What: Shares of solar manufacturer Trina Solar Limited (ADR) (NYSE: TSL) jumped 10.5% in February as solar companies recovered nicely from a bad January.
So what: The biggest move Trina solar made last month was the acquisition of 200 MW of solar cell manufacturing assets in the Netherlands. Having a manufacturing hub in Europe will help the company avoid tariffs there and potentially open up a market that's trying to shield itself from foreign competition. 200 MW isn't a big facility, but it could be the first of a larger expansion into Europe, continuing a move to expand production beyond its base in China.
Now what: Trina Solar is becoming one of only a few Chinese solar companies that are building sustainable long-term businesses in solar. The company has moved downstream into project building and is now expanding manufacturing into Thailand and Europe. Those moves help reduce the risk of punitive tariffs for the company, something it has had to deal with regularly over the last few years.
Expect solar stocks to continue to be volatile, as they've been for years, but Trina Solar is making solid strategic moves to reinforce its position in the industry. That should help the company remain at the top of the heap of Chinese solar manufacturers.