 and can plug into a regular electrical outlet, generating 175 watts or enough electricity to power a computer or 42-inch flat screen television.

The panel’s price falls to $625 after federal tax credits and could drop more depending on state incentives.

“The biggest significance is that now people can buy one panel or three or four panels (and spend) a few thousand dollars as opposed to tens of thousands of dollars,” Cinnamon said.

In October, the executive told Reuters the company was actively trying to sell its solar panels through big-box retailers.

The company says its panels — branded Andalay and manufactured by Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd (STP) — have 80 percent fewer parts to install than comparable products, reducing inventory logistics.

The panels include inverters — supplied by privately held Enphase Energy — that convert the direct electrical current to the alternating current used by household appliances.

Akeena has struggled to turn a profit and posted a narrower-then-expected quarterly loss in October.

The news sent the shares of the solar company soaring on Thursday. Shares of Akeena closed up 56 cents, or about 57 percent, at $1.55 each on the Nasdaq.

The company’s shares have climbed 167 percent since hitting a year-low of 58 cents in March.

Shares of Lowe’s Cos closed up 1.23 percent at $23.09 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee; editing by Andre Grenon and Steve Orlofsky)

December 9, 2009

Applied Material’s solar exec sees sector recovery

Filed under: AMAT, STP, TSL — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 4:05 pm

Wed Dec 9, 2009 4:05pm EST

* Says co’s solar unit “on track” for profit in 2010

* Cites China’s solar incentive as top market factor

LOS ANGELES, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Applied Materials Inc (AMAT) expects the world’s solar power industry to rebound over the next two years, the head of its solar unit said on Wednesday.

“It could be substantial,” Mark Pinto, chief technology officer and general manager of Applied’s Energy and Environmental Solutions group, said in webcast remarks.

Applied Materials, the world’s largest chip equipment maker, is relying on its solar equipment arm to boost growth as its traditional chip business falters.

The solar power industry has been affected by the financial crisis and falling prices, but several companies such as Suntech Power Holdings (STP) and Trina Solar Ltd (TSL) see growing demand in 2010.

Pinto added the sector’s recovery depends on what happens at the global climate change summit taking place in Copenhagen and incentives for the renewable resource in China, which he called “the biggest single variable that can affect the total market.”

Applied Materials’s SunFab line of equipment anchors the thin-film photovoltaic portion of its business. Thin-film equipment, a segment of the burgeoning solar equipment market, has been walloped by tightening credit and cutbacks in some government subsidies.

The SunFab line sells at about $1.75 per watt and costs about $1 per watt, Pinto said in a presentation at Barclays Capital technology conference.

Most U.S. and European panel makers are selling panels near $2 per watt, while low-cost Chinese players sell at about $1.85. Thin film panel maker First Solar Inc is the cost leader at about $1.50 or $1.55 per watt.

Applied Materials’ expected revenue in 2010 is “pretty solid” Pinto said adding he was “pretty confident in thin film for this year.” The outlook for 2011 and beyond are not as clear.

The executive reiterated that he expects Applied Materials’ solar unit to turn a profit in 2010.

“We really feel we’re on track,” Pinto said, citing costs, factory performance and plan for profitability.

Pinto said that the company’s acquisition in November of privately held Advent Solar was a move for its intellectual property (IP) and the undisclosed amount paid was not “material” for the company.

“The issue is to take that IP and turn it into a product that would be used by a broader set of customers,” Pinto said.

The executive said he does not expect revenue from the acquisition until the end of 2011.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee in Los Angeles, Ian Sherr in San Francisco, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

Suntech Signs Long-term Supply Agreements for Up to 490MW in Europe

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

9:00 am EST, Wednesday December 9, 2009

SCHAFFHAUSEN, Switzerland, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP), the world’s leading manufacturer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules, today announced it has signed three long-term supply agreements for up to 490MW of high performance solar modules to be delivered over the next three years. Three of Suntech’s strategic long-term partners in Europe including a value-added reseller, an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) company, and a project developer, signed the agreements to secure access to Suntech’s market leading solar modules and to develop closer collaboration on market information, shipment planning, and new product roll-outs.

“Customers choose to partner with Suntech because of our proven commitment to quality, reliability and performance, which is backed up by over 1.5GW of installations,” said Jerry Stokes, Suntech’s VP of Strategy and Business Development. “With the solar market expected to resume strong annual growth in 2010 and beyond, it is essential for both our partners and Suntech to gain a clearer understanding of future market drivers and project pipelines. This will enable us to align product specifications, performance and market demand with capacity expansion and to differentiate our products and the solutions offered by our partners.”

Under the terms of the agreements, 115MW is planned to be supplied in 2010, 155MW in 2011 and 220MW in 2012, with the option to increase volumes. Suntech anticipates concluding additional long-term supply agreements during the next few months reflecting a “flight to quality” solar companies that have bankable products, and the capability and credibility to support long-term growth.

David Hogg, Head Suntech Europe, added, “Suntech is a continually innovating, technology driven company. One example of this is our recently launched HiPerforma module incorporating Pluto cell technology, which holds the world record conversion efficiency for a polycrystalline PV module. Advance knowledge of such new product roll-outs and enhancements will enable our partners to specify Suntech products early in the design process, leading to superior system performance and stronger financial returns. This is especially important for large-scale project development that may take over 12 months from initial design through permitting and construction.”

December 8, 2009

JASO, STP Upgraded By Weisel To Market Weight

Filed under: JASO, STP — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 11:36 am

By Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Thomas Weisel Partners analyst Jeff Osborne today raised his ratings on both JA Solar (JASO) and Suntech Power (STP) to Market Weight from Underweight, “to reflect improving market conditions in the global solar market” and stabilizing pricing trends among both cell and module producers.

“After a collapse of nearly 50% in pricing from late 2008 to now, we are finally seeing the bottom for the solar sector,” he writes. “Credit availability is increasing and spreads are narrowing, leading to greater demand.” He notes that there are uncertainties on the government subsidy front, with possible FIT reductions in Germany early next year and Italy later in the year, but that ASPs and gross margins nonetheless are starting to stabilize.

He raised his price targets to $4 from $3 on JASO and to $14 from $12 on STP.

In today’s trading:

* JASO is down 9 cents, or 1.8%, to $4.86.
* STP is down 4 cents, or 0.2%, to $17.01.

December 7, 2009

Solar ETFs Rally As Climate Talks Start

Filed under: FSLR, JASO, KWT, SPWR, STP, TAN, TSL — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 6:48 pm

By Trang Ho
6:48 pm EST, Monday December 7, 2009

Solar energy stocks led the market higher Monday on several analyst upgrades. In addition, the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, kicked off and the Environmental Protection Agency reported greenhouse gases are endangering people’s health and must be regulated.

Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy (TAN) rose 3% to 10.07 in a little less than average volume. Shares broke above their 50-day moving average last week in scant volume.

The ETF has traded in a price channel between 8 and 11 for the past seven months. It has returned 27% year to date vs. 22% for the S&P 500. It carries Relative Strength and Accumulation/Distribution Ratings of 54 and B-.

Market Vectors Solar Energy (KWT) surged 4.7% to 15.31 in higher than usual volume. Shares have traded in a sideways band between about 12 and 16 for the past six months.

KWT has gained 18% this year. Its 44 RS and B- Acc/Dis Ratings are technically weaker than TAN’s.

“If both TAN and KWT break out above the channels they are trading in, then expect them to move to the price level of the recent high,” said Tom Bulkowski, a technical analyst and founder of ThePatternSite.com. “That means TAN could run to 11.50 and KWT to 18.”

Industry Developments

Barclays Capital upgraded JA Solar Holdings (JASO), SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB) and Suntech Power Holdings (STP) Monday to overweight from equal weight. The three companies popped 10% to 12% on the news.

Suntech Power said last week it won a 17-megawatt supply contract for 2010 from a Canadian firm. Its shares have spiked 68% year to date.

A top holding in both ETFs, First Solar (FSLR), added to last week’s gains and closed at 135.05 in average volume. The stock has been trending lower, forming lower lows and lower highs, since May. It trades below both its 200- and 50-day moving averages. It is flat for the year.

Shares rallied Thursday. They continued higher Friday after Collins Stewart upgraded the stock to buy from hold. Pricing pressures in the solar market eased in recent months and demand is beginning to pick up, analyst Dan Ries wrote in a client note. First Solar fared better than its competitors during the recession because its cadmium-telluride panels are cheaper to make than the silicon-based ones that dominate the market.

(more…)

Barclays ups Suntech, SunPower, JA Solar

Filed under: JASO, SPWR, STP — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:11 pm

Mon Dec 7, 2009 1:11pm EST

* Barclays analyst upgrades Suntech, SunPower, JA Solar

* Cites improving demand trends in the near term

* Shares of companies up between 7.5 and 9.6 pct

Dec 7 (Reuters) – Barclays Capital upgraded three solar companies, including Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd (STP), and said it expects strong demand to continue into the first -half of 2010, and companies to report improving demand trends in the near term.

Analyst Vishal Shah who raised ratings on Suntech Power, SunPower Corp (SPWRA, SPWRB), JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd (JASO) to “overweight” from “equalweight,” said these three solar stocks were his top picks.

The news lifted shares of the solar companies sharply in trading on Monday.

The analyst upgraded Suntech Power, citing its potential for greater relative cost reduction, and raised his price target on the Chinese company’s stock to $20 from $15.

Shah said U.S. company SunPower’s current valuation is discounting the worst case scenario for 2010 earnings, and concerns over accounting irregularities may be overblown.

The analyst has a $35 price target on the solar panel maker.

On China’s JA Solar, Shah said he expects solar cell prices to stabilize and sees an upside to Street estimates resulting from better-than-expected shipments and cost reduction.

Shah raised his price target to $6 from $4 on JA Solar’s stock.

JA Solar shares were up 9.8 percent at $4.83, and SunPower Power shares were up 9.6 percent at $24.45 in trading on the Nasdaq, while those of Suntech were up 8.3 percent at $16.66 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Arundhati Ramanathan in Bangalore and Laura Isensee in Los Angeles; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy and Gerald E. McCormick)

Barclays Upgrades STP, SPWRA, JASO; Lifts 2010 Demand Forecast

Filed under: JASO, SPWR, STP — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 9:51 am

By Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Barclays Capital analyst Vishal Shah this morning raised his 2010 demand forecast for the solar sector, increasing his rating on Suntech (STP), SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB) and JA Solar (JASO), all to Overweight from Equal Weight.

Shah writes that he expects strong demand to continue into the first half of 2010, and expects companies to report improving trends in the near-term. “Although concerns about German subsidy cuts could remain a potential overhand on the sector … performance of solar stocks has recently lagged the broader market rally and as such expect continued positive sector momentum in the near-term,” he writes.

The Barclays analyst says demand in German, Italy, the U.S., China and Canada will drive positive fundamentals; he lifted his 2010 price forecast to $1.60/watt versus $1.50/watt previously. He upped his demand forecast for 2010 to 9.3 GW from 7.3 GW.

Shah thinks the demand environment in Germany will remain positive in the 2010 first half; he also expects a “rush to complete projects in the Italian market” ahead of changes in their feed-in-tariff program to drive strength in the second half. Shah adds that “gradual improvement in financing environment, further ASP declines, improvement in permitting constraints and positive impact of stimulus on U.S. [and] China demand could provide additional upside.”

Shah thinks Germany will cut subsidies by 5%-10%, but contends the resultant reduction in second half demand will be more than offset by additional demand in other major markets.

In today’s trading:

* STP is up 98 cents, or 6.4%, to $16.37.
* SPWRA is up $1.48, or 6.6%, to $23.79.
* JASO is up 33 cents, or 7.5%, to $4.73.

December 2, 2009

SunPower to pick site for U.S. plant by early 2010

Filed under: SPWR, STP, YGE — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 7:21 pm

Wed Dec 2, 2009 7:21pm EST

* SunPower to choose site by early 2010

* Co’s CEO says California, Arizona, Florida top choices

SAN JOSE, California, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Solar power company SunPower Corp (SPWRA, SPWRB) is close to finalizing a site for its U.S. manufacturing plant and expects to make a decision by early 2010, the company’s chief executive said on Wednesday.

California, Arizona and Florida are top contenders for the plant’s location, SunPower Chief Executive Officer Tom Werner told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines at a gathering of Silicon Valley executives.

“We have not made a decision yet,” Werner said.

The San Jose, California-based company plans to make up to a quarter of its solar panels in the United States beginning in about a year and is seeking federal funds for the site.

Previously, Werner said that New Mexico and Texas were also on the list of possible locations.

SunPower and other solar panel makers expect U.S. demand for solar power to flourish in the coming years despite the recent financial crisis that has hampered development of renewable energy projects in the last year.

Chinese solar power heavyweight Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd (STP) recently picked Arizona as the site for its first U.S. panel assembly plant while Chinese panel maker Yingli Green Energy Holding Co (YGE) also plans to open a U.S. manufacturing site.

Shares of SunPower closed down 0.4 percent at $21.53 on Wednesday in Nasdaq trading.

(Reporting by Poornima Gupta; Writing by Laura Isensee; Editing by Christian Wiessner)

December 1, 2009

Suntech Signs 17MW Memorandum of Understanding with Pure energies, Expanding its Footprint in Ontario Solar Market

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

9:10 am EST, Tuesday December 1, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP), the world’s leading manufacturer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules, today announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with Ontario, Canada’s Pure energies to supply up to 17MW in 2010. The MOU, which also provides a framework for module supply from Suntech to Pure energies through 2011, is focused on bringing affordable, high-quality solar systems to Ontario’s rapidly growing residential solar market.

Pure energies, while meeting the domestic content requirement for 2010, will deploy Suntech’s industry-leading panels for its unique offering to the Ontario residential market, enabling the development of ‘eco friendly’ homes. Pure energies installs, leases and operates the solar systems for its customers. Pure energies’ offering is bolstered by the Ontario Power Authority’s (OPA) microFIT Program, designed to encourage the development of sub 10kW renewable energy projects across the province.

“Our agreement with Suntech is yet another win in establishing Pure energies’ brand name for the booming Ontario solar market,” said Ryan McCalley, Vice President and Co-Founder. “By securing Suntech’s high quality panels and reliable supply our customers can trust the quality and value they’re getting when they decide to take advantage of our unique offering.”

“The Ontario solar market is on an exciting trajectory, due to recent policy decisions and an eager customer base,” said Leonard May, Managing Director, North America Sales, Suntech. “We are confident in the innovative, focused approach of Pure energies and are looking forward to seeing the installations of Suntech panels spread across Ontario homeowner roofs next year.”

Pure energies will begin marketing Suntech panels immediately for installations beginning in 2010.

About Pure energies

Pure energies is a Canadian company based in Toronto and founded by Canadian solar and finance specialists. Pure energies is working with recognized channel to market partners that ensure deployment volume. Pure energies has the scale and density to streamline installations while buying directly from the world’s most recognized suppliers at terms and conditions normally reserved for large project developers. Pure energies will provide, install, finance, maintain and operate the deployed PV Solar systems. For more information, please visit http://www.pure-energies.com.

November 23, 2009

China’s LDK posts surprise Q3 profit; shares up

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

Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:50pm EST

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

* Sees sequentially higher shipments in Q4

* Sees Q4 sales above estimates

* Shares up 8.4 pct at $8.67 each

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(more…)

November 19, 2009

Suntech Reports Third Quarter 2009 Financial Results

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

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

6:30 am EST, Thursday November 19, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(more…)

November 16, 2009

Solar panel maker Suntech plans Phoenix-area plant

Filed under: STP — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 5:17 pm

Chinese-owned solar panel maker Suntech Power Holdings announces plans for Phoenix-area plant

By Terry Tang, Associated Press Writer
5:17 pm EST, Monday November 16, 2009

PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday announced plans for a Chinese-owned solar panel maker to build its U.S. headquarters and a manufacturing plant in the Phoenix area, propelling one of the nation’s sunniest states toward a bigger global presence in the renewable energy industry.

Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP) said it expects to start building photovoltaic panels at the facility by the third quarter of 2010. The company, which has more than 9,000 employees, expects to eventually employ 250 or more people at the plant.

Suntech said it selected the Phoenix area because of Arizona’s leadership in solar research through Arizona State University and statewide renewable energy policies. The company plans to decide on the precise location of the plant in the coming weeks.

The first phase of Suntech’s 100,000-square-foot facility will bring a $13 million investment and 125 jobs, the governor said. If the company’s investment grows to at least $25 million, it will qualify for property tax reductions as part of the state’s Renewable Energy Tax Incentive program.

“It’s an example of how an investment can work and be fiscally responsible,” said Barry Broome, president of the Greater Arizona Economic Council. “This is a company that’s capable of creating thousands of jobs in a state like Arizona.”

Brewer said a majority of the jobs would be high-paying positions with health care coverage.

“Trust me, they are not going to be the last ones,” she said. “We are building what I believe is a very diverse and sustainable Arizona economy.”

Suntech Chairman and CEO Dr. Zhengrong Shi said setting up in Arizona is the first step in a long-term, strategic investment in the North American market.

(more…)

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.

Suntech hopes Arizona plant to ease US job worries

Filed under: STP, YGE — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jason @ 3:03 pm

Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:03pm EST

* Plant to start at 30 MW in third quarter of 2010

* Co expects to keep same margins for U.S.-made panels

* Co hopes new plant will ease worries on green jobs

By Laura Isensee

LOS ANGELES, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd (STP), China’s largest solar panel maker, hopes its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Arizona will ease worries that China may be taking green jobs from the United States, an executive said on Monday.

Suntech said on Sunday that it picked Arizona as the site for its U.S. panel assembly facility, which will use solar cells shipped from China.

Shares of Suntech, which is set to report quarterly results on Thursday, were up nearly 13 percent at $15.47 in trading on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

“This is truly an international marketplace, especially when you’re talking about solar. It always has been. It makes a very positive statement — here’s a Chinese solar company that’s literally exporting jobs from China to the U.S.,” said Roger Efird, managing director of Suntech.

“We’re hoping that this kind of action helps to alleviate the worries that some people have about alternative energy jobs moving overseas,” Efird said.

Suntech plans to open its new plant in the third quarter of 2010 with an initial capacity of 30 megawatts and a staff of 75 people. The plant is part of its long-term strategy for the United States, which the company expects to be its biggest market in three years.

Piper Jaffray analyst Jesse Pichel said that Suntech’s plans for U.S. manufacturing are primarily political for now but could pay off economically in the future.

“If you want to be a global player, you have to have global production to meet local market demand,” Pichel said.

“In the future if the U.S. can be the size of the German market, then putting (manufacturing) in the States will have some economic benefit. But clearly right now, it’s a political move. Everyone wants jobs,” Pichel said.

He noted that federal buildings may require U.S.-made solar panels. “Given that Suntech uses a lot of silicon made in Texas and with module assembly in Arizona, they would be as ‘Made in the USA’ as anybody,” Pichel said.

(more…)

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%

Cheap Solar: Plunging Silicon Gives Asian Solar Companies an Edge, HSBC Says

Filed under: LDK, STP, TSL, YGE — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 10:37 am

By Keith Johnson
wsj.com

Solar prices have already collapsed, but they still have plenty of room to keep falling. That’s actually good news for the industry—and for Asian solar-power companies in particular, HSBC says in a new report.

Thanks to the glut of polysilicon, prices for solar-power modules have collapsed, falling 50% over the last year, the bank says. Since there’s still a supply glut, prices will keep falling—another 20% by the end of 2010.

The bad news, such as it is, is that falling prices squeeze margins at lots of solar companies, slamming share prices and forcing layoffs.

The good news is that as solar power gets cheaper, demand should pick up after a terrible year. HSBC figures that cheaper silicon makes solar power only two to two-and-a-half times more expensive than traditional power sources, compared with five to six times more expensive just a year ago.

That should spur rapid growth, consolidation, and scale economies—all of which could push the cost of solar power even lower. HSBC renewed its forecast of solar grid parity in some big markets by 2013.

The other big effect of cheaper silicon prices is that it makes the cost of silicon less important and other costs more so—giving an advantage to Asian solar-power players who enjoy advantages in things like labor and manufacturing costs.

HSBC says: “We estimate silicon will account for one-third of module costs by 2011, down from more than two- thirds in 2008. As a result, we believe leaders in downstream non-silicon costs will enjoy higher market share, better margins or both.”

For the investment bank, that means that companies such as Trina Solar (TSL) and Suntech Power (STP) are becoming more attractive. The bank initiated coverage on Trina at “overweight” and upgraded Suntech to “neutral” from “underweight.”

Less attractive? Yingli Green Energy (YGE) and LDK Solar (LDK), both burdened by in-house silicon production. HSBC downgraed Yingli to “underweight” from “overweight” and reiterated LDK’s “underweight” rating.

November 15, 2009

Suntech Selects Arizona for First U.S. Manufacturing Plant

Filed under: STP, WFR — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 10:30 pm

Solar Leader Brings Green Manufacturing Jobs from China to the United States

10:30 pm EST, Sunday November 15, 2009

BEIJING, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — From the U.S. China Green Tech Summit today, Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP), announced that its first U.S. manufacturing plant for the growing North American market would be located in the Greater Phoenix, Arizona area. The plant will have an initial production capacity of 30 megawatts (MW) and is expected to begin production in the third quarter of 2010.

The announcement makes Suntech the first Chinese cleantech leader to bring manufacturing jobs to America. Suntech selected the Greater Phoenix area for its plant because of Arizona’s leadership in research through Arizona State University, and statewide renewable energy policies, particularly its Renewable Energy Standard and distributed generation set-aside, as well as a supportive local business climate represented by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. The Suntech U.S. plant will employ over 75 full-time employees at launch and may double its staff within the year as the North American market develops.

Initially starting with 30 MW of PV module production capacity, the Suntech plant is configured for growth to respond to the expected expansion of the U.S. solar market in the coming years. The U.S. market had 356MW of solar PV capacity installed during 2008 (source: Photon Magazine, Nov. 2009), and is expected to grow six-fold to more than 2GW by 2012 (source: Solarbuzz LLC, Mar. 2009).

“Bringing manufacturing jobs to the U.S. is part of Suntech’s vision to grow the solar market in every corner of the world,” said Suntech’s Chairman and CEO Dr. Zhengrong Shi. “We are eagerly watching growing markets and see the potential of bringing manufacturing capabilities to other markets where we see the combination of rapid local market growth and manufacturing cost competitiveness.”

Locating the plant close to Suntech’s U.S. customers will reduce the time, costs, and emissions associated with long-distance shipping of Suntech panels. The plant, which will be approximately 80,000 to 100,000 square feet, will allow for long-term growth of manufacturing capabilities to meet increasing American demand for solar power.

“Suntech has been a leader to watch for some time, and its decision to bring manufacturing here to the U.S. is a great sign of the increasingly important collaboration between Chinese and American leaders in the renewable energy industry, as well as the potential for growth of green jobs in countries that implement smart, supportive policies,” said Dan Kammen, Professor in the Energy and Resources Group and Director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Shi continued, “This is the first step in what I see as a long-term, strategic investment in the North American market. Over the last two years we have grown our U.S. team to over 60 employees. As a result of that effort, we have developed a network of over 200 solar dealers and integrators installing Suntech products and are actively involved with a number of large-scale solar project developers serving the utility market. We also have developed strong partnerships with U.S. companies such as MEMC (WFR) of Pasadena, Texas, our largest supplier of silicon wafers used in our modules. The leadership shown by the US government in advancing renewable energy will only improve the environment for further investments in the coming years.”

Suntech plans to make a final decision on the specific location of the plant in the coming weeks.

November 13, 2009

Yingli profit tops Street view; shares jump

Filed under: STP, TSL, YGE — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 12:13 pm

Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:13pm EST

* Q3 adjusted earns $0.18/ADS; Street view $0.16/ADS

* Raises low end of forecast range for 2009 gross margin

* Shares rise 9 pct

NEW YORK, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Chinese solar panel maker Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd (YGE) posted better-than-expected third-quarter profit on strong shipments, sending its shares up 9 percent.

Solar companies have struggled over the past 12 months as a glut of supplies on the global market has depressed prices, but Yingli’s earnings showed the sector may be rebounding.

Improvement in credit markets helped lift Yingli’s solar module shipments by 80 percent from the second quarter, and the company said it now expects full-year shipments of 490 MW to 500 MW, compared with a previous forecast of 450 MW to 500 MW.

Demand in Europe is far outstripping supply, company executives told a conference call, and the U.S. market improved in the third quarter.

Yingli’s results bode well for its Chinese peers Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd (STP) and Trina Solar (TSL), which are due to report quarterly results next week, said Simmons & Co analyst Burt Chao.

Yingli’s results reflect “strong demand, strong pricing and the ability for these companies to meaningfully decrease costs and therefore expand margins,” Chao said.

He said Yingli could reach margins of 25 percent next year and noted the company’s positive outlook for average selling prices for panels to be flat or even rise in the first quarter of 2010.

Net income for the third quarter was $17.7 million, or 12 cents per American depositary share (ADS). Excluding one-time items, the company earned 18 cents per ADS.

Analysts on average were expecting 16 cents per ADS before items, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total net revenue increased slightly to $326 million.

For 2009, The company narrowed its gross margin outlook to between 19 percent and 20 percent, from 18 percent to 20 percent previously.

Yingli shares were up 9.4 percent at $13.16 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Matt Daily; additional reporting by Laura Isensee in Los Angeles and Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Dave Zimmerman and John Wallace)

Suntech to Develop 20% of Approved Systems for China’s Solar Rooftop Program

Filed under: STP — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 2:31 am

2:31 am EST, Friday November 13, 2009

WUXI, China, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP), the world’s leading manufacturer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules, today announced that it expects to develop approximately 20% of the 91MW of solar projects that were approved under China’s Solar Rooftop Program.

China’s Solar Rooftop Program, which was launched in March this year by the Ministry of Finance, is designed to increase the energy efficiency of buildings through the installation of building-attached and building- integrated PV solar systems. The first set of applications was submitted in April, and recently 111 solar projects totaling 91MW across China were approved to receive funds through the program. The system owners are expected to receive a 13-17RMB per watt rebate for all projects approved through the program. Suntech targets to develop approximately 20% of the successful applications and will also participate as the system owner or partial investor in some projects. Suntech has completed 4MW of its approved projects and plans to develop the remainder by mid-2010. Specific project agreements will be signed prior to implementation.

“Building energy use accounts for roughly 28% of total energy consumption in China and is a critical front in the drive to achieve higher energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions,” said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s Chairman and CEO. “The Ministry of Finance Solar Building Program recognizes the huge opportunity to offset building energy consumption with integrated solar energy generation. We are very pleased to demonstrate the capability of this technology and we hope to see this valuable solar program expanded in 2010 and beyond.”

The Solar Rooftop Program places particular emphasis on technologically advanced, building-integrated solar systems. Suntech has one of the industry’s broadest portfolios of BIPV products and a highly experienced system design and integration team that can implement complex turnkey solar projects. Suntech’s new Green Energy Headquarters in Wuxi that incorporates a 1MW BIPV solar facade and rooftop system was designed and constructed by Suntech’s in- house team and is one of the projects approved to receive the rebate.

“Solar is an ideal solution to improve energy efficiency as it can be built into the skin of a building and serves the dual function of a building material and an energy generating system. We should view the countless rooftops across China as an underutilized resource that can easily support clean, distributed energy generation,” added Dr. Shi.

November 10, 2009

Thin-film share of solar market to double – report

Filed under: AMAT, FSLR, SPWR, STP — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 5:06 pm

Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:06pm EST

* Thin film to account for 31 pct of solar panels in 2013

* Technology had 14 pct market share in 2008

* Research says First Solar established market viability

LOS ANGELES, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Solar panels that use thin-film technology in place of traditional silicon-based materials will more than double their share of the solar panel market by 2013, according to a report issued on Tuesday by industry research firm iSuppli.

Thin-film panels, such as those made by First Solar Inc (FSLR), the largest U.S. solar power company, are cheaper to make per watt of electricity than are standard panels.

The average thin-film solar panel price is expected to decline nearly 18 percent in 2010 to $1.40 per watt, iSuppli said. Average prices for silicon-based panels are expected to drop 20 percent to $2.00 per watt in 2010.

Panels than employ thin-film technology are expected to claim 31 percent of the global solar panel market by 2013, up from 14 percent in 2008.

“The market viability of thin film has been solidly established by First Solar Inc as it rockets to become the world’s top solar panel maker this year, with more than a gigawatt of production,” said Greg Sheppard, chief research officer for iSuppli in a statement.

Most solar panels, like those made by Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd (STP) and California-based SunPower Corp (SPWRA, SPWRB), rely on polysilicon as a key raw material, while thin-film panel makers use a variety of different materials to turn sunlight into electricity.

Sheppard added that First Solar has driven its cost of production to less than 90 cents per watt, keeping its costs at about half the level of its competitors that use silicon-based technology.

Thin-film panels’ cost advantage has helped attract Japan’s Sharp Corp to expand into the thin film market. Solar equipment suppliers, such as Applied Materials Inc (AMAT) and Swiss technology group Oerlikon’s solar arm, are ramping up in thin-film space as well.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

November 8, 2009

Suntech and Huadian Partner on 10MW Solar Plant in Jiangsu Province

Filed under: STP — Tags: , , — Jason @ 5:30 am

5:30 am EST, Sunday November 8, 2009

WUXI, China, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ — Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP), the world’s leading manufacturer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules, today announced it will develop a 10MW solar power plant in Dongtai, Jiangsu Province in conjunction with its strategic partner Huadian New Energy Development Co., Ltd. (HNE). Suntech will supply high quality solar modules and design and manage the installation of the plant. Suntech holds a minority share of the project.

The Dongtai solar plant, which is targeted to be completed by the end of 2009, will be powered by more than 37,000 Suntech solar panels and is projected to displace approximately 15,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The project is expected to be supported by the Jiangsu Province’s feed-in-tariff policy that provides 2.15RMB/kWh for ground-mount solar projects completed in 2009.

Suntech’s Chairman and CEO Dr. Zhengrong Shi stated, “We applaud the positive incentive policies and decisive steps taken in 2009 both at national and provincial levels to support solar energy development and establish a greener economy in our country. In particular, Jiangsu Province has shown great leadership with the introduction of their solar subsidy earlier this year. We are also pleased to see that other provinces are developing similar policies that will encourage greater investment in solar projects in China.”

Dr. Shi continued, “Suntech is firmly committed to paving the course for environmental protection and renewable energy development in China through close cooperation with our strategic partners such as Huadian. We plan to leverage our solid track record of solar innovation and market leadership in Europe, Japan and the US to accelerate solar energy education and market development here in China.”

Mr. Zheng Fang, General Manager of HNE said, “As one of the five major power utilities in China, Huadian attaches great importance to its economic, political and social responsibilities. While actively promoting energy conservation, carbon emission reduction, and the acceleration of structural improvements, Huadian will invest heavily in renewable energy solutions such as wind and solar power. We are pleased to collaborate with solar industry leader Suntech Power – through our collaboration we will not only create development opportunities for both corporations, but also develop China’s photovoltaic industry in order to make a positive contribution to resource conservation, the environment and society.”

The project will be the first to be initiated through Suntech’s strategic agreement with HNE announced in July 2009. Under the agreement, the two partners will develop utility-scale and commercial roof-top solar projects in China’s sun-rich western provinces, Jiangsu province and Shanghai.

About China Huadian Corporation

China Huadian Corporation, a wholly state-owned enterprise, is one of China’s largest power utilities. At the end of 2008, CHC had a total installed power generation capacity of 63,030MW and total assets valued as 295 billion RMB. In 2008, CHC had 83,038 employees and owned and operated power plants in 25 provinces and regions in China. http://www.chd.com.cn/

About China Huadian New Energy Development Co., Ltd. (HNE)

HNE was established on September 26, 2007 by China Huadian Corporation and four of its subsidiaries. HNE’s mission is to finance, construct, manage, and operate electric generation facilities in the fields of wind, hydroelectric, distributed energy, solar, nuclear, biomass, thermal, tidal, and other renewable energies. HNE is responsible for all of China Huadian Corporation’s Clean Development Mechanism and renewable energy projects. http://www.chdne.com.cn

November 5, 2009

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 3, 2009

enXco Enters Agreement with Suntech to Supply Up to 115 Megawatts of Solar Panels in 2010

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

4:30 pm EST, Tuesday November 3, 2009

ESCONDIDO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–enXco – an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company announced today that it has entered into a sales agreement with Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP), to supply up to 115 megawatts of photovoltaic modules in 2010.

The supply agreement will enable enXco to execute on its growing portfolio of 2010 projects in both the United States and Canada, for both rooftop and ground mounted utility-scale projects.

“We are impressed with Suntech’s record of quality and innovation and are pleased to enter into this supply agreement securing Suntech as a partner in serving our utility and rooftop customers’ needs,” said Erik Ellis, Director of Utility-Scale Solar.

“enXco has built exceptional expertise in the development of renewable energy projects over the past 20 years, and we are very pleased to partner with them in the expansion of their solar business,” said Steven Chan, Suntech’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Our commitment to continuously drive solar innovation and deliver the most cost-effective solar solutions is a key element of this new partnership. We look forward to building upon this agreement and working with enXco to promote a transition to solar energy and sustainable development in the United States.”

About enXco, an EDF EN Company:

enXco (www.enxco.com) – an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company (www.edf-energies-nouvelles.com) develops, constructs, operates and manages renewable energy projects throughout the United States. For more than two decades, we have been a leader in wind-energy focusing on large-scale wind projects. Today enXco’s portfolio includes solar and biomass technologies, in an effort to help drive our nation’s transition to a sustainable energy economy. enXco is a significant owner and developer of wind-energy installations in the United States, and is the leading third-party operations & maintenance provider for wind farms in North America.

October 29, 2009

Solar power execs bullish on 2010 despite earnings

Filed under: FSLR, SPWR, STP — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 7:36 pm

Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:36pm EDT

* Execs with Suntech, BP Solar, others see growth in 2010

* Driven by government aid, improved financial markets

* See fall in panel prices stabilizing

By Laura Isensee

ANAHEIM, California, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Executives from solar power companies see clearer skies in 2010 for the beleaguered industry, even as quarterly reports from heavyweights like First Solar Inc. (FSLR) and SunPower Corp (SPWRA, SPWRB) have disappointed investors and dragged down shares.

The industry has struggled to emerge this year from tight credit markets, a global glut of panels and falling prices.

“I think we’re already in the middle of a turnaround. We’ve kind of gone through the low point of the recent past,” said Steven Chan, Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd’s (STP) chief strategy officer, in an interview with Reuters.

Executives from Sharp Corp, BP’s (BP) solar unit and other solar power players shared similar optimism about the sector’s outlook in 2010 at the Solar Power International conference being held in Anaheim, California, this week.

“Demand’s really good going into 2010. Visibility is a hell of a lot better than it was coming into 2009,” SunPower’s chief executive Tom Werner told reporters at the conference.

The industry, which grew at a clip of more than 40 percent for several years, has suffered in the recession, but solar companies kept a bullish attitude on growth next year.

Executives cited various forces that could drive growth in 2010, including U.S. stimulus funds for green projects, extended tax incentives and new financing.

(more…)

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