Tag: FSLR

First Solar Keeps Buying Solar Projects To Keep Pipeline Full

James Montgomery First Solar (FSLR) has added another mega-scale project to its pipeline, helping ensure there's enough to feed its thin-film solar PV manufacturing machine. Rock formations in Clark County, NV. Photo by John Fowler The 250-MW Moapa project being developed by K Road in Clark County, Nevada, about 30 miles north of Las Vegas, was given a green light last summer, making it the first major U.S. solar project approved on tribal land. Construction has been pushed back roughly a year from the original timeline, with First Solar now saying...

First Solar Won the Race; The Environment Lost

Joseph McCabe, PE In 2011, I wrote about the CdTe Horse Race in which the three US companies making cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) modules, First Solar (FSLR), Abound Solar and General Electric (GE Solar, stock ticker GE) jostled for position.  Abound and GE were challenging the reigning champion First Solar to build the largest PV manufacturing facility in the world. The official results of that race are in, and First Solar has beaten the competition by many lengths. Within about a year of each other both Abound and GE Solar...

First Solar Optimistic About Future

Liz Nelson The largest thin-film panel manufacturer in the world has an optimistic view of the immediate future for renewable energy demands. First Solar (FSLR) had an impressive charge for several years until the final quarter of 2008 when the stock value of the photovoltaic manufacturer began to plummet. Over the course of four years, the stock had dropped from approximately $311 per share to a dismal $11.43 nearing the end of the second quarter in 2012. At the beginning of April of 2013, the stock had nearly tripled in value and continues to gain momentum. The beginning of...

Solar Stock Alerts

By Harris Roen Three companies in solar had gains yesterday. Duke made a significant acquisition; First Solar offered positive guidance; JinkoSolar posted an upsetting loss. Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) More Info Duke Energy Renewables acquired two PV power projects in Southern California. Highlander Solar 1 and 2 have a combined capacity of 21 MW, and have 20-year power purchase agreements with Southern California Edison. Operations should become commercial in mid-2013. This brings Duke to more than 100 MW of generating capacity. The stock is up 18% for...

First Solar’s New Mexico Project: The Parity and the Pain

James Montgomery Unusually public details about a newly signed solar project deal in New Mexico raise some interesting questions about the purchasing power of solar energy, how close it's getting to grid parity and just how much pressure is on upstream suppliers to fulfill that objective. First Solar (FSLR) has acquired a 50-megawatt (MW) solar power project in New Mexico from the solar division of Element Power. The deal is billed as the state's largest solar project; it also, according to some unusually public information revealed in a regulatory filing, raises some interesting questions...

Intermolecular’s Solar Strategy Rising During Industry Eclipse

Tom Konrad CFA Solar Eclipse at Sunrise photo via Bigstock Solar module prices have fallen 50% in the last six months.  This is great news for solar consumers, but has meant deep pain for solar manufacturers.  Just last week, GE Energy (NYSE:GE) laid off workers and  put expansion plans at their Colorado factory on hold for at least 18 months while they try to improve the Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) thin film solar technology they plan to produce there.  That move followed the bankruptcy of another thin film producer...

First Solar’s New Research Platform: Big News for Intermolecular

Tom Konrad CFA Two years ago, it seemed like First Solar (NASD:FSLR) could do no wrong.  The company could manufacture it’s thin film Cd-Te photovoltaic (PV) cells at a fraction of the price of traditional crystalline silicon (c-Si) cells.  First Solar was the first company to break the $1/W barrier for manufacturing cost. That was then.  Now, a supply glut caused by overbuilding and reduced subsidies has dramatically slashed the price of c-Si cells.  Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) forecasts that demand will not catch up with supply until 2014, even in their most optimistic scenario.  In May, the...

A Solar Light at the End of the Tunnel…

...but it may take another year to get there by Clean Energy Intel Light at the End of the Tunnel photo via BigStock Suntech Power’s (STP) first quarter earnings report provided some supportive insight into the process of consolidation currently underway in the solar industry. The financial numbers were of course less than constructive, though much as expected as pricing pressures continue to make life difficult for the sector. Perhaps of more interest were the company’s insights into the inroads...

Tariffs on Chinese Solar Are Bad for Us All

Garvin Jabusch Trade War photo via Bigstock The United States Department of Commerce Thursday, and of all things at the behest of a German-owned company, SolarWorld AG (SRWRF.PK), imposed extreme tariffs on China-made solar panels and modules of between 31% and 250%, making them much less affordable for U.S. consumers. Commerce took the additional extraordinary step of making the tariffs retroactive for 90 days to prevent U.S businesses and homeowners from getting a decent price on the basis that their local...

More Pain Ahead for Solar Stocks

Tom Konrad CFA Clean Edge's Clean Energy Trends 2012 contains some disturbing predictions for solar stock investors. Clean Energy Trends 2012, the annual report from Clean Edge by Ron Pernick, Clint Wilder, and Trevor Winnie, was released today. On the surface, it seems like good news for the solar sector.  Although headlines in 2011 featured much bad press for Solar PV, the industry has not been "withering on the vine." Here are some key points in the report:   Combined global revenue for PV increased from $71.2 billion in 2010 to $91.6 billion...

Solar: One Chart That Highlights The Adjustment In The Industry

by Clean Energy Intel Source: NPD SolarBuzz, SolarBuzz Quarterly. New survey-based data from SolarBuzz points very clearly to a very much needed ongoing adjustment to manufacturers planned module shipments. The chart above illustrates the issue very succinctly. In SolarBuzz´s survey conducted in Q2 of the current year, manufacturers were still planning on shipping just over 8 GW of modules in Q3 of this year and almost 9 GW in Q4. The somewhat obvious result was oversupply, a continued inventory build and falling module prices. However, in the latest...

Buffett Buys Into Another Solar Project – Expect More To Follow

by Clean Energy Intel Warren Buffett-controlled MidAmerican Energy Holdings on Friday acquired an interest in a second solar project. In the latest deal, the company has acquired 49% of NRG Energy´s $1.8bn Agua Caliente project.This follows the company´s acquisition of 100% of First Solar´s $2bn Topaz Solar Farm less than two weeks ago. As was the case with the first Topaz deal, we know little of the arithmetic faced by MidAmerican holdings in this latest agreement. However, what we do know is the following - Agua Caliente is a $1.8bn project owned by NRG Energy (NRG) in Yuma...

Buffett-First Solar Deal Extremely Bullish For Solar Sector

by Clean Energy Intel Nellis Solar Power Plant in the US. Source: Wikimedia Commons The Solar Industry this week received significant support in the purchase by Warren Buffett-controlled MidAmerican Energy Holdings of First Solar's (FSLR) $2bn Topaz Solar Farm in San Luis Obispo County, California. This is a significant show of confidence in the industry from Mr Buffett. Of course, we do not know exactly what Warren Buffett´s utility holding company has paid for the solar project. However, the deal is unquestionably significant in size and scope. What we do know is...

US Solar: Blistering Demand v Expiry of 1603 Treasury Program

by Clean Energy Intel Despite the Solyndra affair and its aftermath in the political arena, the solar industry in the US continues to see a blistering rate of growth. At the same time, the end of year expiration of the 1603 Treasury Grant Program could have a negative affect on the financing environment for all renewables - including solar. Sources of Growth In The North American Solar Sector Source: NPD Solarbuzz North America PV Markets Quarterly report The latest survey-based data from Solarbuzz points to...

Solar’s Good News: Cut-Backs

by Clean Energy Intel This year’s period of intense over-supply in the solar sector has continued to pressure solar players, leading to a recent batch of announcements of cut-backs and cost reductions. All of this may simply seem to be a continuation of the recent slew of bad news that has plagued the industry in the past few months. However, in the end, it is likely to be seen as at least one of the antidotes to the sector's troubles. Source: SolarBuzz, by permission.   The chart above from ...

Departure Of First Solar CEO Rob Gilette Another Sign Of Solar’s Troubles

Clean Energy Intel First Solar's Blythe Solar Farm under construction First Solar's (FSLR) stock price was hit hard yesterday, falling some 25%, as a result of the departure of CEO Rob Gilette. The stock has bounced today. However, the very volatile price action is simply a sign of the extreme nervousness and underlying weakness in the sector. A number or readers have questioned my stance of being uninvested in the solar sector during the recent Solyndra-related market turmoil. Since I see solar as being a significant part of the long-term clean energy solution, this does raise some contradictions. Consequently, let...