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...

Green Chip Stocks’ “Sunless Solar” Tease

Tom Konrad Last week, Stock Gumshoe sleuthed out Jeff Seigel's recent tease of a "$0.62 Company Just Perfected Sunless Solar.”  The company is New Energy Technologies (NENE.OB), which was trading at $1.20 after the close on Friday.  Here's what the Gumshoe has to say about the company: And of course, maybe Siegel’s right, maybe these guys will be to First Solar what IBM was to Smith Corona … I’m just not holding my breath. For more information on the company, which did stage a demonstration of the technology in Tampa last month, you can certainly visit...

India Joins The Solar PV Club

Charles Morand One of the - if not THE - most popular debates in solar PV circles is about when exactly the electricity produced by solar PV systems will reach "grid-parity", or become competitive with like-generation fuels (i.e. non-baseload) on a stand-alone basis (i.e. no feed-in tariffs, mandates or rebates). A lot of the time, these discussions slip into arcane sub-debates about module costs, as expressed on a dollar per watt basis, and how far they need to fall for solar PV to be competitive. But module costs are only one part...

PV Still Facing a Bumpy Ride: Working in a Low-incentive World

Paula Mints Bumpy Road photo via BigStock To encourage the continuation of necessary incentives as well as utility participation, the PV industry has promised a consistent (and significant) reduction in module prices along with "grid" parity with conventional energy sources. The PV industry has also promised to do this without subsidies and it may have to keep its promises. Conventional energy producers have not promised low energy prices without subsidies and are expected to continue to enjoy  without much negative press  indirect and direct subsidies for...

What Do CPV and LEDs Have in Common?

I recently attended the Optoelectronic Industry Development Association's (OIDA) "Green" Photonics Forum.  Unlike dirty industries trying to appear green, the Optoelectronics industry does not really have to try to be green.  Two prominent examples familiar to clean energy investors are Concentrating Photovoltaic Solar (CPV) (i.e. using optics to focus light on high efficiency solar cells) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). The presentations on Tuesday focused on the above technologies, and I was struck by a common problem faced by both: heat dissipation.  According to Sarah Kurtz, a National Renewable Energy Laboratory scientist leading the team working on high-efficiency, multi-junction...

The End of Abound Solar – What Have We Learned?

By Joseph McCabe, PE Timeline for Abound Solar The sad news on July 2nd 2012 was that 125 employees were being laid off at the Abound Solar factories in Colorado. Abound listed assets at $100 million and liabilities of $500 million in the bankruptcy filing. The final auction of the equipment assets was performed this past week. I feel fortunate to have visited Dr. W.S. Sampath's Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing laboratory at Colorado State University in February 2005.  At that time the laboratory was depositing CdTe PV materials onto 16” X 16” glass panels. That...

From Solar 2009: Investment Opportunities in Solar Stocks: First Solar (FSLR)

Tom Konrad, Ph.D. This continues a series of entries on opportunities in solar stocks, based on a panel at Solar 2009.  The first article introduced the panelists, and took a look at the solar sector as a whole.  The others focus on individual companies. Pradeep Haldar Investors remain bullish on thin film technologies such as CdTe (First Solar's technology.) CdTe currently has the lowest cost, but it may not have long term sustainability. Peter Lynch on First Solar (FSLR) If First Solar ever stumbles, gravity will take over. They could fall 50% in a day. They...

First Solar’s Surprising Strategy Switch

by Paula Mints CdTe and crystalline manufacturer and project developer First Solar (FSLR) announced positive results for Q1 as well as a switch in strategy emphasis from deployment to module sales. Honestly, revenues, positive net income and other financial metrics matter less in this case than the company’s strategy switch to module sales. Downward price pressure and margin compression along with continued aggressive pricing from China makes this move confusing. Cost leadership is mutable in the PV industry and it is difficult to imagine that First Solar will have an advantage in this regard for long. ...

Suntech Nears Final Reckoning; Yingli’s Sales Grow While Losses Narrow

Doug Young New developments in the battered solar energy space indicate the day of reckoning is fast approaching for embattled Suntech (NYSE: STP), even as the latest results from rival Yingli (NYSE: YGE) are showing early signs of a rebound for the battered sector. Industry watchers will recall that cash-strapped Suntech has nearly $600 million worth of bonds that will mature on March 15, even though it lacks the money to repay the bondholders. The company hired investment bank UBS in October to try and renegotiate the debt, though we haven't heard anything from the company since...

SolarWorld Among 20-Plus Manufacturers to File EU Complaint

Steve Leone Trade War. photo via Bigstock A SolarWorld coalition of European-based manufacturers officially filed a trade complaint in Brussels late Wednesday, eliciting a strong response from leading Chinese manufacturers and setting the stage for a process that could further shake up the global solar industry. SolarWorld’s (SRWRF) Germany-based operation was certainly emboldened by the thus-far successful initiative launched by its American subsidiary in the United States, where modules with Chinese cells from leading manufacturers are being hit with preliminary tariffs totaling about...

SolarCity Rooftop Solar Lease Securitization Advances

by Sean Kidney US firm SolarCity (SCTY) announced last week that it was seeking to make a private placement of a $54.4 million, 13 year bond backed by cash flows from rooftop solar leases. SolarCity is the second-largest U.S. solar company by market capitalization. Lead manager Credit Suisse (CS) has been working on this deal for some time now, which will now only be eligible to be sold to big, qualified investors. It’s been a race this year between them and a US bank to get the first solar rooftop loan securitization our the door. Looks like...

Ascent Solar: Grounded

By Brandon Qureshi Recently, Ascent Solar Technologies (ASTI:  Nasdaq) , a publicly traded solar power company, received an additional $5.0 million from institutional investor Ironridge Technology, thereby completing a $10 million Series B Preferred Stock investment.  AST, based in Thornton, Colorado, has emerged as a leader in the development of flexible, thin, high-performance solar panels. In order to examine AST within an industrial context, a profile of the solar power industry is necessary: According to sources such as Time and E&E Publishing, the industry has experienced record levels of popularity in the United States in the last...

Solar Companies Say Trade War With China Bad for US Industry

Charles W. Thurston Members of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) railed against the impending "trade war," arguing that the steep price drop in imported Chinese photovoltaic modules was good for "98 percent" of U.S. solar industry jobs. "We are growing U.S. solar jobs and this trade case will undermine all the advances we have made in the U.S. solar industry," said one CASE member. Holding a press conference Thursday morning in Washington after testimony was heard Wednesday by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) about the alleged dumping of Chinese modules in the United States,...

Money Is Flowing Into Alt Energy Again, But We Are Not Out Of The...

Charles MorandIt seems as though the darkest clouds are finally dissipating over alt energy's financing horizon. Over the past few weeks, money has started flowing into the sector again, as evidenced by a number of recent deal announcements: On June 9, I reported on the upcoming IPO for Magma Energy Corp., a geothermal exploration company. The IPO's size will be upped from an initial C$50 MM to C$100 MM, a sign of increased market appetite  SunPower Corp. raised $418 MM in early May through a share and debt offering, and recently announced it had reached a $100...

EU Likely To Impose Sanctions On Chinese Solar Cos

Doug Young Bottom line: The latest EU anti-dumping probe into Chinese solar panels is likely to find that manufacturers violated a previous agreement, which could result in new punitive tariffs by the end of this year. In a move that will surprise to no one, the European Union has formally launched a probe into Chinese solar panel makers who are being accused by European rivals of violating a landmark agreement that averted anti-dumping tariffs. I should really stop using the word “landmark” to describe the 2013 deal between the Chinese panel makers and EU that avoided a...

Net Metering Is the Solar Industry’s Junk Food

Shoppers who bring reusable bags to the grocery store buy more junk food. This example is part of a growing body of behavioral psychology research showing that when we feel good about ourselves for doing one thing right, we give ourselves permission to be careless in other areas. The solar installation industry seems to be falling into the "reusable shopping bag" trap. Solar itself is the reusable shopping bag. The junk food is net metering. Net metering is a simple, intuitive way to pay for solar generation at retail rates. But it puts solar companies on...