Monday, November 30, 2009

SANYO aims to win top share of Japanese PV system market

TOKYO, JAPAN: SANYO Electric Co. Ltd (SANYO) announces plan to strengthen its photovoltaic system sales structure in Japan, with the aim of becoming the top runner in the expanding Japanese photovoltaic system market in FY2013 (April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013) by winning a 40 percent-scale (in terms of MW) market share.

For this fiscal year, the Japanese photovoltaic system market is expected to significantly grow from the previous fiscal year thanks to government subsidies and the New Purchase System for Solar Power-Generated Electricity started on November 1, 2009.

The New Purchase System for Solar Power-Generated Electricity started on November 1, 2009 in Japan is a system whereby surplus electricity (electricity generated by a household photovoltaic system minus electricity consumed) may be sold to a power company at a rate about twice the rate of power that is bought.

A photovoltaic system with higher electric-generating capacity per installation area can produce more surplus electricity, increasing the amount of money gained through selling electric power.

SANYO’s HIT solar cell is capable of the world’s highest-class electric-generating capacity per installation area thanks to its high conversion efficiency and excellent temperature characteristics that are realized by numerous proprietary technologies and original know-how.

1. Nation-wide expansion of effective sales agencies and sales chain development
With effective sales agencies, which serve as SANYO’s main sales network by directly dealing with end-users by utilizing the know-how they have for sales/installation of household photovoltaic systems and after-sales-service, SANYO will build strong partnerships by facilitating their nation-wide expansion, sales chain development, etc.

2. Strengthen sales channels based on B2B relationships with trading firms that promote solar power generation.
SANYO will increase sales volume by strengthening sales channels based on B2B relationships with trading firms that emphasize sales of photovoltaic systems to sales agencies directly dealing with end-users.

3. Revitalize sales networks through local electronics stores
Targeting community-based local electronics stores that know the various needs of customers, SANYO will promote the HIT solar cell by exerting its ability to provide meticulous assistance in response to the desires of individual customers, such as combining a photovoltaic system with all-electric living.

When using the New Purchase System for Solar Power-Generated Electricity, a photovoltaic system with higher electric-generating capacity per installation area can produce more surplus electricity that can be sold to a power company and this will help lower a household’s electricity bill.

SANYO will powerfully communicate the advantages of HIT solar cell further enhanced through the New Purchase System for Solar Power-Generated Electricity introduced on November 1, 2009 to conduct aggressive marketing.

SANYO undertook development of a simulation software program well ahead of implementation of the New Purchase System for Solar Power-Generated Electricity in November 2009, which is already being utilized as a store-front campaign tool, etc. This software program is used to communicate the advantages of the HIT solar cell in a realistic way by simulating the results of introduction in an easy-to-understand manner, such as estimated amount of energy bill which can be saved annually.

While expanding sales territory throughout Japan, SANYO will emphasize a strategy to outclass competitors in urban areas where houses tend to have limited roof space available for solar panel installation.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Heliatek receives $27 million for development of organic solar cells

DRESDEN, GERMANY: Heliatek GmbH, a pioneer in the field of organic solar cells, is receiving $27 million (€18 million) in a second round of financing under the lead of the pan-European venture capital firm Wellington Partners.

Also participating in this round are the industrial investor Bosch and the corporate venture capital investors RWE Innogy Ventures and BASF Venture Capital, the High-Tech-Gründerfonds, eCAPITAL entrepreneurial Partners AG, the Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen Start-up GmbH & Co. KG and GP Bullhound Sidecar.

Heliatek will be utilizing the new funding primarily to build an initial production facility in Dresden. In this step and right through to mass production, the company will be using its proprietary tandem technology to efficiently produce, flexible and very lightweight PV modules on a film substrate.

Their weight will be merely 500 grams per square meter, instead of today’s customary 20 kilograms per square meter. This will open up a forward-looking market for mobile applications, for architectural solutions and for independently supplying regions with weak infrastructures.

“We believe that truly break-through 3rd generation technologies that bring PV well beyond grid parity will be the success stories of the future, and we think Heliatek is excellently positioned to capture that opportunity," explained Bart Markus, General Partner of Wellington Partners.

This is affirmed by Crispin Leick, Executive Director of RWE Innogy Ventures: “We want to help to commercialize this innovative technology through our venture capital investment in Heliatek. Organic photovoltaics has the potential to deliver considerable cost savings given the low amount of energy used and the unlimited availability of the raw materials."

Speaking on behalf of the other investors, Dr. Alexander Flaig, Vice President Corporate Research at Robert Bosch, notes: “Over the course of the past two years, Heliatek has made impressive progress in terms of the efficiency and service life of its organic solar cells. The time has now come to also show just how cost-efficiently these cells can be manufactured under industrial conditions. This round of financing will enable the company to execute this important step – from the research laboratory to an initial production facility.”

Heliatek CEO Dr. Andreas Rückemann explains: “With this new round of financing, we have now created an opportunity to take advantage of our technology edge in this forward-looking market in order to be one of the first suppliers to ramp up a production operation. We are very proud that we have been able to receive the support of the industrial company Bosch and the venture capital investors RWE Innogy Ventures, BASF Venture Capital, Wellington Partners, eCAPITAL and Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen.”

Heliatek was advised on this round of financing by the leading European investment bank for technology companies GP Bullhound.

Kerself Group reaches agreement on Fortesa

PRATO DI CORREGGIO, ITALY: Kerself S.p.A. has reached binding agreements with a Luxembourg fund owned by two important Swiss institutional investors, under which the fund is to take a shareholding in Fortesa S.p.A. through a share capital increase.

Consequently, Fortesa will be 85 percent held by the international fund, while the remaining 15 percent will be owned by Kerself as minority shareholder.

The fund will provide the equity for installation of 100 MW of photovoltaic fields, through a capital increase for an amount of approximately 70 million euro. Fortesa plans to install photovoltaic plants of 1 or more Megawatts each, for a total of 100 MW, mainly in the Italian regions of Puglia, Sicily and the Marches.

Kerself, which will be the sole EPC Contractor, will report additional revenues of more than 300 million euro next year. Installation of the first solar fields, deploying both fixed and tracker plants, began earlier this month.

”This binding agreement gives me great satisfaction,” said Kerself Chairman Masselli. “It enables Kerself to achieve a strong revenue improvement next year without any
significant impact on its net financial position and to build close ties with three of the main institutional investors in the renewable energy sector.”

aleo solar AG supplies over 850 KW of aleo modules for rooftop systems in Belgium

BELGIUM: aleo solar AG announced growing demand for its modules for commercial rooftop solar power facilities in Belgium. In October, two solar power plants rated at 350 KW and more than 500 KW respectively went online in Flanders. Many more orders are already in the pipeline for the year 2010.

Over 2,300 aleo S_18 modules have now been installed in Wondelgem (province of East Flanders) by aleo's partner Ceratec ( The 500-kilowatt facility is expected to produce around 450,000 kilowatt-hours annually. It will be operated by an infrastructure, soil remediation and recycling company.

In Beernem (province of West Flanders), aleo's partner Prosolar ( has installed 1,550 aleo S_18 modules with a total rated output of 350 kilowatts. Inverters were also supplied by aleo solar. The rooftop power plant generates clean solar energy for a specialist molded parts business.

"The reliability and quality of aleo modules assures high yield for many decades to come," comments Laurens Vogelaers, CEO of Prosolar. "This ensures the profitable operation of the solar plant for the company."

aleo solar AG has been active in the Belgian photovoltaics market for several years now and also maintains a local sales office. Thanks to attractive feed-in subsidies that vary from region to region, levels of installed solar power are growing steadily. One can also observe a trend towards mid-sized rooftop installations for commercial use. However, Belgium is also installing premium modules from aleo solar in both smaller and larger rooftop facilities.

Solarion achieves milestone for flexible CIGS encapsulation

LEIPZIG, GERMANY: Solarion AG recently announced the successful achievement of a crucial milestone within its internal qualification of a transparent and flexible encapsulation solution for its copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cells on plastic.

With this flexible encapsulation system Solarion passed the damp-heat test (1,000 hours at 85 percent relative humidity and 85 °C temperature) according to the IEC 61646 standard for performance and durability of thin-film solar modules.

“A flexible packaging of large area photovoltaic devices with efficiencies of about 10 percent represents a real bright spot for new photovoltaic applications. We are seeing a strong demand for highly efficient, flexible and lightweight solar modules,” said Karsten Otte, CEO at Solarion.

“The availability of such photovoltaic products enables completely new product solutions for example in the field of solar roofing materials for buildings or for implementing these products into automotive lightweight constructions which will become more and more important with completely electric powered vehicles.“ adds Otte.

In September, Volkswagen AG presented the concept car E-Up!. The roof of the car was designed as a curved solar module incorporating solar technology developed by Solarion AG.

Kerself ramps up of first four Fortesa sites with related funding

PRATO DI CORREGGIO, ITALY: Kerself S.p.A. has ramped up the first four Fortesa photovoltaic fields, for which funding has already been provided. Three of the fields are in the region of Apulia, the fourth, using a tracker system, is in Sicily.

By the end of December 2009 worksites will be ready for another 10 photovoltaic fields; a total of 30 plants are expected to start up by the end of January 2010.

The photovoltaic field program is thus proceeding as planned, with construction of a total capacity of 100 Megawatts planned by the end of 2010.

Kerself also says that agreements with the funds interested in an involvement in the operation are under way. The financial coverage refers to a capital contribution of
approximately 20 percent and bank borrowings to cover the remaining requirement.

Framework agreements have already been signed with leading Italian financial providers covering more than half of the program. The Kerself share is expected to be
approximately 15 percent.

Dyesol in contract with G-Energy for integrated DSC lab protoyping solution

AUSTRALIA: G-Energy Co. Ltd. (G-Energy), a newly formed Chinese company, in collaboration with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Tsinghua University (Tsinghua), has entered into a contract with Dyesol to supply an integrated dye solar cell (DSC) laboratory prototyping solution exceeding A$700,000 in value.

The prototype solution to be provided by Dyesol will enable the collaboration partners to develop glass-based DSC product based on Dyesol technology and materials.

Tsinghua has been working on the development of DSC technology for a number of years, providing a logical choice as collaboration partner for G-Energy and the next step to enable the team to progress towards building a greater capacity for product development as a precursor to manufacturing.

This is a very important milestone for Dyesol as it provides an entry into the rapidly growing Chinese market and confirms Asia’s key role in Dyesol’s international expansion strategy. Dyesol currently has established operations in the UK, Italy, USA, Singapore and South Korea – countries leading the advance in the commercialization of DSC as the leading 3rd generation solar technology.

Dyesol will install its proprietary equipment and integrate it with a range of locally supplied equipment to provide a prototype solution. Dyesol will also be providing technical support and training during the project implementation.

Gordon Thompson, Director of Dyesol and responsible for Asian operations, commented: “This is the first step in developing a long-term collaborative relationship and brings to a successful conclusion negotiations that have occurred over an extended period. China has the potential to be a powerhouse in DSC technology with significant R&D capacity and manufacturing expertise.”

Kerself signs LoI with Meta System for acquisition of Albatech

PRATO DI CORREGGIO, ITALY: Kerself S.p.A.,, Italy’s leading player in photovoltaic solar plant engineering, development, production, installation and distribution, has signed a letter of intent with the Meta System Group for the acquisition of Albatech S.r.l., a solar photovoltaic installer.

Kerself plans to use company’s equity to acquire 75 percent of Albatech by the end of 2009 and the outstanding 25 percent by the end of 2010.

Albatech expects to close 2009 with revenues totalling approximately 21 million euro and EBITDA of approximately 1.5 million euro.

A second strategic agreement has been signed with Meta System, providing for joint industrial development of a photovoltaic inverter. The device will be type approved
probably by April 2010 and subsequently also marketed under the Kerself label.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Demand for solar connector systems; Stäubli completes expansion of US production facility

USA: The Stäubli Group has completed the expansion of its Duncan plant in South Carolina / USA. The occasion has been celebrated on October 29th with a ribbon cutting ceremony in the presence of Stäubli Group CEO Rolf Strebel, Stäubli Corporation CEO Yves Stäubli and Multi-Contact CEO Franco Delvecchio.

In response to the expanding solar power market, the new building addition accomodates the manufacturing of electrical connectors for the Stäubli Group Company Multi-Contact.

In addition, Stäubli will emphasize the assembly of tool changers for the automation industry as well as electromagnetic quick mold clamping systems for the North American plastics industry, followed by connectors for laboratories, natural gas, nuclear and military applications.

Renewable energies are becoming increasingly important and demand for Photovoltaic modules is expected to triple by 2010. With its solar product line of connectors, cables, and junction boxes, Multi-Contact delivers flexible solutions for time-saving, dependable cabling of solar panels.

The connectors are fully touch-protected and designed for high voltage and high current-carrying capacity, meeting the IP 67 protection requirement in the photovoltaic industry.

Solarfun appoints Gareth Kung as CFO

SHANGHAI, CHINA: Solarfun Power Holdings Co. Ltd, a vertically integrated manufacturer of silicon ingots, and PV cells and modules in China, announced the appointment of Gareth Kung as Chief Financial Officer, effective December 1, 2009.

Kung joins Solarfun from Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. where he first worked as group treasurer and subsequently as group controller, primarily in charge of treasury and financing operations, financial reporting and planning, budget control, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and PRC and international tax planning.

Prior to that, Kung served as an investment manager at AIG Investment Corporation in Hong Kong, where he was responsible for the origination, structuring and execution of private equity transactions in the Asia Pacific region.

From 1997 to 2000, Kung worked in the corporate banking and capital markets division of ABN Amro Bank N.V., where he executed debt financed transactions for corporations based in Hong Kong and China.

Kung worked at UOB Asia Ltd from 1995 to 1997 and executed IPO and M&A transactions for Hong Kong-based corporations. Between 1987 and 1993, he held positions as a senior internal auditor at the Royal Bank of Canada and senior auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Kung earned his MBA from The University of Western Ontario and his bachelor degree in Accountancy from National University of Singapore. He is a Certified Public Accountant in Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore as well as a Fellow of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. In addition, he is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Peter Xie, President of Solarfun, commented: "We are excited to welcome Gareth to our management team. Gareth's extensive experience in dealing with the financial and operational aspects of both technology and Chinese companies makes him well qualified to join our management team.

"Gareth will play a critical role in helping us achieve our growth objectives. We would also like to thank Terry McCarthy for his important work in helping us through this transition period as interim CFO. He will continue as a member of the Company's board of directors."

Yingli Green Energy receives multiple business awards

BAODING, CHINA: Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd, one of the world's leading vertically integrated photovoltaic product manufacturers, recently received awards recognizing the Company's growth, business prospects and competitiveness from Deloitte, The Asset magazine and the Institute of Industrial Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"These awards are recognition of our leading position in the fast growing China market," Liansheng Miao, Chairman and CEO of Yingli Green Energy, commented. "2009 has been another remarkable year for us. During the year, we successfully expanded our annual capacity to 600 MW, continued to increase our market share in established markets and raise recognition in emerging markets as well as achieved substantial progress on Project PANDA and the construction of Fine Silicon, our own polysilicon manufacturing plant. We expect to deliver continued growth and innovation in the years to come."

Deloitte Technology Fast 50 China
Yingli Green Energy has been ranked by Deloitte among its "Technology Fast 50 China" companies for the second time since 2007. The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 China program ranks leading companies in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors based on their average revenue growth rates over the last three years.

Winners of the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 China program will automatically qualify for the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific Program, which is regarded as one of the most established and objective ranking programs of fast growing technology companies in the Asia Pacific Region, with results to be announced in December 2009.

The Asset China's Most Promising Companies 2009
The Company has been named one of the most promising companies in the energy sector as part of The Asset China's Most Promising Companies 2009 award by The Asset magazine, an Asia-based financial publication delivering authoritative coverage and independent research of Asia's financial industry. The winners are selected from 300 China-based companies listed on stock exchanges worldwide by investment professionals and research analysts.

The Institute of Industrial Economics of CASS - 2009 Top 10 Most Competitive Overseas Listed Companies of China
The Company has been ranked among "2009 Top 10 Most Competitive Overseas Listed Companies of China" by the Institute of Industrial Economics, a branch of The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences ("CASS") and China Business, one of the leading economic and management newspapers in China. The Top 10 companies were selected from China-based overseas listed companies based on management capabilities, brand recognition and financial strength.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Leading solar cell manufacturer expands production with Oerlikon's SOLARIS

BALZERS, LIECHTENSTEIN: A leading European crystalline solar cell manufacturer places for the first time a large order for multiple SOLARIS systems.

The SOLARIS, which offers various advantages with its revolutionary coating technology was introduced to the market just a few weeks ago. The customer will use the SOLARIS from Oerlikon Systems to significantly increase their production capacity in North America. The system is set for delivery during the coming year.

“Our original strategy of offering a compact, cost-effective platform with single wafer handling is proving to be a very popular solution with Photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer,” says Andreas Dill, Head of Oerlikon Systems.

So far the core competence of Oerlikon Systems was mainly on Semiconductor and Coating Technologies. After the realignment, the focus is now diversifying into the promising nanotechnology applications. With this significant order for SOLARIS the Business Unit has made an important inroad into the PV crystalline cell manufacturing industry.

Oerlikon has with this success established itself as pivotal in the PV industry as a technology and equipment manufacturer: with Oerlikon Solar for the Thin-Film technology and with Oerlikon Systems for the crystalline technology.

“Both processes complement one another with their respective fields of application. For the Oerlikon Group the advantage and benefit is to be represented in both growth markets with its leading technology,” says Thomas Babacan, Chief Operating Officer at Oerlikon.

Low ‘cost of ownership’
SOLARIS was designed for front and backside coating of crystalline silicon solar cells using clean PVD sputtering technology. Its multi-layer capability allows passivation and SiN coating on the front side as well as coating of the backside with various materials. Its very small footprint (3.3 x 2.2 m) and easy integration into existing production lines give SOLARIS a remarkably low ‘cost of ownership’.

“For this client, the SOLARIS production solution provides a big step toward cost-effective production of solar cells. Ultimately, it will help PV technology – and the industry – achieve grid parity,” explains Andreas Dill, Head of Oerlikon Systems.

Counting on innovation
The SOLARIS order was preceded by thorough evaluation tests, where the system’s flexibility and reliably high output compared favorably with industry standard SiN coating solutions.

“In going from concept to fully functional systems in only 24 months, our development and assembly teams drew from the innovative talent across the Oerlikon Group to get the new SOLARIS system to market quickly,” adds Oerlikon COO Thomas Babacan.

The current success in the PV market is only the start for SOLARIS. In fact, the Oerlikon development teams are finalizing further mass-production solutions for touch screen panels, thermoelectric devices, and generators or thin film batteries (for the newest energy storage solutions).

Meyer Burger acquires remaining share capital of AMB Apparate + Maschinenbau GmbH

SWITZERLAND: Meyer Burger Technology Ltd recently announced that the majority stake of 51 percent of the share capital in AMB Apparate und Maschinenbau GmbH with headquartes in Langweid, Germany, has been increased to 100 percent through an early exercising of the call option on the remaining 49 percent participation in the share capital of AMB Apparate + Maschinenbau GmbH (stipulated in the purchase contract of 10 January 2008).

The complete acquisiton of AMB underlines the strategy of Meyer Burger, to become an active worldwide leading Technolgy Group in the solar industry.

The purchase contract has been completed as of 20 November 2009. The parties have agreed to observe secrecy about the purchase price.

Meyer Burger Technology Ltd is a leading and globally active technology group for innovative systems and processes for cutting and handling crystalline and other high-grade materials.

The machines, competences and technologies of the different companies in the group are used in the solar industry (photovoltaics), semi-conductor and optical industry. The thinnest wafers made from silicon, sapphire or other crystals are required in these three markets to manufacture solar modules, switching circuits or high-performance LEDs.

Country specific PV incentive programs at a glance!

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "PV Incentive Programs - Country Profiles" country profile to its offering.

With virtually unlimited potential, photovoltaic (PV) technology is the most promising source of electricity for the future.

Driven by carbon concerns, desire for energy independence and limited oil and gas production, many governments want to increase the share of electricity produced by solar panels. However, photovoltaic electricity production remains one of the most expensive.

An effective way to increase PV electricity production is to reduce the cost through targeted incentives. In the last 10 years, a number of government sponsored incentive programs have been established.

Japan and Germany led the way and each encountered tremendous success. The demand for solar panels experienced in recent years in those countries has been a direct result of their incentive programs.

When a country decides to promote PV energy with incentives it will result in: immediate investment opportunities; creation of thousands of jobs; and shipping of solar products in substantial volumes. But, incentive programs are complex and it is crucial for everyone involved to have a clear picture of the situation to make informed choices.

As an example, in 2007 Spain launched interesting PV incentives which created demand and investors responded. As installed capacity exceeded targets, in 2008 the Spanish government limited the program. The PV industry in Spain was hit hard. In 2007, all lights were green and companies expanded capacity. By 2009, the limitation of the incentives reduced demand and companies suffered due to over investment.

To properly gauge the market, each new incentive program must be analyzed and converted into a number of peak megawatts (MWp) installed. As countries rush to promote this technology many new incentive programs have been announced. China, France, Czech Republic and Bulgaria among others are rolling out programs. The opportunities these programs create are not without peril.

Information described in this report is based on an in-depth investigation that Yole Développement carried out on 80 countries.

China solar polysilicon industry report 2009

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "China Solar Polysilicon Industry Report, 2009" report to its offering.

The world's solar cell output increased 40 percent yearly on average over the past decade. Promoted by the global PV market, China's PV export value reached RMB150 billion in 2008, topping in the world. In addition, its PV output accounted for 30 percent of global total, and was the sum of Germany and Japan.

The global economic downturn has made PV industry stranded, and the ratio of output to demand was 2:1. In 1H 2009, the output value of world's PV industry dropped nearly 40 percent, while the advantages such as low cost made China's PV market share rise to 40 percent.

In China, more than 10 startups have successfully went public via PV market development, as well as many listed companies have entered the PV market, all of which had developed rapidly during several years before 2008, and their output capacity had been successively expanded.

Seen from the latest situation, some problems such as blind investment and overcapacity have occurred in the development course of China's polysilicon industry.

Firstly, overcapacity in total output scale. Lured by high profit in previous years, huge capital has flowed into polysilicon industry since 2006, which resulted in rapid expansion of polysilicon output capacity.

According to the statistics, the polysilicon output capacity hit approximately 20,000 tons in China in 2008, and the output was 4,000 tons, while the production capacity under construction was over 80,000 tons, indicating evident overcapacity. Meanwhile, being an energy-intensive industry, the electricity charges of polysilicon accounts for 35-40 percent in production cost.

Currently, China's PV industry has not been started up by a large extent, and 98 percent of solar cells made with China-made polysilicon are for export, which means indirect energy export in large quantity.

Secondly, unreasonable distribution. The polysilicon projects should be established in the areas with rich energy and low-price electricity considering its electricity guzzling. However, a substantial part of new construction projects are built in East China and Central China, the areas with high electricity price and short of energy resources.

In Sep, 2009, China's central government listed polysilicon as an overcapacity industry in order to guide its healthy development, avoid excessive competition and achieve energy-saving and emission reduction.

It was explicitly proposed to strictly supervise industrial market access, strengthen environmental monitoring and project approvals, and implement the accountability system. In the meantime, it was planned to resolutely curb polysilicon overcapacity and redundant construction by rendering the economic and administrative means.

Solverdi announces first government supply contract

PHOENIX & BAULKHAM HILLS, AUSTRALIA: Solverdi Worldwide Ltd, the world’s renewable utility, has executed a $14.8 million annual contract for biofuels energy supply to Turkish Republic Northern Cyprus.

Under the terms of a three term (five years per term), renewable contract between Solverdi and IBI, Inc, IBI has assigned to Solverdi a 15 year commitment for the supply of biofuel from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The government commitment was issued through a tender offer in March 2009 by the Agriculture Department of Northern Cyprus.

Solverdi’s contract calls for a guaranteed government minimum of 15,000 metric tons per year, and will increase to 20,000 metric tons in January 2010. The contract is based on a blended rate of 5.75 percent of all diesel fuel consumed or sold in Northern Cyprus.

Chief Executive Officer Dennis M. Danzik stated: “The contract in Cyprus offered up the opportunity to ship and convert our former Narangba facility, which was located outside Brisbane Australia, to Cyprus. Solverdi technology is currently being incorporated into the reactor portions of our former Narangba refinery in Los Angeles, before shipment to our new plant site at Famagusta, in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”

He added: “Our current success in Cyprus is based on the diligent work in the United States of Dane Woods, CEO of IBI and Cruz Bustamante, former Lt. Governor of California. Leading Solverdi’s effort in Cyprus, our newest management team member, Hasan Ozbafli, has done a superior job in winning this opportunity to supply biofuels to the Northern Cyprus government.

“Our contracted business for 2010 is now very strong, and with this new foundation, we intend to move into other Mediterranean countries from our base in Cyprus, headed by Ozbafli. The delivery of our plant equipment is already underway, and installation of Phase I will begin in January. Cyprus is a manageable, business friendly opportunity in a Country that is acting in good faith to expand access and use of renewable fuels and energy.”

Dane Woods, CEO of IBI, Inc stated: “In 2008, our firm began a search to identify the best technology partner to fulfill the biofuels supply requirement. In identifying Solverdi, we have found a competent operator with superior engineering and manufacturing skills. Solverdi is actually delivering renewable product. The Solverdi business model will allow for steady growth for years to come.”

Cruz Bustamante, former California Lt Governor, and House Speaker said: “Solverdi’s business is unique in the world of renewable energy. I have had the experience of hearing and seeing dozens of renewable opportunities, most are just that, opportunities. Solverdi’s renewable energy delivery is a working business, and Solverdi’s team is laser focused on installations. I look forward to working with the Solverdi team.”

Solverdi has the distinct advantage, through utilization of its licensed technology, to produce valuable renewable byproducts--all from various wastewater materials, in turn resulting in renewable fuels, steam, and water. The Solverdi Process leverages its renewable fuels and specially engineered equipment with the use of amplified solar energy to supply electricity to an industrial or commercial building’s uninterruptable power supply.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Li-Ion battery maker EnerDel enters utility energy storage market

INDIANAPOLIS, USA: Advanced lithium-ion battery maker EnerDel will enter the utility-scale energy storage market, supplying batteries for a major new smart grid program announced recently by the US Department of Energy.

EnerDel will build the batteries for five one-megawatt power systems that will be used by Portland General Electric (PGE) -- a pioneer in smart grid technology deployment -- to help manage peak demand and smooth the variations in power from renewable sources like wind and solar.

"Energy storage is a key component of the smart grid, as well as a crucial tool for enhancing both the reliability and the availability of renewable but often intermittent energy sources like wind and solar," said Cyrus Ashtiani, Chief Technology Officer at EnerDel.

"We expect this sector to be a major growth area for the battery industry. This program is a breakthrough opportunity for EnerDel to prove the capabilities of our systems in partnership with one of the most innovative electric utilities in the country."

Each of the five EnerDel battery systems will store enough energy to power roughly 400 average American homes simultaneously for up to an hour at a time utilizing the same core chemistry as the EnerDel batteries designed for the emerging new generation of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The new systems will be used in concert with a variety of both hardware and software solutions to improve system reliability during peak demand loads.

The PGE project will be built in Salem, OR, where it will serve both residential and commercial customers. Equipment will be installed at 15 sites over the next two years, after which developers will spend two to three years testing system performance under wide variety of geographic and meteorological conditions.

It is one of 16 announced by DOE, which is providing half the $178 million funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal stimulus package enacted in February. The balance will come from utilities and other participants. Overall, the Northwest regional program will serve up to 60,000 utility customers in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

EnerDel is part of Ener1 Inc. (HEV). Based in Indianapolis, IN, the company has one of the most advanced lithium-ion battery manufacturing facilities in the world, and the only one of its kind in the United States.

Quantum announces letter of intent for $20 million

IRVINE, USA: Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc. announced that it and its subsidiary, Quantum Solar Energy Inc. has entered into a non-binding letter of intent with New Energy Systems, LLC, which sets forth the terms by which NES would invest $20 million in Quantum Solar in exchange for a 34 percent ownership interest in Quantum Solar.

Quantum Solar will use the investment proceeds to establish a state of the art solar photovoltaic module manufacturing facility in Irvine, California, with an expected annual capacity of 45 MW.

Quantum Solar will utilize the advanced crystalline silicon technologies and manufacturing expertise of asola Advanced and Automotive Solar Systems GmbH, an affiliate of Quantum and Quantum Solar. Serial production is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2010. Part of the production output from Quantum Solar is expected to be sold to NES for its solar energy business initiatives in California.

Quantum Solar is also expected to supply modules to Schneider Power, Inc. for their portfolio of utility-scale solar energy generation projects. As announced on November 25, 2009, Quantum and Schneider Power have signed a definitive agreement for Quantum to acquire all of the outstanding capital stock of Schneider Power. That transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2010.

Pursuant to the terms of the Letter of Intent, NES would invest $20 million in exchange for Series A convertible preferred stock, which would be convertible into shares of Quantum Solar common stock on a one-for-one basis.

NES would receive a cumulative preferred dividend equal to 2.5 percent of the investment amount, or $500,000 annually, for the lesser of seven (7) years or until such time that NES has received a total return on its investment equal to $6 million. The transaction is expected to close within 90 days. Upon closing,

Quantum Solar would be owned 51 percent by Quantum, 34 percent by NES (on a fully converted basis), and 15 percent by Asola. Quantum and NES shall each have the right to appoint two members to serve on Quantum Solar's board of directors.

"We are very excited about the investment by NES", said Alan P. Niedzwiecki, the President and CEO of Quantum. "Their timely investment allows us to quickly launch our solar electricity generation products, which will be utilized in solar energy projects developed by NES as well as Schneider Power.

"NES has an impressive pipeline of renewable energy projects in California. We are seeing a jump in demand for high quality solar modules made in the USA, as customers and investors strive to ensure reliable long-term production of clean electricity, in many private and state- owned solar projects across the nation."

The closing is subject to and conditioned upon a number factors including NES' completion of due diligence and the successful negotiation and execution of definitive agreements.

Energy-storage startup SustainX receives $5.4mn from DOE

WEST LEBANON, USA: SustainX, Inc., a startup developing a new technology for utility-scale energy storage, has received a $5.39 million award from the US Department of Energy (DOE).

The award will enable SustainX to develop its technology and eventually deploy a full-scale demonstration of its method for storing large amounts of energy using compressed air.

The DOE considers energy storage a crucial technology for the Smart Grid, the modernized version of the electrical grid that will be built over the next decade or two. The goals of the Smart Grid are higher efficiency, lower pollution, and lower cost.

The traditional grid stores almost no energy: electric supply from power plants must track user demand within seconds or minutes. When demand rises suddenly, so-called "peaking" turbines, fired by natural gas, must rapidly come on-line.

Since such plants are idle most of the time, they are an expensive source of power. With storage units scattered at strategic points throughout a Smart Grid, however, shifts in demand could be met more flexibly, lowering transmission and generation costs. For example, fewer peaking turbines would be needed.

Energy storage will also enable the grid to support greater integration of renewable energy sources. For example, wind turbines generate electricity only when the wind is blowing and solar panels only generate electricity when the sun is shining.

At present, the grid is able to accommodate only a certain amount of power from such sources, but with affordable storage, the grid will become more flexible and renewable generators will able to produce energy more steadily. However, no low-cost technology for utility-scale energy storage is yet on the market.

The SustainX energy storage system addresses this need by storing energy in the form of compressed air. Electrically-driven hydraulic pumps are used to compress air to high pressure (up to 3,000 psi) for storage above-ground in standard industrial pressure vessels.

This air is later expanded, powering a hydraulic motor that drives an electric generator. The technology uses isothermal cycling -- that is, the air is kept at a constant temperature -- coupled with staged hydraulic compression and expansion to deliver efficient, cost-effective energy storage.

SustainX's technology relies on off-the-shelf mechanical components, contains no toxic materials other than ordinary hydraulic fluid, and emits no air pollution or effluents. The company anticipates that its units will have extremely long cycle lifetime -- that is, will be able to charge and discharge thousands of times before needing replacement -- and will achieve high round-trip efficiency, allowing recovery of 70-80 percent of the energy required to charge them.

Using simple materials, reliable off-the-shelf components, and efficient air-handling techniques based on basic thermodynamic principles will result in breakthrough cost savings.

Each SustainX energy-storage unit acts, in effect, like a large storage battery. No fuel is needed to run the unit. A cluster of such units will produce megawatts of electricity for hours on end. (A megawatt is enough power for about 1000 typical New England homes.)

The DOE award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Previously, SustainX has received a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation and venture-capital funding from Polaris Venture Partners and Rockport Capital Partners.

The company was spun out of Dartmouth College last year and now employs 10 people at its site in West Lebanon, New Hampshire. It is contracting with several companies to handle different aspects of technology development and testing, including Creare, Parker Hannifin, The Hope Group, MTechnology, and KEMA. The DOE- and SustainX-funded demonstration will culminate in the deployment of a 1 megawatt, 4 megawatt-hour system hosted at an AES Energy Storage LLC-affiliated site.

Viridity Energy congratulates Con Edison on smart grid stimulus funding

CONSHOHOCKEN, USA: Viridity Energy announced that it will work with Consolidated Edison, Inc. (Con Edison) on its smart grid project after the US Department of Energy (DOE) awarded Con Edison $45 million in smart grid stimulus funding.

Viridity Energy will work with Con Edison and the New York City Economic Development Corp. to optimize advanced building technologies and solar generation from City-owned properties into clean, virtual power generation.

Viridity Energy transforms large energy consumers into 24/7 virtual power plants through its VPower System, which increases energy efficiency, decreases energy costs and creates continuous revenue that enables the attainment of economic and sustainability goals.

Viridity Energy submitted grant applications with several project partners in September and has already received smart grid stimulus funding as a project partner with PECO through a smart grid investment grant announced on October 27, 2009.

“Viridity Energy is proud to be associated with Con Edison’s smart grid demonstration program award and we applaud President Obama, Secretary Chu, DOE and Congress for their foresight and forward-thinking investment in a clean, efficient American electric grid,” said Audrey Zibelman, President and CEO of Viridity Energy.

“We commend Con Edison for the leadership and innovation it has shown, both of which are essential when dealing with today’s energy and grid challenges. In addition, we are thrilled to work with the New York City Economic Development Corporation on this demonstration project.”

Viridity’s VPower System provides customers with access to an advanced software platform that evaluates the customer’s overall energy load and optimizes their energy usage on a 24/7 basis. The goal is to integrate and aggregate customers’ load, storage and on-site generation resources into virtual generation that can be used as a reliable resource in the wholesale energy markets and on the grid.

With the VPower System, building owners are able to continuously and automatically optimize their systems with the assistance of day-ahead schedules and real time re-optimization. VPower enhances economic value of building resources by increasing the amount of hours that the owner can achieve savings and revenues from the power markets.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Solyndra signs framework agreement with Italy’s Sun System for approximately $105mn

FREMONT, USA: Solyndra Inc., a manufacturer of innovative proprietary photovoltaic (PV) systems for commercial rooftops, has signed a new multi-year framework agreement worth up to $105 million with solar integrator Sun System S.p.A., based in Milan, Italy. The solar panels for this Euro-based agreement will be manufactured at Solyndra's facilities in Fremont and Milpitas, California.

"We are excited to announce this relationship with Sun System, a highly innovative integrator of medium and large-scale commercial PV systems. Sun System’s strong presence in Italy and beyond, coupled with Solyndra’s advanced PV systems, will accelerate the deployment of world-class photovoltaic installations on commercial rooftops in southern Europe," said Dr. Chris Gronet, Solyndra’s CEO and founder.

Solyndra's cylindrical, thin film PV systems are designed to generate more electricity on an annual basis from typical low-slope commercial rooftops, while providing much lower installation costs than conventional flat panel PV technologies.

"As a company focused on cost, performance and reliability, we are very happy to announce this partnership. Solyndra’s technology sets a new standard of performance on commercial rooftops compared to conventional PV technologies in terms of installation cost, rooftop loading, non-penetrating wind performance, and energy production per roof," states Dr. Davide Scarantino, CEO of Sun System.

"Solyndra´s innovative cylindrical module geometry and fast and easy mounting technology are leading the way toward a clean energy future," added Dr. Domenico Ruggeri, Technical Director of Sun System.

CVD Equipment offers compelling solution for TCO coated glass

RONKONKOMA, USA: CVD Equipment Corp. (CVD), announced today that an article about the Company was published in the November issue of Photovoltaics World magazine titled “Off-line APCVD offers paradigm shift for TCO glass end users”.

The article was coauthored by CVD executives Karlheinz Strobl, VP of Business Development, and Michael Gray, CVD's VP of Sales and Marketing.

The article focuses on CVD's solutions for depositing Transparent Conductive Oxide (TCO) on glass, a market which is experiencing significant growth for applications such as thin film solar energy, energy efficient architectural glass and many other applications requiring the deposition of thin films for advanced functionality.

Sustainable Energy's PARALEX solution enables 1st MW scale massively parallel ground-based thin film solar plant

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Sustainable Energy Technologies Ltd announced that it has begun deliveries of its solar power inverters to Tejados Industriales de Fotovoltaica, S.L., a leading Spanish EPC company, affiliated with Signet Solar GmbH, for a 1.8 MW solar power plant located in the Blizkovice region of the Czech Republic.

The solar plant, which is being jointly developed by Signet Solar GmbH and BSC-Solar group, a solar project developer based in the Czech Republic, is scheduled for grid connection before year end. The Signet Solar PV modules will be wired in parallel using Sustainable Energy's patented PARALEXTM solution and making it world's first MW scale power plant using the parallel system architecture.

"This order is a testament to the growing appreciation for the value the PARALEX operating system in Europe, not only for rooftop solar PV systems but also for ground based solar plants" said Robert Bucher, President & CEO of Sustainable Energy. "We are also pleased with our new relationship with the TIF Group to whom we are supplying inverters for this and other projects."

PARALEX is an operating system architecture enabling thin film solar modules to be wired in a massively parallel array. Based on Sustainable Energy's patented inverter technology, the PARALEX architecture enables each solar module to operate independently of any other module in the system ensuring every module delivers its maximum power potential while reducing the impact of shading, soiling and other real world factors.

Klaus Mueller, Managing Director of TIF, added his comments: "We are very pleased to see the PARALEX solution in the marketplace and optimized for Signet Solar modules. We believe our PARALEX/Signet Solar system will provide a superior performance ratio to any other solution available today. A 'parallel system architecture" is a concept that the PV industry has been waiting towards for some time but until now developments have focused only on standard crystalline type modules. In our opinion, PARALEX is the most economic way to optimize the power output and reap the benefits of parallel architectures."

Sustainable Energy will supply inverters from existing inventory. First European deliveries of the second generation inverter are expected to begin later this year.

Global concentrated PV market worth $266 million by 2014

WILMINGTON, USA: According to the new market research report, 'Concentrated Photovoltaic and Solar Photovoltaic Global Markets (2009 - 2014)', published by MarketsandMarkets, the total concentrated photovoltaic market is expected to be worth $266 million by 2014, growing at a CAGR of 33 percent from 2009 to 2014.

Europe is expected to command the maximum market share at 59.3 percent, followed by the Americas, which are expected to hold 32 percent of the global concentrated photovoltaic market.

The Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) market includes the submarkets for Low Concentration Photovoltaic (LCPV), Medium Concentration Photovoltaic (MCPV), and High Concentration Photovoltaic (HCPV).

The CPV market is still in a nascent stage but is developing rapidly due to the finite nature of non-renewable sources of energy, and the increasing demand for higher output and green energy. The CPV market is estimated to reach $266.0 million in 2014 from about $63.9 million in 2009.

Among all segments, HCPV commands the largest share of global CPV market, and is also expected to have the highest CAGR of 39.1 percent from 2009 to 2014. The conversion of HCPV systems lowers land requirement, and facilitates higher energy output at lower costs. HCPV technology is thus expected to achieve cost parity with conventional sources of electricity at a faster rate than other CPV technologies.

The initial high growth opportunity for the CPV market lies in regions with high direct normal irradiance (DNI) or direct solar radiation and high cost of grid electricity.

These regions include southwest America, southwest Europe, western and central Australia, the Middle East, and northern Africa. While technology developments in the CPV systems market are currently concentrated in Spain, Germany, and the US; government support for CPV technologies in countries such as India, China, Japan, and Australia are expected to drive future market growth.

The global solar PV market is expected to grow with a CAGR of 12.5 percent during 2009-2014 to reach $38.1 billion in 2014. Crystalline silicon PV holds the largest market share of 82 percent; while the thin film silicon market is expected to have highest growth rate of 28.2 percent from 2009 to 2014.

US Department of Energy announces $24mn smart grid stimulus grant award to Beacon Power

TYNGSBORO, USA: Beacon Power Corp., a company that designs and develops advanced products and services to support more stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation, said that the US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it has awarded a stimulus grant to Beacon valued at $24 million, for use in the construction of the Company’s second 20 MW flywheel energy storage plant, to be located in Chicago, Illinois.

"We’re extremely pleased to receive this grant award from the Department of Energy,” said Bill Capp, Beacon president and CEO. “DOE has long supported Beacon’s pioneering efforts to bring our clean, sustainable and cost-saving energy storage technology to the grid.

"This $24 million grant, which is the 4th largest out of 16 energy storage grants announced today, represents the most significant financial boost Beacon has ever received from the federal government. We believe it underscores the unique value and stabilizing benefits of our grid-scale flywheel systems. We’re very grateful for DOE’s continued support."

Capp added: "Thanks to DOE’s strong support, we can now continue to move forward with plans to build and operate a second 20 MW regulation plant, in addition to the one we’ve begun work on in Stephentown, New York. Doing so will expand our merchant service provider business model in the regulation market, and create a foundation for promoting and selling turnkey systems to vertically integrated utilities here and overseas."

According to DOE, the funding award is to "Design, build, test, commission and operate a utility-scale 20 MW flywheel energy storage frequency regulation plant in Chicago, Illinois, and provide frequency regulation services to the grid operator, the PJM Interconnection.

"The project will also demonstrate the technical, cost and environmental advantages of fast-response flywheel-based frequency regulation management, lowering the cost to build a 20 MW flywheel energy storage plant to improve grid reliability while increasing the use of wind and solar power.”

The grant for the Chicago facility results from one of Beacon’s two applications for DOE Smart Grid demonstration project funding, known as Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000036. Area of Interest 2.2 of the DOE solicitation contemplated one or two grants for Frequency Regulation Ancillary Services projects.

The Department made only one award, which was for Beacon’s 20 MW regulation plant. The grant award of $24 million is for 50% of the project’s estimated cost. DOE will provide further details of the grant conditions in the near future.

Flywheel energy storage and frequency regulation
Frequency regulation is an essential grid service that is performed by maintaining a tight balance between electricity supply and demand. Beacon’s 20 MW plant has been designed to provide frequency regulation services by absorbing electricity from the grid when there is too much, and storing it as kinetic energy in a matrix of flywheel systems. When there is not enough power to meet demand, the flywheels inject energy back into the grid, thus helping to maintain proper electricity frequency (60 cycles/second).

Thanks to their ability to recycle electricity efficiently and act as “shock absorbers” to the grid, Beacon’s flywheel plants will also help support the integration of greater amounts of renewable (but intermittent) wind and solar power resources.

Unlike conventional fossil fuel-powered generators that provide frequency regulation, flywheel plants will not consume any fuel, nor will they directly produce CO2 greenhouse gas emissions or other air pollutants, such as NOX or SO2.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

IDC readies ICT Sustainability Index ahead of UN’s COP15 Climate Change Conference

FRAMINGHAM, USA, LONDON, UK, MILAN, ITALY & SINGAPORE: IDC today announced that it has completed an index, the ICT Sustainability IndexTM, that scores a country's ability to use information and communications technologies (ICT) to effectively reduce its CO2 emissions. The complete results will be released at a press conference in Copenhagen on December 10th.

The ICT Sustainability Index ranks the individual countries that make up the G20, who also account for over seventy percent of the world’s gross domestic product and the world’s carbon emissions.

IDC believes that the ICT Sustainability Index will help these countries prioritize ICT investments in major sectors, such as manufacturing, transport, and housing, as part of their overall climate change strategy. Finally, the Index scores will allow IDC to rank nations fairly and transparently as they tackle the long-term challenge of environmental and economic sustainability.

“We believe that we have been able to normalize economic, energy, and ICT profiles to determine a country’s ability to use ICT to reduce its CO2 emissions. Countries with diverse characteristics such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China and the United States can at last be equally compared to each other,” said Vernon Turner, senior vice president of IDC's Enterprise Infrastructure, Consumer and Telecom Research.

“The G20 countries have also been ranked into five tiers based on their scores from our analysis. While everyone wants to be in a higher tier, we believe that it is more important to understand why each nation is in a particular tier.”

Six of the G20 nations come from Asia/Pacific, including Japan, China, and India. “It is clear that Asia will play a prominent role in the ICT Sustainability Index,” said Philip Carter, associate research director for Green IT & Sustainability Research. “We anticipate that some of the nations will see the opportunity to use the Index as a positive tool towards lowering their CO2 emissions. We also think that some may feel challenged by their Index ranking.”

Western Europe has the largest concentration of industrial nations, and while there are similarities in their profiles, there are significant differences to their overall ICT Sustainability Index Rankings. Chris Ingle, associate vice president, Consulting, said, “Europe is a diverse mix of old and new nations that assert that they cannot be equally compared. We think we have overcome that challenge with the Index and look forward to sharing the results.”

Finally, energy usage remains the leading driver for ICT executives to undertake any Green ICT and Sustainability initiatives. Roberta Bigliani, research director at IDC Energy Insights, stated, “It’s important for the G20 nations to have a clear road map of what technologies they should be investing in since almost 65 percent of all ICT executives believe that energy impacts their ability to be green.”

The Index will be accompanied by a report offering qualitative recommendations to policy makers on where ICT investments can contribute to achieving climate change goals.

Suniva solar cell technology powers India’s first large-scale solar project

NORCROSS, USA: Suniva Inc., a US manufacturer of high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells and supplier of Suniva-branded solar modules, today announced the completion of its collaborative project with Titan Energy Systems Ltd. to create India’s first large-scale project in Jamuria, West Bengal.

Suniva’s cells power the 1MW solar electric power plant which is expected to expand an additional 250kW early next year.

“High-efficiency solar technology presents significant advantages in terms of land use and balance of system costs, and Suniva is our key partner for delivering the high power and volumes needed to keep projects reliably moving forward,” said Sankar Chodagam, Managing Director of Titan Energy Systems Ltd.

The Indian government recently approved a National Solar Mission, which includes a target of deploying at least 20GW of solar projects by 2020, as part of its national strategy to provide power to millions of citizens and combat climate change.

Over the next five years, Titan plans to develop a series of large-scale projects and installations in Andhra Pradesh, India. Suniva fully supports and looks forward to continuing its collaboration with the fast-growing Indian market.

“As India pursues its significant goals for solar power, innovative solar cell technology will be just as crucial as new system designs and deployment strategies,” said John Baumstark, CEO of Suniva.

“We maintain a close and open dialogue with Titan in order to provide them with the best possible technology solutions and look forward to partnering with them in the recently announced 1GW project in Andhra Pradesh. Our collaborative projects in India, the United States and throughout the world will help shape the future of renewable energy.”

Worldwide interest in solar technology made in the United States continues to grow. Suniva’s technology is currently being integrated into a variety of installations throughout the United States, including a 550kW solar farm in North Carolina and a 10MW development in Georgia.

GWS Technologies to distribute Solaranda solar shade structure

SCOTTSDALE, USA: GWS Technologies Inc., an alternative energy company developing and marketing solar and wind-powered renewable energy products and solutions, announced that it would begin distribution of the Solaranda Solar Shade Structure.

“The Solaranda is innovative, creative, and just the solution to give the solar industry a boost,” said GWS Technologies Vice President Michael Coskun. “The Solaranda appeals to a large consumer base and gives virtually everyone the opportunity to save money and lower their electric bills,” added Coskun.

The Solaranda is a shade structure that integrates solar photovoltaic panels into the roof structure to provide both shade and electricity for a home or business. These systems have been pre-engineered to meet many building code requirements around the country. The Solaranda kits include steel interior beams and posts with an aluminum covering that provides a No-Maintenance structure (with a lifetime warranty) for the solar panels.

“EnergyPro is very excited about partnering with GWS to distribute our Solaranda™ kits. It is a great option for installers nationwide to offer a new and unique product to their clients and that qualifies for all rebates and tax credits,” explained Nichole Koontz, President of EnergyPro Inc.

Kender Energy signs Hawaiian distributor for solar technology

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Kender Energy Inc. has signed a distribution agreement with Kahalehoe Solar Inc. in Waianae, Hawaii.

In Hawaii, one in three homes have solar water heating systems and the state offers one of the most generous incentive packages to convert to Solar Energy with incentives of over $20,000 per conversion in State Tax incentives and direct rebates to the home owner.

"With an abundance of sunlight and no other natural energy resources, the introduction of the Kender Energy technology into the Hawaiian market is a natural fit. We are very excited to have Kahalehoe Solar Inc. as our distributor into this important market," expressed Sean Kelly, President and CEO of Kender Energy Inc.

Indian government announces Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission!

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy in a statement in the Parliament on 23rd November, 2009 said that “the Government has approved a new policy on development of solar energy in the country by launching of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

Interested folks can download the report from MNRE's website --

This is a historic and transformational initiative of the UPA Government and I am proud to have the privilege of being assigned the task of overseeing its implementation. The Solar Mission is very much in line with the vision of modern India of Pandit Nehru, which has made India today, a leading nuclear and space power.

This Mission is one of the eight key National Missions which comprise India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change. It has a twin objective – to contribute to India’s long term energy security as well as its ecological security. We are living in a world of rapidly depleting fossil fuel resources and access to conventional energy resources such as oil, gas and coal is becoming increasingly constrained. The rapid development and deployment of renewable energy is imperative in this context and in view of high solar radiation over the country solar energy provides a long term sustainable solution.

The Solar Mission recommends the implementation in 3 stages leading up to an installed capacity of 20,000 MW by the end of the 13th Five Year Plan in 2022. It is envisaged that as a result of rapid scale up as well as technological developments, the price of solar power will attain parity with grid power at the end of the Mission, enabling accelerated and large-scale expansion thereafter. During this time we expect many new ideas to emerge and technologies to become more efficient. Quite obviously, in order to set the stage for achieving this ambitious target, what we do in the next 3 to 4 years will be critical. Therefore, the Cabinet has approved setting up of 1,100 MW of grid solar power and 200 MW capacity of off-grid solar applications utilizing both solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies in the first phase of the Mission. In addition, Mission will also focus on R&D and HRD to develop and strengthen Indian skills and enhance indigenous content to make the Mission sustainable.

Mission will establish a single window investor-friendly mechanism, which reduces risk and at the same time, provides an attractive, predictable and sufficiently extended tariff for the purchase of solar power for the grid. The focal point, for the next 3 years, will be the NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), which is the power trading arm of the NTPC. Government will designate it for the purchase of solar power generated by independent solar power producers, at rates fixed by the Central Regulatory Electricity Commission and for a period specified by the latter. Government will provide equivalent MW of power from the unallocated quota of NTPC for bundling with solar power. The utilities will be able to account for purchase of solar power against their RPO obligations.

I wish to record my deep appreciation and grateful thanks to my senior colleague, Shinde Saheb, who as Minister of Power, has made this arrangement possible and has supported this Mission at every stage of its evolution.

The Mission also includes a major initiative for promoting rooftop solar PV applications. Solar tariff announced by the regulators will be applicable for such installations. The power distribution companies will be involved in purchase of this power.

There are several off-grid solar applications which are already commercially viable or near viability, where rapid scale up is possible. This requires regulatory and incentive measures as well as an awareness campaign. Solar thermal heating applications, such as water heaters, fall in this category. Solar lighting systems for rural and remote areas are already being distributed commercially in several parts of the country. This is expected to help our rural masses.

The Mission will have a very focused R&D programme which seeks to address the India-specific challenges in promoting solar energy. We have to pool available resources both human and financial to strengthen the existing scientific infrastructure in the country. We would involve various stakeholders in human resource development and other capacity building efforts. Mission will also accelerate the process of development of domestic industry in this sector.

I seek cooperation of members of the House to make Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission a success, which will help establish India as one of the global leaders in Solar Energy.

It may be noted that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has already taken several initiatives on different aspects of the Mission. Ministry has recently cleared proposals to set up 29 MW capacity megawatt size grid connected solar power projects under the ongoing demonstration schemes. Recently, 3 MW capacity grid solar power plants have been set up in West Bengal and Karnataka. Ministry has also sanctioned several projects to set up about 525 kWp capacity solar PV projects to save diesel. Ministry is also implementing several other projects on promoting solar thermal energy applications in the country.

The Ministry has been interacting with R&D groups, industry and experts to identify the thrust areas of research. As a result several R&D projects in solar energy with an outlay of Rs 54 crores are under progress. More projects will be finalized soon. Ministry plans to set up several Centers of Excellence in research in Solar Energy technologies and strengthening of the Solar Energy Center under the Ministry.

Sun Catalytix receives seed financing from Polaris Venture Partners

CAMBRIDGE, USA: Sun Catalytix Corp., a distributed energy storage company, today announced it has received a third seed tranche from Polaris Venture Partners.

The company has also exclusively licensed a portfolio of water-splitting catalysis patents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The licensed patents, developed in the MIT laboratories of Professor and Sun Catalytix Co-Founder Daniel G. Nocera, are central to Sun Catalytix energy storage breakthroughs.

Sun Catalytix technology readily and inexpensively stores renewable energy in the form of chemical bonds to enable distributed, round-the-clock use of solar- and wind-derived energy.

"Polaris has a long history of working successfully with entrepreneurial professors at MIT and other research universities around the world, and the addition of Sun Catalytix is an excellent fit with our growing portfolio of energy technology companies," said Bob Metcalfe, Sun Catalytix director as well as Ethernet inventor, 3Com founder and a general partner at Polaris leading the firm's energy investments.

"This investment supports the development of technology that will make affordable, renewable energy a reality," said Amir Nashat, general partner at Polaris and Sun Catalytix founding CEO. "The company has been briskly meeting its seed milestones, and we're now recruiting key members of the start-up team, including our next CEO."

In addition to Nocera, Metcalfe and Nashat, the Sun Catalytix team includes Co-Founder and Chairman Arthur L. Goldstein, former CEO of Ionix.

Sun Catalytix is developing inexpensive, safe, non-toxic, efficient catalyst technologies for storing solar energy to make it available when the sun is not shining.

The catalysts mimic photosynthesis by using energy, captured from a photovoltaic cell or other source, to split water (H2O) into Hydrogen (H2) and Oxygen (O2). The company's electrolyzers are different from conventional technology in that they can use a broad range of water sources - including unpurified fresh or salt water - in benign conditions and at transformatively low costs.

According to Nocera, "Sun Catalytix opportunities are in proliferating high-volume, low-cost electrolyzers in a decentralized fashion, rather than in improving today's expensive, large-scale electrolyzers."

ET Solar Group announces RMB400 million syndicate loan

NANJING, CHINA: ET Solar Group Corp., a Nanjing-based photovoltaic system turnkey solution provider and integrated manufacturer of PV products announced obtainment of an RMB400 million credit facility.

The RMB400 million credit facility (approximately US$59 million, or Euro40 million) was arranged by China Everbright Bank and joined by China Merchants Bank. It has a trade finance tranche and a working capital tranche with a one-year tenor that would be renewable subject to satisfactory credit review.

The new facility brings total credit lines currently available to ET Solar by various Chinese banks well over RMB800 million (approximately $120 million, or Euro80 million). It further diversifies ET Solar's banking relationships in China with both large national banks and leading regional banks as its lenders.

Fischer Chen, Chief Financial Officer of ET Solar, commented: "This new loan facility further increases our financial flexibility and puts us in a more comfortable position to maintain our growth momentum and strengthen the bankability of our products and turnkey solution services. We are especially pleased with the strong commitment from China Everbright Bank and China Merchants Bank, which are both leading lenders in the fast growing Chinese economy."

"We are very pleased to have arranged the credit facility for ET Solar as we are very much impressed with its fast growth track record and differentiated business evolution roadmap," Hong Cheng, Deputy General Manager of China Everbright Bank, Nanjing Branch, added.

Akeena Solar and Highland Solar to distribute 1.75 MW of Andalay AC solar panels in Canada

LOS GATOS, USA & TORONTO, CANADA: Akeena Solar Inc., a national designer, installer and distributor of solar power systems, announced a distribution partnership with Ontario-based Highland Solar to sell the company's award-winning Andalay AC solar panel system throughout Canada.

According to terms of the agreement, Highland Solar will sell at least 1.75 megawatts of Andalay AC solar panels in Canada through 2010 through its network of local installation partners.

"Canada is shaping up to be a large market for rooftop solar with their generous new renewable energy programs in Ontario and other provinces," said Barry Cinnamon, Akeena Solar CEO. "With our distribution agreement with Highland Solar, Andalay AC solar panels will now be available to Canadian homeowners eager to lower their electricity bills with safe, reliable solar panels that look like skylights."

Andalay AC panels have built-in racking, wiring, grounding and inverters, reducing the overall parts count by 80 percent. Andalay's award-winning technology safeguards against performance-threatening breakdowns and delivers optimum performance with 5 to 25 percent more energy output compared to ordinary DC solar panels.

Since Andalay AC solar panels produce household AC power, they eliminate complicated and dangerous DC wiring and provide a safer and easier installation process to solar installers, trades workers and do-it-yourselfers.

The Andalay system is one of the first solar power systems to meet Ontario's provincial content requirements, which require 40 percent of the content of solar systems to be sourced from Ontario. Ontario's Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) provides generators of renewable energy a 20-year contract at a guaranteed price. Under the micro-FIT program, which includes solar systems of 10 kilowatts or less, homeowners are paid 80.2 cents for each kWh produced.

"Andalay AC is the perfect solar panel for Canadian homeowners," said Highland Solar President Sean McCrae. "Not only is Andalay AC manufactured with parts sourced in Ontario, it also installs quickly and safely, has superior looks and reliably delivers clean solar power throughout its lifetime."

Highland has manufactured its own brand of solar products since 2005, but the signing of this manufacturing license agreement with Akeena Solar is Highland's first opportunity to manufacture products and create jobs within its home province. To help address the anticipated demand for the Andalay system, the company has leased a training facility and plans to provide hands on solar installation training to contracting companies.

The announcement marks the largest distribution partnership Akeena Solar has signed to date and the company's first distribution arrangement outside of the United States. Since launching its direct-to-installers sales channels for Andalay systems six months ago, Akeena has expanded its distribution network to include 42 installers in 19 states. This partnership follows a recent award naming Andalay AC solar panels as a "2009 Breakthrough Product of the Year" by Popular Mechanics.

NRG Energy acquires largest PV solar power plant in California

PRINCETON, USA: NRG Energy Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary NRG Solar LLC, has acquired the first and largest utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar project in California.

The 21 megawatt (MW) Blythe Solar Project will be NRG’s first solar generation facility in operation when it comes online later this year. The site was acquired from First Solar, Inc., a leader in advanced and efficient thin film solar technology focused on manufacturing solar panels and developing solar projects for utilities and generators to operate.

Located in Riverside County in southeastern California, approximately 200 miles east of Los Angeles, the solar PV field will provide electricity to Southern California Edison (SCE) under a 20-year power purchase agreement. At peak capacity, the site will be able to meet the needs of almost 17,000 homes.

“Successfully transitioning to a low-and no-carbon energy environment means using renewable resources that are located where the demand is,” said David Crane, President and Chief Executive Officer of NRG Energy.

“Partnering with companies like First Solar to add large-scale PV solar to the fleet of solar thermal power plants we are developing with eSolar positions us to lead the industry in the commercial implementation of solar technologies where America can best reap the benefits of this emission-free power.”

“Solar fields generate the greatest amount of clean energy when electricity demand is highest, making this an ideal technology for utilities, municipalities and companies looking to diversify their renewable portfolios and reduce carbon intensity while ensuring that energy needs are met,” said Tom Doyle, President, NRG Solar.

“With this acquisition, NRG joins with SCE to add to and further diversify their portfolio of low- and no-carbon generation while we establish a relationship with First Solar and a platform for future solar development.”

As part of the acquisition of the nearly completed Blythe Solar project, NRG Solar has entered into an engineering, procurement and construction agreement with First Solar for completion and performance testing of the project. Testing is expected to commence later this month, and the project to be completed by year end.

The site uses approximately 350,000 photovoltaic solar modules, each measuring 2 feet by 4 feet, manufactured with First Solar’s advanced thin film semiconductor technology to turn sunlight directly into electricity. It covers approximately 200 acres of held land which is fully permitted and will be connected to SCE’s electrical distribution grid. The project uses no water during normal operation.

NRG Solar is responsible for developing, constructing, financing and operating a multi-technology portfolio of solar power assets in North America. Blythe is part of NRG’s zero-emission solar strategy that also includes plans to construct commercial-scale solar thermal generation at sites in California and New Mexico.

The first of these units is anticipated to begin operating as early as 2011. NRG is also working to develop solar capacity at nationwide sites with strong solar resources and established, easily accessible connections to power grids. NRG’s other low- and no- carbon developments include new nuclear generation, onshore and offshore wind, biomass projects and a commercial-scale carbon capture project for fossil-fueled generation.

Analyzing renewable energy in China

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Analyzing Renewable Energy in China" report to its offering.

China's rapid economic growth and heavy reliance on increasingly expensive foreign oil, the vast environmental toll that is one of the most apparent costs of China's economic success, persistent rural poverty in China and periodic power shortages all have impressed upon the Chinese government that renewable energy must be a large part of China's economy if China is to both complete its economic transformation and achieve "energy security". China rapidly has moved along the path of renewable energy development.

In the near-term China plans to develop 120000 MW's of renewable energy by the year 2020; this would account for 12 percent of China's total installed energy producing capacity. China's growth target for renewable energy production will require an investment of approximately 800 billion Yuan ($100 billion) by 2020.

China has set a renewable energy target of 10 percent of electric power capacity by 2010 (expected 60 GW); 5% percent of primary energy by 2010 and 10 percent of primary energy by 2020. In the long term, China has set an objective of having 30 percent or more of its total energy requirements satisfied by renewable sources by 2050.

The emerging renewable energy and sustainable development sectors in China have provided global companies who have products and services to sell to or buy from China's rapidly growing renewable energy and sustainable development sectors and other policy makers, NGOs and interested parties.

There have been co-ordinated efforts by Chinese companies, industry associations, central and local government agencies and non-governmental organizations to develop the renewable energy sector.

A focus on the Renewable Energy Industry in China in its report - Analyzing Renewable Energy in China. The report is a complete analysis of the various sectors of renewable energy in China.

Starting with an analysis of the overall energy industry in China, the report analyzes the following renewable commodities: small hydro power, large and medium hydropower, biomass, solar, and wind energy. China's environment for the development of renewable energy is also discussed in details in the report. Regulatory frameworks, government incentives, government programs promoting the use of renewable energy, etc., are all described in the report.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jiawei to supply 3.5MW solar panels to Golden Sun Project

HONG KONG: Jiawei Solarchina Co. Ltd recently announced that their quality modules have been chosen for China’s Golden Sun Project. The Chinese solar modules manufacturer would be supplying 3.5MW for two electrification projects in Wuhan.

This includes: Pak Chuen farm 2.5MW grid-connected photovoltaic power generation project and Sinosteel Tiancheng Environmental Protection Science and Technology Co. Ltd, science park 1MW grid connected photovoltaic power generation project.

The Pak Chuen grid connected project aims to modernize the 2.8 million square feet of farm and provide high-efficient and stable electricity for the farmers and residence nearby. The 2.5MW solar power plant is going to be built near the residence consisting of 200 hectare of empty space. The total investment is around 71 million RMB and will begin at Jan 2010 and will be finished at the end of 2010 and provide the local citizens with electricity once the plant is built.

The other project that Jiawei will be participating would be Sinosteel Tiancheng Environmental Protection Science and Technology Co., Ltd, science park grid connected PV power generation project.

The aim of the project is to install 1MW of panels on the roof tops of the factories and office buildings for power generation for the whole park. The total investment is 29.8 million RMB and the project is forecast to end of May next year.

Solargiga awarded tender for 13.5MW Golden Sun pilot project

HONG KONG: China’s leading monocrystalline silicon solar ingots and wafers manufacturer, Solargiga Energy Holdings Ltd announced that the Group has been granted a tender for 13.5MW photovoltaic power generation pilot project under the “Golden Sun Programme” to be implemented by the Chinese government, following the Group’s success in commencing power generation of its 300kW photovoltaic pilot project in Jinzhou.

In accordance with the “Notice on the Successful Implementation of Photovoltaic Project of Golden Sun, a statement jointly issued by Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science and Technology and Bureau of Energy, the Chinese government will implement a total of 642MW photovoltaic power generation pilot project under the “Golden Sun Programme” in the next two to three years, of which 16.5MW photovoltaic power generation project will be carried out in Liaoning Province.

According to the Notice, Jinzhou Yangguang Co. Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Solargiga, has been awarded the tender of 13.5MW photovoltaic power generation project, accounting for over 80 percent of the total generating capacity of the project to be implemented in Liaoning Province.

The project includes large-scale on-grid photovoltaic power generation, user-side on-grid photovoltaic power generation and user-side roof-mounted photovoltaic power generation with power generating capacity of 10MW, 3MW and 500kW respectively.

You Yuan Hsu, CEO and Executive Director of Solargiga, said: "The Golden Sun Programme is strongly supported by Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science and Technology and Bureau of Energy, hence it has set high requirement on the technology and product quality fronts.

"The success of Solargiga in getting over 80 percent of the total power generating capacity of the project to be implemented in Liaoning Province marks the recognition of our advanced technological know-how, representing a significant milestone of the Group in diversifying its business to downstream supply chain.

"With its continuous efforts in developing the downstream business, the Group strives to maintain a sustainable growth and to capture market opportunities with a view to generating the best returns to our shareholders.”

MEMC completes SunEdison acquisition

ST. PETERS, USA: MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., a leading provider of silicon wafers to the semiconductor and solar industries, has completed the acquisition of privately held Sun Edison LLC, a developer of solar power projects and North America's largest solar energy services provider.

As previously disclosed, the purchase price of $200 million was paid 70 percent in cash and 30 percent in MEMC stock, plus certain retention payments, transaction expenses, and the assumption of net debt.

"This acquisition further enhances our positioning in the solar industry," said Ahmad Chatila, CEO of MEMC. "Renewable, clean solar energy is still in its infancy as a growing global industry. Our role in reducing costs in both the components of solar modules and well as the actual solar plants will help to further accelerate this growth."

"Our strategy is to drive revenue growth for our wafer business while SunEdison produces a recurring revenue stream from solar generated electricity. At the same time, SunEdison can directly benefit from the technological and cost advances that we are helping to create with continuing improvements in silicon wafer technology. This acquisition is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the successful 50 year history of MEMC."

SunEdison is based in Beltsville, Maryland and employs approximately 300 people worldwide. It "simplifies solar" by managing the development, financing, operation and monitoring of solar power plants for commercial customers, including many national retail outlets, government agencies, and utilities.

In a typical structure, SunEdison arranges third party, non-recourse financing for the facility and the customer has no upfront capital outlay. With one of the strongest brands in solar, SunEdison will continue to operate with the SunEdison name, as a subsidiary of MEMC.

Other events
MEMC announced that, in connection with the acquisition of Sun Edison LLC, the Company granted special inducement grants under its 2009 Special Inducement Grant Plan to retain certain SunEdison employees (224 in total) as employees of MEMC and its newly acquired SunEdison business unit.

The Company granted an aggregate of 584,372 restricted stock units, which vest on the first anniversary of the Closing, subject to such employees being employed by MEMC and/or the SunEdison business unit on such date.

The Company also granted an aggregate of 1,644,529 restricted stock units, which are subject to vesting requirements based on both performance and time. The performance requirements are tied to the same metrics as the earnout contemplated by the merger agreement.

Assuming the performance requirement is achieved, (i) 34 percent of such earned grants will vest on the date that MEMC determines to be the issue date following the end of the earnout period; (ii) 33 percent of such earned grants will vest on December 31, 2011; and (iii) the remaining 33 percent of such earned grants will vest on December 31, 2012, assuming that the subject employee is employed by MEMC or the SunEdison business unit as of those dates.

The Company's Board of Directors approved the 2009 Special Inducement Grant Plan based on the employment inducement exemption provided under the NYSE listing standards. As a result, the Plan did not require shareholder approval, and this press release is being issued pursuant to applicable NYSE guidance.

First Solar sells California solar power project to NRG

TEMPE, USA: First Solar Inc. today announced the sale of the 21 megawatt (MW) AC solar energy project it has developed and constructed in Blythe, Calif., to NRG Energy Inc.

Located in Riverside County about 200 miles east of Los Angeles, the Blythe project is California's first and largest utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar generation facility, and among the largest in North America. Construction began in September and is expected to be completed by year-end. Electricity from the plant will be sold to Southern California Edison under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

"First Solar is very pleased that the first of our utility-scale solar projects in California will be coming on line with a leading power producer like NRG," said Bruce Sohn, president of First Solar. "This clean, affordable, and sustainable energy will help California meet the goals of its Renewable Portfolio Standard."

Using First Solar's industry-leading thin film PV panels that convert sunlight directly into electricity with no water consumption during operation, the project will generate over 45,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year. The solar generation displaces over 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year—the equivalent of taking 2,200 cars off the road. The construction of this project created 175 green jobs.

First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services at Blythe under a long-term contract with NRG. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

First Solar is developing 1,300 megawatts of PV solar projects under contracts with utilities in California and the Southwest.

Former Ausra co-founder joins GlassPoint Solar

SAN FRANCISCO, USA:GlassPoint Solar, a provider of solar industrial process heat systems, today announced the addition of John O’Donnell, formerly co-founder and EVP of Ausra, as Vice President of Business Development.

O’Donnell joins GlassPoint following the company’s transition from CleanBoard Inc., a manufacturer of solar-made gypsum wallboard, to a supplier of its solar thermal technology for industrial facilities that utilize large amounts of high-temperature process heat. In his new position, he will drive the large scale adoption of GlassPoint’s technology while creating awareness for solar industrial process heat (SIPH) in new markets.

“John brings a valuable combination of passion, leadership, and industry knowledge to the team,” said Rod MacGregor, GlassPoint CEO and founder. “With a long history of bringing new innovations to market, including launching Ausra, one of the most recognized names in the solar thermal industry, John is the perfect candidate to guide GlassPoint’s growth as we rapidly expand our customer base and execute on the promise of delivering industrial process heat at a lower cost than natural gas.”

O’Donnell brings more than 20 years of experience leading successful startup ventures on the cutting edge of solar technology, digital video platforms and supercomputers.

As co-founder and executive vice president of Ausra, O’Donnell was responsible for securing a funding round led by Khosla Ventures and Kleiner-Perkins, recruiting a talented team of engineers and executives, and was instrumental in building cross-industry and governmental relationships in support for solar thermal development.

During his tenure, Ausra emerged as a global leader in the design and manufacture of large-scale solar thermal energy systems.

“The market opportunity for solar thermal energy for industrial use is immense, yet largely untapped due to high costs,” said O’Donnell. “GlassPoint’s fundamental innovation combines proven technologies and low-cost materials in a new architecture, bringing the cost of solar heat below the market price for fossil fuels. Huge economic forces will be unleashed as a result of improved customer energy costs and cost predictability.”

Prior to Ausra, O’Donnell cofounded and served as CTO at Equator Technologies, developing flexible platforms for networked digital media systems. In 2006, Equator was bought by Pixelworks where he served as vice president of technology and business development. Before Equator, Mr. O’Donnell was cofounder and vice president of engineering for Multiflow Computer, building the world’s first VLIW supercomputer processors and compilers.

O’Donnell began his career at the United States Department of Energy’s Princeton University Plasma Physics Lab. He holds eight patents in a wide range of technology fields. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from Yale University.

Solar Power Inc. welcomes new board member

ROSEVILLE, USA: Solar Power Inc. announced today that Francis Chen, Vice Chairman with WI Harper Group, will join the Company’s Board of Directors. WI Harper group manages over $400 million in invested capital. Chen brings lengthy strategic and financial management experience to Solar Power Inc.’s Board of Directors.

“Solar Power, Inc. is a very well positioned company in one of the brightest business segments in the economy. Renewable energy has a very promising and growing global market,” said Chen. “I believe Solar Power, Inc. is positioned for leadership across several key vertical segments of the global photovoltaic solar market. I look forward to working with the other members of the Board as well as the SPI senior management team.”

“We welcome Francis to our Board of Directors,” said Stephen Kircher, Chairman & CEO of Solar Power. “The value of the experience he brings as our newest director is significant. We are entering an exciting time in our evolution as a company and I look forward to working with Francis and the entire Board of Directors as we begin to capitalize on the growing opportunities that lay before us.”

Premier Power breaks ground on additional 1.0 MW project in Southern Italy

EL DORADO HILLS, USA: Premier Power Renewable Energy (OTCBB: PPRW), a global leader in the development, design, engineering and construction of solar power systems for commercial, government and utility markets in the U.S., Spain and Italy, announced today that it has broken ground on an additional 1.0 mega watt (MW) solar project in Italy.

The project is located in the Puglia region of southern Italy and is part of the series of solar projects, valued in excess of $100 million, that are being developed as a result of Premier Power’s acquisition of Arco Energy in July 2009. Arco Energy is an Italian solar project developer, EPC and distributor.

The Company expects the fixed ground mount solar installation to be completed by January 2010. The project will utilize crystalline modules provided by Canadian Solar and inverters from PowerOne. The installation will be installed using environmentally friendly racking, ensuring minimal disruption to the land and surrounding environment.

Gestore dei Servizi Elettrici (GSE), the state-run Italian power management agency, expects total installed PV power in Italy will reach 900 MW by the end of 2009, representing 100% growth compared to 2008 and a potential market size of over 4 billion Euros. GSE expects the Italian market to grow to 1500 MW in 2010. The attractive feed-in tariff in Italy is setting the stage for Italy to become the second largest PV market in the world, behind Germany.

“Our local expertise, through the acquisition of Arco Energy, and our experience and best practices in both utility scale and rooftop installations, establish a platform that opens up both immediate opportunities in the development and construction of large scale projects in the Italian market and the longer term opportunity of Italian rooftop and BIPV activities, both of which are rapidly expanding in the region,” said Miguel de Anquin, chief operating officer of Premier Power.

Premier Power anticipates making further announcements in the very near term on additional projects in both Europe and the United States.

Yole webinar to analyze PV technologies

LYON, FRANCE: A few weeks ago, Yole Developpement had released a new report in its photovoltaic (PV) collection: PV Technologies, Equipment & Materials market analysis.

Yole will now be conducting a webinar on Nov. 24, to present its analysis on PV Technologies, Equipment & Materials.

Yole's report -- PV TEM 2009, published Nov. 2009 -- is also available off its website for Euro 3,690.

This will be the first time I'll be participating in a Yole webinar on PV.

Glancy Binkow & Goldberg representing investors who purchased SunPower announces class action lawsuit

LOS ANGELES, USA: Notice is hereby given that Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP has filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of a class consisting of all persons or entities who purchased the securities of SunPower Corp. (“SunPower” or the “Company”) (between April 17, 2008 and November 16, 2009, inclusive (the “Class Period”).

A copy of the Complaint is available from the court or from Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP. Please contact us by phone to discuss this action or to obtain a copy of the Complaint at (310) 201-9150 or Toll Free at (888) 773-9224, by email at, or visit our website at

The Complaint charges SunPower and certain of the Company’s executive officers with violations of federal securities laws. SunPower designs, manufactures and delivers high-performance solar electric systems worldwide for residential, commercial and utility-scale power plant customers. The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period defendants knew or recklessly disregarded that their public statements concerning SunPower’s financial performance were materially false and misleading.

Specifically, defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose: (1) that the Company made unsubstantiated accounting entries during the Class Period; (2) that, as a result, the Company’s financial results were overstated during the Class Period; (3) that the Company’s financial results were not prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP); (4) that the Company lacked adequate internal and financial controls; and (5), as a result of the above, the Company's financial statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On November 16, 2009, SunPower shocked investors when it announced an internal investigation by its Audit Committee of certain unsubstantiated accounting entries related to cost of goods sold in the Company’s Philippines operations. SunPower disclosed that the Company’s Audit Committee concluded that the Company’s previously issued interim financial statements for each of the 2009 quarterly periods, the previously reported financial results for the fiscal year ending December 28, 2008, the financial information in its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the 2009 quarters, the financial information in the 2008 annual report on Form 10-K, and the guidance provided by the Company for the 2009 fiscal year, should no longer be relied upon.

On this news, shares of SunPower’s Class A common stock declined $5.04 per share, or approximately 18.51%, to close on November 17, 2009, at $22.19 per share, on heavy volume, and shares of SunPower’s Class B common stock declined $4.43 per share, approximately 18.54%, to close on November 17, 2009, at $19.47 per share, on heavy volume.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of class members and is represented by Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP, a law firm with significant experience in prosecuting class actions, and substantial expertise in actions involving corporate fraud.