This Week in Solar

This was a pretty big week for California in the solar space. First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR  ) secured a pair of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Southern California Edison, while NRG Energy landed a smaller contract with Pacific Gas & Electric.

On top of those 616 megawatts of PPAs, the Golden State also saw two large solar thermal projects, one owned by NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE  ) and the other by Solar Millennium, move closer to construction. The clock is ticking on a 30% federal cash grant that expires at the end of the year, so developers have to be happy that the Bureau of Land Management and other permitting bodies are picking up the pace.

Last year, LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK  ) found itself in a legal tussle with Q-Cells over a 10-year wafer supply contract. The company found itself back in the courtroom this week, squaring off against Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ  ) over ... a 10-year wafer supply contract. LDK says that CSI "failed to perform its purchase obligations and ceased making payments."

This is probably the last thing CSI needs right now, as the firm recovers from an SEC-launched accounting investigation and struggles to keep up with more integrated competitors. The firm just reported its second-quarter results, and gross margins of 13.6% came in far short of those seen over at Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE  ) and Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL  ) .

Speaking of vertical integration, LDK announced that it has its first solar cell line up and running, and is targeting 120 megawatts of annualized capacity by the end of the quarter.

On the technology front, MiaSole announced a record 14.3% conversion efficiency with a large-area CIGS (copper indium gallium (di)selenide) module, as verified by the National Renewable Energy Lab. The company expects to ship modules with over 13% efficiency beginning next year. Elsewhere in CIGS land, Global Solar unveiled the PowerFLEX BIPV, a module designed for building-integrated applications. That offering will directly compete with the thin-film laminates offered by Energy Conversion Devices (Nasdaq: ENER  ) , a company that caught a brief reprieve this week on the back of some less-bad earnings results. One sharp-eyed reader spotted the adverse opinion issued by ECD's auditor relating to internal controls in the recently filed annual report, suggesting that this firm's difficulties may extend beyond competitive threats.

True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. Check out his CAPS profile or follow his articles using Twitter or RSS. First Solar is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. The Fool owns shares of and has written covered calls on NextEra Energy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

 


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1291399, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 11/29/2014 3:59:17 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement