cdg roles

Clearing Up Some Confusion Over Community Solar In New York

Community Solar in New York has a messaging problem. It is confusing, and even some industry professionals have given up in disgust because of aggressive marketing and a lack of clarity. Fortunately, aggressive marketing is not universal among community solar developers. Unfortunately, the lack of clarity is almost universal. How Community Solar Works in New York The system the New York utility regulator set up for community distributed generation (CDG, a term which includes community hydropower and community wind as well as community solar) is counter intuitive for most potential customers. As shown in the diagram above, the electric utility pays for a project's...
solar tree envision

EnvisionSolar Now On Nasdaq

The Envision Solar (EVSI) was reviewed in depth in a previous article last September in the context of its avoidance of high demand charges for electric vehicle DC fast chargers. Envision Solar has completed its Nasdaq listing as reported in the news release on the Nasdaq site & Accesswire.   The company issued 2,000,000 shares and expects to receive gross proceeds of $12.0 million before deducting offering expenses. Prior to the new listing, average pricing for the stock on the OTC market was disclosed to be $.23/share. Applying the 1:50 reverse split, the post-split equivalent stock value would have been $11.50. However,...
car insurers and community solar

Car Insurers Can Help Community Solar Find EV Customers

By Joe McCabe, P.E. The insurance industry has lots of exposure to climate change. But as Warren Buffet has explained, not so much for companies that do annual policy adjustments, like Berkshire Hathaway. Their exposure is limited because the trends are baked into the premiums. But there is an opportunity for reducing insurance risk due to climate change, and it comes from the insurance industry itself. The business model is to have car insurance salespeople provide leads to virtual electric car charging services. This has perfect demographics because electric vehicle owners are very receptive to solar electricity. Who wouldn't want...
p-series

Sunpower Optimistic, But Needs Cash

This recent post explored the unusual mating call of a solar panel manufacturer, SunPower Corporation (SPWR:  Nasdaq).  The Company is looking for a partner to bankroll the upgrade of a manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Oregon acquired in October 2018, in a tie up with one of its rivals, SolarWorld America.  SunPower now has one less competitor and more room to flex its production muscles.  However, capital is still important. The Company suffered a net loss of $811.1 million or $5.76 per share on $1.73 billion in total sales.  Profit margins were negative straight down. Investors could accept the loss without too much worry if the pace of...
http://www.altenergystocks.com/archives/2019/03/sunpowers-mating-call/

Crowded Playground of Solar Panel Makers

The last post discussed the proposition of solar panel manufacturer SunPower Corporation (SPWR:  Nasdaq).  The company is looking for a partner to help build out and operate SunPower’s production facility in Hillsboro, Oregon.  SunPower plans to manufacturer its innovative P-Series panels in Hillsboro to fulfill U.S. orders. The Hillsboro plant was acquired in early 2018, from SolarWorld AG after the Trump administration slapped 30% tariffs on solar panels imported to the U.S.  Domestic production, even at higher local costs, could make sense when compared to such prohibitive import tariffs. SunPower is widely regarded as the go-to source for the highest quality solar cells available with efficiency ratings as...
p-series

Sunpower’s Mating Call

SunPower Corporation (SPWR:  Nasdaq) has sent out an unusual mating call.  Like a bird with a newly built nest, the company is seeking a partner to help build out and operate SunPower’s production facility in Hillsboro, Oregon.  The plant was acquired in late 2018, from SolarWorld Americas after the Trump administration slapped tariffs on solar panels imported to the U.S.  Domestic production, even at higher local costs, could make sense when compared to such prohibitive import tariffs. Uncomfortable Three-some Some investors might see the tie-up as an uncomfortable three-some. Indeed, the solar panel tariffs came about when SolarWorld Americas and its compatriot Suniva filed an application...
PV industry growth 1977-2017

The Solar Industry’s Prolonged Adolescence And What Maturity Will Look Like

by Paula Mints Every day the solar industry’s maturity is announced in company meetings, at conferences, in articles, and on Twitter, among other means, and through various media. The industry’s presumed maturity is held as a badge of its success by most and used as a PR message by many. The assumption of the industry’s maturity, primarily based on its size, low module prices, and low tender bidding, things that taken either individually or as a whole does not indicate ma-turity. Teenagers, after all, exhibit growth spurts even as their brains continue to develop through their early twenties. Teenagers also declare their...

10 Solar Hopes For 2019

by Paula Mints Ten things to hope for in 2019, and their odds of coming true. 1) Accelerated focus on climate change: It’s not enough to talk climate change, or promise action – action must be taken and though it will take lifestyle changes now, and will have an economic impact now, the cost of attempting to survive climate change is higher. Make no mistake, it’s survival, not reversal. Odds: Low – when the bill for change comes due even true believers will balk, when a change in behavior is required, most find this difficult, and when the entrenched technology or industry feels...
solarwindow

SolarWindow: A Unique But Risky Opportunity

by Debra Fiakas, CFA SolarWindow (WNDW:  OTC/QB) raised $25 million this week to build a manufacturing plant for its electricity-generating glass.   Three investors subscribed to 16.7 million shares of common stock.  The company is getting $19.8 million in new capital in addition to conversion of $3.6 million in debt to common stock. The SolarWindow is unlike any other energy producing innovation.  Rather than relying some sort of dedicated production plant or facility, the SolarWindow is a part of the electricity user’s own facility.  Ultra-thin layers of liquid coatings are sprayed onto a glass surface, forming a network or array of miniature solar cells. This is a type of photovoltaic technology that uses...
PV pricing trends

How China Came To Dominate Solar Manufacturing

by Paula Mints The PV industry is global, and its pricing function has a cultural basis. Particularly as it is dominated by China, without an understanding of China and its market motivations, it is impossible to understand why PV manufacturers today, all rational actors, willingly accept 15% or lower manufacturing margins when margins for like industries are higher. Examples from other industries include: Coal 40% to 50%, Iron and Steel 20%, Construction ~30%, Appliances 30%, Aluminum 20%, Industrial Machinery and Components 40%, Aerospace 40% and Agriculture 8%. In the PV industry the average margin is 8%. Congratulations PV, you are on par with agriculture. Aside from significant government...
Round-up of announced solar manufacturing capacity for the US

US Solar Manufacturing Announcements: The Real And The Hype

by Paula Mints In 2018, the US market for PV deployment is estimated at ~12-GWp. As the US does not have sufficient domestic cell manufacturing capacity to meet its demand, most of the 12-GWp will be met by imports of cells or, modules. Following the implementation of cell/module tariffs there were, as expected, new capacity announcements in the US, primarily for module assembly. If all the current announcements came true it would add an additional 4.2-GWp of module assembly and 1.7-GWp of cell manufacturing (thin film and crystalline) capacity to the US. First Solar (FSLR) is responsible for 1.3-GWp of the new module assembly and...
Suncommon groundbreaking

Suncommon breaks ground on a new Community Solar project in the Hudson Valley

  On 10/17/18, a groundbreaking event was held for a community solar installation being developed by SunCommon, partnering with Orange County Citizens Foundation, to supply a group of 60 homes and a community center located in the hillsides of an exurb called Sugar Loaf near Chester, NY. The staff and community members were ebullient, as the project, coming to the end of 2-year development process, begins the final stage of erecting the racks and panels, and installing the interconnection, which will be completed in the next 30 days. It is the first project for SunCommon, a firm with a large footprint...
SunPower Equinox using IBC panels

Sunpower’s Tariff Exemption: When You Win, You Lose

SunPower gets an exemption for its interdigitated back contact (IBC) solar cells – did it win the battle and lose the war? by Paula Mints If SunPower (SPWR) was playing a game of chicken with the Trump Administration to give it an edge towards the goal of getting an exemption, it a) won its gamble and can now focus on manufacturing p-type monocrystalline cells and modules to compliment imports of its n-type IBC cells and modules, b) won its gamble and now must keep its word and invest in resuscitating the long-in-the-tooth SolarWorld US manufacturing facility, or, c) won its gamble...
ReneSola SOL logo

ReneSola Finds Shareholders Hard To Please

Solar project developer ReneSola Ltd. (SOL:  NYSE) reported financial results this week for the quarter ending June 2018.  Revenue topped $27.8 million in the quarter well below the year ago period when a faster pace of development activity generated $44.8 million in sales.  The negative year-over-year comparison was anticipated following the sale of ReneSola’s solar cell manufacturing operations in September 2017.  Now the company is making its way with solar project development, engineering services and electricity sales from its owned solar power facilities. Management had guided for sales in a range of $25 to $30 million in the June 2018 quarter.  The good news was that ReneSola...

First Solar: Companies Plan, God Laughs

by Paula Mints First Solar (FSLR) offered a great lesson about the announcing of plans (man plans, god laughs) in July when during its Q2 release call it discussed the yield problems slowing commercial production of it’s Series 6 large format module. The production delays are due to a single point of failure causing a bottleneck. First Solar expects to enter volume production with its Series 6 module early in 2019. Muted-kudos to First Solar for discussing a not-so-secret problem with Series 6 production. The kudos are muted because if the company had been more circumspect in the first place there...
Enphase M-Score

Hopping Off The Short Enphase Bandwagon

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Last week, I wrote that I'd taken a short position in Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH). I have now closed out that position and don't intend to go short again. My decision to go short was based on four factors: I'm worried about risk in the overall market, and so am considering opportunistic short positions as a hedge. Prescience Point Capital Management released a report accusing Enphase of earnings manipulation. The report seemed well-researched from a purely accounting point of view. My favored indicator for avoiding companies which might be engaging in earnings manipulation, Beneish M-Score was...