On Monday, Suntech Power (NYSE:STP) finally ran a press release about the series of large-scale Chinese power plant projects that the firm has been rumored to be lining up. In addition to the two we've covered in recent weeks, Suntech announced two more projects, bringing the grand total to a potential 1.8 gigawatts of power. That's the equivalent of about three average-sized coal plants (or one rather large one).

These "strategic agreements" remain contingent on various permits and, most critically, project financing. Given the recent explosion in Chinese lending, and a strong government push for renewable energy projects like the one Yingli Green Energy (NYSE:YGE) lowballed, the funding should not be too hard to find. Still, these projects fall a bit short of firm backlog material, in my book.

Also on Monday, aspiring CIGS contender Ascent Solar found itself a new CEO -- a thin-film veteran out of Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) -- and Energy Conversion Devices (NASDAQ:ENER) sold off its stake in a hybrid battery venture, alongside partner Chevron (NYSE:CVX). Having been tied up in litigation, this unit was a distraction, and ECD is better off without it.

The bombshell of the week arguably came from Germany's Q-Cells, which issued a second-quarter warning and yanked earnings guidance for the full year. The warning follows on the heels of the departure of Q-Cells' CFO last month.

When even the world's biggest independent solar cell maker is struggling, that's setting a pretty gloomy tone for the upcoming earnings season. You wouldn't really know it looking at the broader solar group, though, which generally traded higher this week. While Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL) tacked on over 15%, the true standout was Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ), up over 40%.

Analysts at both Deutsche Bank and Oppenheimer had pretty nice things to say about the Chinese integrated player this week, though their share price targets are a mile apart. Deutsche's Steve O'Rourke thinks CSI is merely better off than weaker rivals, and worth $9, while Oppenheimer's Sam Dubinsky sees near-term margin improvements justifying a $19 price tag. Mr. Market split the difference and ran the shares up to $14 by midday Friday.

I'm just as interested to hear what you think of Canadian Solar, so if you haven't yet, head over to Motley Fool CAPS and make your pitch. I've personally given CSI the thumbs-down today, but that's mostly a reflection of my cautiousness on the overall sector, combined with this week's dramatic run in the share price.

Suntech Power is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Check out the bright ideas in any of our Foolish newsletters free for 30 days.

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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.