Saturday, October 30, 2010

Amonix breaks ground on manufacturing facility in North Las Vegas

NORTH LAS VEGAS, USA: Amonix, Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar power systems, broke ground on its previously announced 214,000 square foot manufacturing facility on North Pecos Road in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

The facility will bring 278 green private sector clean energy jobs to Southern Nevada and, according to the Nevada Development Authority, will contribute $118 million in payroll and $12 million in taxes to the local economy in its first five years.

The groundbreaking ceremony was presided over by US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and attended by dignitaries including US Representative Shelley Berkley, Nevada State Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, and City of North Las Vegas Mayor Shari L. Buck.

US Senate Majority Leader Reid said: “There is simply nowhere better in the world to generate solar energy than right here in Nevada, and by next summer hundreds of Nevadans will be making solar modules right here in this building. That’s why I made sure the Recovery Act included almost $6 million in tax credits to help Amonix open this facility. Renewable energy is going to renew Nevada, one job at a time, one company at a time. And it starts right here, with good companies like Amonix.”

Congresswoman Berkley said: “This manufacturing facility shows us how we can tap one of Nevada's greatest natural resources – our sunshine – and match it with Amonix's solar industry leadership to boost our state's clean energy future. The result will be more jobs and more sustainable green energy for Nevada. I am honored to be part of this groundbreaking event today as we take another bold step forward in creating a brighter future for our community and for generations of Nevadans to come.”

State Senate Majority Leader Horsford said: “These are new jobs for the City of North Las Vegas, and we commend and thank Amonix for choosing Nevada. We have a resilient workforce in Nevada, which is the key to driving economic recovery. Our clean energy potential to create jobs has only just begun. More workers skilled in renewable energy jobs make our state even more attractive for renewable energy businesses.”

Mayor Buck said, “We are pleased to welcome Amonix to North Las Vegas and look forward to a bright future with them.”

Amonix received a $5.8 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act competitive manufacturing tax credit, legislation Senator Reid and Congresswoman Berkley championed, to open the new facility. The company said that it has begun hiring area residents to fill management, technical and production jobs, and that 135 local construction workers will build out the facility over the next few months.

In keeping with its commitment to produce sustainable energy in sustainable ways, Amonix has installed an Amonix 7700 solar power system as part of the facility’s electrical power source. Using clean reliable solar energy to provide power to a solar manufacturing facility is believed to be a first for a US solar manufacturer.

The company has also registered the major tenant improvement underway at the facility for certification through the US Green Building Council’s LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED CI) Rating System.

Amonix will use the facility to manufacture CPV solar power systems for installations in Nevada and for export to neighboring states. When at full capacity, the manufacturing plant will operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week, turning out solar equipment with a production capacity of 150MWs annually. The first line in the first phase of the facility will begin manufacturing by the end of Q1 2011.

“CPV solar is a key part of America’s energy portfolio because of its compelling bottom lines in sunny and dry climates like the desert Southwest,” said Brian Robertson, Amonix CEO. “These include the highest efficiency of any solar technology, cost at grid parity and the fact that CPV uses no water in the production of energy.

Robertson continued: “Just as the federal government has helped many infrastructure projects get going in the history of our nation, this facility was jump started by tax credits available through the Recovery Act. For that reason, we appreciate the efforts of the elected officials here today – and give a special thanks to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and US Representative Shelley Berkley for helping us bring green energy jobs to Nevada.”

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cyrium celebrates contributions to National Research Council of Canada SUNRISE solar project

OTTAWA, CANADA: Cyrium Technologies Inc., a leading developer of multi-junction concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) cells, announced the incorporation of its quantum dot enhanced solar cells in the CPV solar tracker deployed as part of the SUNRISE (Semiconductors Using Nanostructures for Record Increases in Solar-cell Efficiency) project.

On October 21, 2010 the National Research Council of Canada announced the unveiling and introduction of the SUNRISE solar tracker, installed at the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology site in Ottawa, Ontario. For Cyrium, SUNRISE demonstrates that its advanced patented nanotechnology (quantum dots) can be used to enhance the performance of multi-junction cells in CPV systems and enable the delivery of higher conversion performance at higher concentrations.

The SUNRISE project stems from the National Research Council of Canada’s research and development efforts to bring clean power generation technologies to Canadians, and is a research collaboration between the National Research Council of Canada, the University of Ottawa, the Université de Sherbrooke and industrial partners Cyrium Technologies and Opel International.

The project is funded by the National Research Council of Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Business Development Bank of Canada and demonstrates the success that can be achieved when industry, government, and academia work together with a common goal.

As the engine driving CPV systems, Cyrium’s patented quantum dot enhanced cells (QDEC) were critical to the success and execution of the SUNRISE project. When used in advanced solar modules on dual axis trackers, such as those provided by Opel, Cyrium’s QDEC cells enable the system to achieve some of the highest efficiencies in the CPV industry.

"I am very proud of Cyrium’s participation in SUNRISE,” said Harry R. Rozakis, president and CEO of Cyrium Technologies. “Seeing our patented cell technology at the core of the project is exciting not only for Cyrium but also for all of those who see CPV as a viable and cost effective source of solar power. SUNRISE clearly demonstrates how the combination of our unique quantum dot nanotechnology with state of the art solar concentrator and tracker designs can enable cost effective, high efficiency renewable energy generation.”

Thursday, October 28, 2010

LDK Solar announces arbitration award

XINYU CITY, CHINA & SUNNYVALE, USA: LDK Solar Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers and PV products, announced that the International Court of Arbitration stated that the wafer supply contract entered into in October 2008 between LDK Solar and the Italy-based Helios Technology S.p.A (Helios) is valid and effective throughout its duration and at terms and conditions related to quantities and prices set forth therein.

The International Court of Arbitration also stated that by virtue of the arbitration proceedings Helios shall pay to LDK Solar an amount of approximately $31 million. To this amount, interest of 8 percent shall be added from the date of the award until the effective payment as well as costs for the arbitration proceedings and lawyers' fees.

"We are pleased with the results of the arbitration proceedings," stated Xiaofeng Peng, chairman and CEO. "LDK Solar looks forward to having a final resolution on this matter."

Ascent Solar and TERI, India sign MOU

THORNTON, USA: Ascent Solar Technologies Inc., a developer of flexible thin-film solar modules, has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) of New Delhi, India.

Under the terms of the MOU, TERI will perform testing and performance evaluation of Ascent Solar high efficiency flexible thin-film CIGS modules and study the feasibility of including Ascent’s modules for TERI’s flagship program “Lighting a Billion Lives” (LaBL) and other projects currently under development at TERI.

Upon successful completion of evaluation of both technical and economical feasibility, TERI and Ascent Solar will mutually discuss and decide on the terms and conditions for the use of Ascent Solar’s modules for the LaBL program and or other projects. TERI and Ascent Solar will also decide on the implementation model to follow once the evaluation phase is complete.

Ms. Akanksha Chaurey, Director Decentralised Electricity Solutions and Lighting a Billion Lives Campaign TERI, said: "Ascent Solar has been one of the forerunners in the development of futuristic technologies in the field of solar photo-voltaic energy. Our collaboration with Ascent Solar will help engage the much needed newer, cutting edge solar photo-voltaic technologies into our ongoing electrification projects for rural applications including solar lighting through our flagship programme Lighting a Billion Lives.”

Ashutosh Misra, SVP of Corporate Development for Ascent Solar, stated: “India is one of the largest off-grid electricity markets in the world and the need for innovative and cost competitive off-grid electricity generation in urban and rural markets in India presents a tremendous opportunity for Ascent Solar. TERI is a premier organization focusing on developing a range of technologies that have created new paradigms of development underlining the sustainable use of natural resources, and are proven for their effectiveness and economic viability.

“Our joint collaboration to develop various solar energy solutions for TERI’s rural electrification projects including its flagship 'Lighting a Billion Lives' based on solar technology provides us with a unique opportunity to grow our market share in India. Our unique, light-weight, ruggedized, high power density thin-film CIGS modules enable ease of installation, handling and transport that are an ideal solution for LaBL and other programs like it.”

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

KYOCERA supplies 305 kW of solar power to villages in Mongolia

KYOTO, JAPAN: Kyocera Corp. has installed a total of 305.1kW of solar power systems to two villages in Mongolia through the World Bank's Renewable Energy for Rural Access Project.

The installations are among the largest stand-alone solar power generating systems in the world. The systems were installed this summer and are now currently helping to provide electricity for the daily needs of the local residents.

The World Bank project aims to increase electricity and improve reliability of electricity service through the use of solar energy to help improve the living conditions of the herder population and off-grid village communities.

Kyocera was selected to supply the solar power generating systems for the project because of the company's years of experience in the solar energy business in Mongolia, and the durability of its high-quality modules to harsh weather conditions. The systems were supplied and installed by the company's subsidiary, KYOCERA (Tianjin) Sales & Trading Corp. (KTST).

The two systems, 202.5kW and 102.6kW (total of 305.1kW), have been installed in the villages of Gobi-Altai and Bayantooroi, respectively, which are both located in the Gobi Desert region of western Mongolia.

The region, which is faced with a harsh environment that can reach -30°C in the winter and previously suffered from volatile power supply, now has a stable 24-hour-a-day electricity supply thanks to the solar power generating systems installed by KTST. While helping to greatly improve the living conditions of the villagers, the systems also enable the children to study by light at night, and contribute to the growth and development of the area and environmental preservation.

Kyocera began its solar energy business in 1975 based on the vision of contributing to the betterment of humankind through solar power. Striving to spread the blessing of the sun's energy across the world, the company has a long history of proactively installing solar power generating systems in rural areas of Asia and Africa.

In 1983, the company started by installing a system in the village of Kankoi, Pakistan; in 1985, another system for rural electrification in Gansu Province, China; and a solar-powered pump for an irrigation station in Thailand the following year.

Kyocera has been active in the solar energy business in Mongolia for many years, taking part in a project by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) to supply portable solar power generating systems for 200 nomadic herding families' yurts between 1992 and 1996.

Further, in 2011, with the Japanese government's Official Development Assistance (ODA), Kyocera modules will be used for a 453.18kW grid-tie system for the Genghis Khan International Airport in Ulan Bator City.

Kyocera will continue to promote the use and technological development of solar energy for the advancement of society and humankind, and to contribute to environmental preservation.

Hareon Solar selects Applied Materials' SmartFactory automation solution to optimize cell manufacturing across multiple facilities

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: Applied Materials Inc. announced that Hareon Solar Corp. has selected Applied’s SmartFactory manufacturing automation software to improve productivity across Hareon’s solar photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturing operations in China.

Hareon Solar will deploy Applied’s software at its cell subsidiaries Jiangyin Hareon Solar Technology Co. Ltd and Altusvia Energy Co. Ltd.

Hareon Solar selected the SmartFactory system because of its unique ability to combine wafer and cell production lines into a single virtual factory, enabling the system to increase megawatt output and drive down costs by synchronizing production across different geographical locations in real time.

“We have identified factory automation as an enabling technology that will allow us to balance multiple parts of our internal supply chain to maximize manufacturing efficiency,” said Dr. Tobby Wu, vice president of operations at Hareon Solar.

“Applied has demonstrated a deep understanding of the PV industry and the SmartFactory technology offers a single, proven platform to support our world-class manufacturing operations. We plan to expand the scope of our SmartFactory system in the near future to include our solar wafer production lines, creating a fully-integrated, ingot-to-cell manufacturing operation.”

“Our solar customers are recognizing the need for advanced manufacturing solutions to give them a competitive edge in this fast-growing industry,” said Charlie Pappis, vice president and general manager of Applied Global Services. “We’re seeing strong momentum for SmartFactory software for crystalline silicon PV production, especially in China, demonstrating that Applied is meeting this need with an affordable solution that can be easily tailored to accommodate rapid capacity expansion.”

Applied’s SmartFactory is the only MES solution capable of controlling the entire solar PV manufacturing process, from ingot and wafer to cell and module manufacturing. Applied’s software features pre-built operating scenarios to enable rapid initial deployment and simplify subsequent expansion.

In addition, the SmartFactory system can be enhanced with optional plug-in components such as the Applied E3 advanced process control technology, which interfaces directly with production equipment, enabling customers to achieve higher and more consistent factory output.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

AUO showcases industry strength at PV Taiwan 2010

HSINCHU, TAIWAN: AU Optronics Corp. announced that the company will showcase the latest PV products at PV Taiwan 2010. SunForte PM318B00, a high-efficiency mono-crystalline solar module, will make its debut in Taiwan.

Besides, in order to highlight its solar competitiveness, AUO will also demonstrate the multi-crystalline EcoDuo PM240P00 and EcoDuo PM250P00 solar modules.

For the urban areas with smaller rooftops, AUO will launch the SunForte PM318B00 with a conversion rate as high as 19.5%, which is 5.5% higher than the rate of the conventional module in the industry. The product will maximize the solar power output for solar system users.

In addition, EcoDuo PM240P00, the same-sized upgraded model of the multi-crystalline solar module PM220, has raised its output power to 240W, which is 10 percent higher than its predecessor. EcoDuo PM250P00, with an output power of 250W, will also be showcased at the exhibition.

Since 2008, AUO has dedicated itself to collaboration with solar partners. As a result, the joint venture solar cell fabrication facility in Malaysia, AUO SunPower Sdn. Bhd., has successfully manufactured the initial production of solar cells, yielding a minimum conversion efficiency of 22.2 percent. It demonstrates AUO SunPower's high-quality product technology and strong manufacturing capability.

Other than the solar system project in Europe, AUO Solar dedicates to Taiwanese solar system development and low-carbon engineering. AUO has just completed the construction of 30KW solar system on the rooftop of AUO Taichung Fab I.

Also, a rooftop solar system of 134KW at the AUO Dormitory in Houli started to operate recently. The other construction of 10MW solar system project in AUO's Taichung Fab II is currently in process, which will showcase AUO's technology and integration competence in the solar business. The efforts also realize the goals of using renewable energy and achieving low-carbon fabs.

LDK Solar signs polysilicon agreement with BYD

XINYU CITY, CHINA & SUNNYVALE, USA: LDK Solar Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of polysilicon, multicrystalline solar wafers and PV products, has signed a two-year polysilicon sales agreement valued at approximately $300 million with BYD Co. Ltd.

BYD is a China-based enterprise specializing in IT, automobiles and green energy that is 10 percent owned by Berkshire Hathaway. Under terms of the agreement, LDK Solar will supply polysilicon with monthly shipments expected to commence in January 2011 and extend through the end of 2012. A deposit for this two-year contract has already been received.

"We are very excited to add BYD, a leading high-tech enterprise that has a strong commitment to the green energy sector, as a key customer," stated Xiaofeng Peng, chairman and CEO of LDK Solar. "This agreement is a testament to the success of LDK's polysilicon facilities and our ability to provide customers with quality PV products that can help them achieve their business goals."

Cenergy Power activates 354kW solar PV system for Del Mar Farms

PATTERSON, USA: Del Mar Farms, a fine grower of 20 different commodities for fresh and processed packaging, announced the completion of its solar photovoltaic system.

Cenergy Power, one of California's leading commercial solar developers, designed, engineered and installed the 354 kilowatt PV system. The roof mounted solar system is spread across three buildings and offsets Del Mar's main energy meter by over 90 percent. The +25-year system will produce over 660,000 kilowatt hours per year and pay for itself in about four years.

"We pursue sustainable agricultural practices as much as possible and we have looked into solar for years," said Jon Maring, a principal at Del Mar Farms. "With the recent expansion of our cooling capacity and the attractive solar economics offered by Cenergy Power, we knew this was the right time to go solar."

Smart grid: 10 trends to watch in 2011 and beyond

BOULDER, USA: In the past few years, the electric utility industry has experienced a momentous season. The business of electricity generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption has been thrust to the forefront of public discourse – as both a villain and a savior – in the fight against climate change and the struggle for energy independence and security, among other global priorities.

The “smart grid,” the integration of new embedded computing and communications technologies into the fabric of the power network, is widely seen as the means to adapting the electrical infrastructure to meet these global needs.

A new white paper from Pike Research identifies 10 key trends that are driving the sweeping changes currently underway in technology, business, policy, and even consumer behavior. The paper, which includes 10 predictions about the smart grid market in 2011 and beyond, is available for free download on Pike Research’s website.

“The electrical power grid is in the midst of a dramatic transformation,” says senior analyst Bob Gohn. “As utilities, vendors, and other key stakeholders gain more real-world deployment experience, the reality of the smart grid is coming into focus, too slowly for some, but at a faster pace than typically seen in this industry. Existing players are transforming, new players are entering, and consumers are awakening.”

Gohn adds that the months ahead should witness the maturation of the smart grid as all the trials, mandates, and pilots move toward production deployment. Pike Research has identified dozens of trends that bear watching and scrutiny.

A few of Pike Research’s smart grid industry predictions include the following:

* Security will become the top smart grid concern.
* Distribution automation will rival AMI as the most visible smart grid application.
* The “Bakersfield Effect” will continue, but some consumers will actually LIKE the smart grid.
* Smart meter and AMI focus will shift toward Europe and China.
* The “Year of the HAN” will not arrive… yet.
* The demand response business transformation will accelerate.
* The ARRA smart grid “stimulus” will finally have a positive impact.
* The standards “horse” will begin to catch the deployment “cart”.
* Data management will be the next bottleneck to smart grid benefits.
* Existing data and telecom vendors will get serious about the smart grid.

SolFocus, Vision Electro Mechanical to build largest solar power plant of its kind in Saudi Arabia

BAHRA, SAUDI ARABIA & MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: SolFocus, a leading developer of concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar systems, announced that Vision Electro Mechanical Co., a subsidiary of Construction Products Holding Co. (CPC), will build the first commercial solar power plant in Saudi Arabia using CPV systems.

These SolFocus CPV systems combine high-efficiency solar cells with advanced optics to provide scalable, reliable solutions capable of delivering low-cost renewable power. The project, located in the Bahra region, will deliver around 300MWh of clean energy per year and is the first in a series of Saudi power stations planned by Vision.

“The high sun conditions of the Middle East provide an ideal environment for reaping large-scale, low-cost solar energy from CPV systems,” said Mark Crowley, CEO, SolFocus. “Together with our partners at Vision, SolFocus will bring the world’s most efficient and resource-friendly solar technology to Saudi Arabia, providing energy diversification for the country.”

Vision will market and install the SolFocus solar power systems, starting with this plant in CPC’s Bahra industrial complex. Vision will install other solar power stations in Saudi Arabia, as well as in the research centers of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

“We accomplished this partnership in line with Saudi’s efforts to promote investment in renewable energy projects and serve power projects in the Gulf and the wider Arabian region,” said Hassan Chahine, general manager, Vision. “This is a breakthrough in Saudi Arabia’s thrust for energy diversification. We believe the Bahra plant will serve as a model for the further research and study of clean water and power solutions that diversify the region’s energy mix.”

“It is a testament to SolFocus that its technology was selected by project developers with such deep expertise in energy generation innovation,” added Crowley. “We view SolFocus CPV as a critical component of the bold clean energy goals set forth by leaders in the Middle East, such as CPC/Vision in Saudi Arabia and the developers of Masdar City in Abu Dhabi.”

The news is the latest in a string of groundbreaking developments for SolFocus; earlier this month it was the first CPV company to announce a power warranty backed by Munich Re; in May it announced completion of the largest CPV installation in North America; and in 2009 it was the first CPV firm to secure International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) certification for performance and safety.

Spire to supply integrator services for PV systems to UNICOR

BEDFORD, USA: Spire Corp. has announced today the award of an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract from Federal Prisons Industries Inc. to supply integrator services for PV Systems for Federal customers of UNICOR.

The contract is for a five-year term with five, one-year renewal options at a total value not to exceed $75 million over the contract period with no guaranteed minimum.

Roger G. Little, chairman and CEO of Spire, commented: “We have provided UNICOR with a PV module production line for its prison system in Otisville, New York and another to be established at the correctional facility in Sheridan, Oregon.

"These lines are used to train people for entry into the fast growing PV industry work force and to produce modules for Federal systems. We have an existing systems teaming agreement with UNICOR and are very pleased to have received this EPC contract which further expands our relationship."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ascent Solar to exhibit at DIREC 2010

THORNTON, USA: Ascent Solar Technologies Inc., a developer of flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules, will be exhibiting at the Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference, also known as DIREC 2010 hosted by the Indian Government.

Ascent Solar is participating as part of a United States of America lead delegation to promote clean energy technology partnership between India and the United States.

Ascent Solar will be exhibiting their off-grid and on-grid photovoltaic power solutions catering to growing Indian market energy needs under the USA pavilion from October 27-29, 2010 in New Delhi, India.

With more than 9,000 delegates, over 250 speakers and 600 exhibitors from 50 countries, DIREC 2010 is expected to be the most significant event on renewable energy ever held in India.

DIREC 2010 is the fourth in the series of global Ministerial-level Conferences on Renewable Energy, which follows from the initiative taken at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, acknowledging the significance of renewable energy for sustainable development.

DIREC 2010 is an international platform for government, private sector, and civil society leaders to jointly address the goal of advancing renewable energy. It will build upon the success and outcomes of the previous events in Washington in 2008, Beijing in 2005 and Bonn in 2004.

Mechatronic Systemtechnik has applications in solar field as well

VILLACH, AUSTRIA: Thanks to its specialist know-how in the field of thin-wafer handling in the semiconductor industry, Mechatronic Systemtechnik, a supplier of thin-wafer handling systems based in Carinthia, Austria, has been selected by the European Commission to make its skills available to the photovoltaic [solar energy] industry.

Mechatronic Systemtechnik is a technology partner within the EU project, launched at the beginning of October with a budget of seven million Euros, under the title: "20 percent efficiency on less than 100 µm thick industrially feasible c-Si Solar cells”.

In conjunction with eight further partners, the company will contribute its extensive know-how to the three-year project. The objective of the EU project is to raise the efficiency of photovoltaic cells to about 20 per cent.

In addition, the plan is to reduce the silicon content from 8 grammes to 3 grammes per watt, by bringing the wafer-thickness from a typical 180 micrometres today down to 50 micrometres. The paramount aim of the project is to ensure that Europe's energy supply can meet future needs and to strengthen the European photovoltaic industry.

"In the photovoltaic sector, too, the trend is clearly towards thin wafers and that is the field we specialize in“, says Walter Schober, CEO of Mechatronic Systemtechnik GmbH. "The EU project offers us the opportunity, as a qualified partner, to be present when new technologies start being developed and to feed our accumulated know-how with new products for the photovoltaic market“, Schober continues.

The partners in the project are four leading European research institutes – Ecoles Polytechniques Fédérales de Lausanne, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, the National Renewable Energy Centre and the University of Konstanz – as well as the companies Eni, Mechatronic Systemtechnik, Photovoltech, PSE and Q-Cells, all of which contribute to a high degree of expertise in the area of thin solar cells and modules and/or their handling.

PV manufacturing equipment spending reaches record levels in 2010 as c-Si and thin-film fabs enter new investment cycle phases

Finlay Colville, senior analyst, Solarbuzz.

USA: Equipment spending on new manufacturing equipment for c-Si cell and thin-film panel fabs will grow by over 60 percent Y/Y during 2010, and then by the same amount again next year. While equipment spending is spread across each of the c-Si and thin-film segments, the driving factors behind the growth - and the phasing of the investments - for c-Si and thin-film fabs remain somewhat different.

While c-Si cell expansion accounted for 95 percent of incremental ramped manufacturing capacity during Q3'10, thin-film manufacturers are embarking on a new phase of equipment spending which will peak during 1H'11 reaching record quarterly highs in excess of $3 billion.Source: Solarbuzz, USA.

This second cycle of equipment spending into thin-film manufacturing equipment is well underway, having started during Q2'10 and being forecasted to peak 1H'11. During this time period, the industry will witness seven consecutive quarters of above-average thin-film tool spending across a wide range of thin-film technologies as established and new entrants seek to gain market share downstream.

A tale of emerging - and competing - technologies
Equipment spending on c-Si process tools, in particular from the top tier players, can be seen to follow closely downstream demand trends. When the Spanish market exploded in 2008, c-Si cell equipment manufacturers responded by adding significant capacity, resulting in a peak in equipment spending.

With record demand from other key markets (including Germany, Italy, Japan and others) again during 2010, similar capacity expansion was implemented.

With c-Si shipments dominating at 80-90 percent share, thin-film equipment spending can be seen to follow different spending cycle trends. Except for First Solar (whose capacity expansion plans are more closely aligned with the leading c-Si cell makers), thin-film investment remains motivated by the hope of realizing a next-generation, disruptive technology that could offer significant cost advantages over today's c-Si cell technology.

The first cycle of thin-film spending occurred over Q1'08 to Q1'09, and was driven by a range of competing thin-film technologies. Capacity expansion during this time period was a combination of First Solar's rapid growth (moving from around 80MW ramped quarterly capacity to 280MW) and strong sales from a-Si/uc-Si turn-key production lines from the likes of Applied Materials, Oerlikon and ULVAC.

While this led to a rush in purchase orders for these equipment makers and their preferred supply-chains, the most striking conclusion was embedded in PV productivity; how much production was enabled by the tools ordered and delivered.

During Q1'08 to Q1'09, First Solar accounted for less than 15 percent of all thin-film equipment spending, yet produced more than 60 percent of all thin-film panels worldwide. The only other significant thin-film producer to experience strong growth during this time was Trony Solar who - like First Solar - had developed a very strong level of in-house tool and process ownership. Trony had Y/Y productivity gains of more than 200 percent between 2008 and 2009.

SCHOTT Solar PV and Berkshire Photovoltaic Services announce new solar art installation

NORTH ADAMS, USA: SCHOTT Solar PV Inc. and Berkshire Photovoltaic Services (BPVS) announced the completion of a Photovoltaic (PV) installment for a new exhibition at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA). The exhibit, "All Utopias Fell" opened on October 24.

"SCHOTT Solar is committed to being part of a strong solar industry and this exhibition is a great example of solar working in a new and creative way for Massachusetts," said Tom Hecht, President and Chief Sales Officer of SCHOTT Solar PV, Inc. "It's our privilege to work with partners like BPVS, who are helping the state develop renewable energy by installing PV systems throughout the Commonwealth."

Artist Michael Oatman created "All Utopias Fell" using PV modules produced by SCHOTT Solar, and Evergreen Solar. The modules are connected to Solectria Inverters made in Andover and attached to the installation using mounts produced in Waltham.

The PV modules are featured in each of the installation's three sequential spaces: "The Shining" (the outside of a repurposed Airstream trailer), "The Library of the Sun" (a laboratory and library inside the trailer), and "Codex Solis" (a 230-foot-long grid composed of mirrors and the PV panels).

"BPVS is dedicated to providing durable PV systems and bringing clean electricity to western Massachusetts. Working on a project like 'All Utopias Fell' is an exciting opportunity to show a PV system's wide range of uses," said Chris Kilfoyle, President of BPVS.

BPVS installed a 1.8 kW array from SCHOTT Solar for the PV panels used in the first two stops in the exhibit. The final portion is interspersed with a 51.6 kW array installed in 2007.

Apollo Solar Energy announces postponement of 10GW Ningguo solar power station project

CHENGDU, CHINA: Apollo Solar Energy Inc., a leading vertically integrated miner, refiner and producer of high purity tellurium (Te), tellurium-based compounds and other metals for the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry and specific segments of the electronic materials market, has decided to postpone the previously proposed 10GW Ningguo Solar Power Station Project, including a 2MW Demo Solar Power Station in Ningguo City, due to challenges related to local government support, among other issues.

The company has made this decision in order to focus on its core business and make necessary strategic adjustments to meet the changing solar industry environments in accordance with its long term growth plan.

The City of Huntington Beach and SunEdison announce agreement to deploy over 2MW of solar capacity

BELTSVILLE, USA: SunEdison, a leading worldwide solar energy services provider and subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., and the City of Huntington Beach, California, have signed agreements pursuant to which SunEdison will deploy over 2 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity at three Huntington Beach city properties without upfront costs from the City.

Through solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) between the City of Huntington Beach and SunEdison, SunEdison will finance, construct, monitor and maintain three carport canopy photovoltaic power plants at the Huntington Beach Civic Center, Central Library and City Yard. In return, the City will buy the energy produced from these solar systems to offset their demand from the grid at predictable energy rates for 20 years.

Mayor Cathy Green said: "Huntington Beach's solar project is a tangible commitment to the environment and our programs in Huntington Beach." Aaron Klemm, Energy Project Manager for Huntington Beach, added, "We evaluated a number of ways to meet our municipal solar capacity goal. The Power Purchase Agreement model made the most sense for us as there are no upfront capital or maintenance requirements from the city, and we receive very competitive power prices."

"SunEdison makes solar a reality for public sector clients like the City of Huntington Beach," said Brian Jacolick, GM, Americas for SunEdison. "With smart solar programs, proven experience and strong financing capabilities, SunEdison is the clear choice for government solar solutions."

The US Department of Energy and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program provided the funding for the initial research and consultation for the three solar carport canopy systems.

Once completed, the three deployments are expected to produce more than 63 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean solar energy over 20 years, enough energy to power over 5,900 average US homes for one year. SunEdison is expected to start construction in the spring of 2011.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

US-Arab Chamber focuses on potential for US entrepreneurs in the UAE

WASHINGTON, USA: As part of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s (EO) Global Policy Summit in Washington, DC, fifty CEOs and guests were invited to attend a private reception hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) embassy in co-operation with the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce. The objective was to give entrepreneurs a chance to discuss opportunities in the Middle East with experienced officials from the region.

Saud Al Nowais, Commercial Officer, briefed guests about the bilateral trade relationship between the UAE and United States. As of 2009, the United States exported $12 billion to the UAE with about forty percent of that value comprised of transportation equipment.

The UAE government continues to spend billions annually on infrastructure development. These include multi-billion dollar projects, including nuclear power plants, a heavy rail system, port construction and expansion, airport construction and expansion, as well as investments in solar power and sustainable construction.

“The ability to discuss progress and potential in a region is the cornerstone to developing profitable and long-standing relationships, and something the Chamber has focused on for over a decade,” said Aida Araissi, president of the Chamber. As a result of the opportunity to speak with UAE officials, the EO expressed interest in strengthening its presence in the UAE and CEO attendees inquired further into the opportunities available.

During his April 2009 address to the Middle East in Cairo, President Obama outlined his vision of fostering trade between the region and the United States. In furtherance of this goal and his ongoing efforts to improve the economy, President Obama announced the development of the National Export Initiative in April 2010.

Shortly thereafter, the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship was held in Washington, DC to bring together entrepreneurs from the Middle East and US decision-makers. The Summit allowed for a healthy dialogue to improve relations and help entrepreneurs navigate the complicated avenues of bureaucracy.

The EO Global Policy Summit was held with these objectives at center stage. Based on the suggestion of the Chamber, the reception was held at the UAE Embassy, exhibiting the same qualities as the country it represents -- educated, progressive, emphasizing ideas, solutions, and deliverables.

As the Chairman of the Global Policy Summit, Benjamin Richter, remarked “there is a unique opportunity to form significant relationships between leading entrepreneurial companies and our global counterparts. Specifically the United Arab Emirates is a tough leader for the prevailing growing understanding of the enormous economic impact that innovative entrepreneurs and their organizations have on the health and growth of our modern economies.”

Friday, October 22, 2010

Perpetual Energy Systems activates 1.1 MW solar energy system at California Institute of Technology

WOODLAND HILLS, USA: Perpetual Energy Systems (Perpetual), a national power purchase agreement (PPA) provider/financier of solar powered renewable energy systems, announced the activation of a 1.1 MW solar energy system at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

The system, which marks the achievement of the University’s goal of 1.3MW of solar power installed by 2010, is projected to generate an estimated 1,646,668 kilowatt hours of clean energy in its first full year of operation.

More than 4,500 solar panels comprise the system, which will generate electricity from the rooftops of seven structures on the Caltech Campus - Braun Athletic Center, Baxter Hall, the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Cahill Center, the Annenberg Center for Information Science and Technology (IST) and the North & South Wilson parking structures.

The Cahill Center will host 26.88 kW and is Caltech’s first building to achieve USGBC LEED gold-level certification. IPAC is NASA’s multi-mission center of expertise for long-wavelength astrophysics as well as the institutional home of the Spitzer Science Center (SSC) and the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI)

The 1.1 MW system will eliminate approximately 1,150 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) in its first year of operations, which is equivalent to planting 252 acres of trees or removing 222 cars from the nation’s roads for one year.

“Caltech is making great strides toward “greening” its entire campus and Perpetual is honored to have helped it reach its solar energy production goals for 2010 through this installation,” said Joseph Rodriguez, president and CEO of Perpetual. “This project was unique as it included two parking structures on which we used a “space frame” design as the mounting system for the solar arrays and panels on the rooftops of several very notable Caltech buildings.”

Caltech entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Perpetual to host the solar installations, enabling Caltech to host solar with no capital outlay. Under the PPA, Caltech will purchase clean solar energy produced by each installation at a predetermined, fixed rate. The system is owned and operated by Perpetual, and operations and maintenance of the system are the responsibility of Perpetual.

“This recent installation, which brings Caltech’s total installed solar capacity to 1,300 kW representing two percent of the Institute’s energy consumption, contributes significantly to our plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020,” said John Onderdonk, Caltech’s Sustainability Manager.

“Our agreement with Perpetual allows the Institute all the advantages of solar, but without the financial outlay for the installation and maintenance. This is a win-win situation for us and we look forward to working with them again on future solar installations.”

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ascent Solar enters into joint development agreement with GlobalWatt

THORNTON, USA: Ascent Solar Technologies Inc., a developer of flexible thin-film solar modules, has partnered with GlobalWatt Inc., a specialty solar applications company, to develop a new line of adaptable, retractable solar modules to quickly add an extra source of power to existing solar applications.

The integration of an additional power unit without the weight and rigidity of a standard crystalline solar module will change the dynamics of existing and new specialty solar applications.

In today’s world, DC based applications such as solar powered generators, water purifiers, and refrigeration systems are limited by how quickly the batteries can be recharged. In times of heavy usage or workload, these new solar modules will allow for faster charging and longer usage time, both without the need to add heavy solar modules.

“We initially plan to integrate Ascent’s cutting edge technology to our next generation of mobile solar generators and then introduce it across the board. We believe that quick, expandable power using Ascent’s CIGS modules will be synergistic to current crystalline technology as it can be a `stow and go' type power source,” said Dave Slivinski, VP of sales and marketing at GlobalWatt.

Robert Meck, VP of Product Application Development at Ascent Solar Technologies Inc., stated: “The integration of Ascent’s high power density, low specific weight modules into GlobalWatt’s portable portfolio will enable an immediate increase in available deployable power generation without an increase in system weight. The flexibility and durability of Ascent CIGS modules are the perfect solution for lightweight, storable, portable power systems.”

Solar energy subsidies in Germany will likely decline by 13 percent in Jan. 2011

TAIWAN: German Environment Minister Dr. Norbert Röttgen indicates, in light of the current expansion rate in German solar market, the solar energy subsidies are expected to fall by 13 percent in January next year. TrendForce indicates that the concern about excess supply in 2011 might be increasing.

According to the latest survey from TrendForce, by January 2011, the solar energy feed-in tariff reduction is estimated to reach 13 percent in the German market, and the figure will increase by 4 percent reduction, compared with the forecasted figure of 9 percent at the beginning of 2010.

The adjusted subsidy amount will likely range from €22.07cent/per kWh to €28.74cent/per kWh, and the YoY will fall to -26.6 percent compared with that in January 2010.Source: TrendForce, Taiwan.

On the other hand, due to the demand slowdown in the German market, the latest quoted price for solar cells has dropped by 6-7 percent.

In addition, based on the anti-ENSO event and the coming cold weather in Europe, TrendForce indicates that the urgent orders will be unlikely to appear in the European market in December, and the market demand in 1H2011 will go down.Source: TrendForce, Taiwan.

In terms of the supply and demand status of the solar market in 2011, the TrendForce’s statistics suggests that the global capacity is expected to range from 20GW to 25GW, with the demand from 15.5GW to 18GW, leading to the supply and demand gap around 5GW.

TrendForce indicates the price fluctuation of solar cells is only limited to the business between solar cell manufacturers and module producers. However, the quoted price for wafers will remain flat, which is not affected by the price fall of downstream customers.

If the pressure from the decreasing solar cell price continues to increase, the solar cell manufacturers are forced to reduce the prices of wafers and Poly-Si to reflect costs.

MKS Instruments awarded $20 million order for solar apps

ANDOVER, USA: MKS Instruments Inc., a global provider of technologies that enable advanced processes and improve productivity, announced today that it has been awarded a contract from a major Chinese solar cell manufacturer for its new RF power supplies and matching networks, as well as a number of vacuum related products.

The equipment will be used in the production of photovoltaic thin film solar cells and will be installed in two fabs currently under construction in China.

"Our newly designed advanced power supply technology, with its superior power conversion efficiency and high reliability, was a key factor in the selection of MKS for this initial order," said Jerry Colella, VP and CEO. "Our strong local presence in China, including our highly skilled applications engineering team, was essential to being qualified and selected by this customer and to fully support their future needs."

Shipments are scheduled to begin in late December and continue through early 2011. MKS continues to expand its presence in the solar market, especially as it grows in Asia.

Advantest to reduce its carbon footprint with renewable energy

SANTA CLARA, USA: Advantest America Inc., a California-based, wholly owned subsidiary of Advantest Corporation of Japan, announced that it has taken action to reduce its environmental footprint through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) over the next two years in an effort to offset 100 percent of the electricity used by its corporate headquarters in Santa Clara, CA.

Conscientious about maintaining its reputation for good corporate citizenship, Advantest America, has implemented a comprehensive corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability program that counts among its key achievements being awarded ISO 14001 certification for its Santa Clara, CA headquarters facility in 2008.

The company also takes great pride in having established an environmental management system, which focuses on energy conservation, reduction-reuse-recycling of materials, and green product procurement at its Silicon Valley facility. As an example of its collective efforts over the past two years, the company has been able to reduce its energy use by upwards of 30 percent.

Advantest’s latest commitment to Renewable Energy Certificates will achieve an added annual environmental benefit equivalent to removing 441 cars off the road, or, the amount of CO2 stored in more than 492 acres of trees.

Today, electricity production remains a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions that contributes to global climate change. However, through partnerships with 3Degrees (, a leading national renewable energy and carbon offset company, and provider of Green-e Certified Renewable Energy Certificates from renewable energy facilities across the nation, Advantest America and other Bay Area companies can help to offset CO2 that enters the earth’s atmosphere.

R. Keith Lee, CEO, Advantest America, said, “With this commitment to renewable energy Advantest America is proudly sharing a message with our employees, our customers, and the community at large that we support the development of clean, renewable energy resources and value a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Each REC purchased by Advantest America represents one-megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable electricity generated and delivered to the power grid. This energy will displace the generation of conventional electricity throughout the power system and reduce emissions into the atmosphere.

Ultrasonic Systems launches new precision spray system for CdTe thin-film solar manufacturing apps

HAVERHILL, USA: Ultrasonic Systems Inc. (USI), a leading manufacturer of high-performance ultrasonic spray coating equipment, has released its PV-480 system for CdTe module coating applications.

The PV-480 leverages USI’s proprietary, nozzle-less ultrasonic spray head technology for thinner, more uniform coating deposition vs. conventional spray technologies. Optimized for high-volume, in-line manufacturing, the PV-480 can process glass plates up to 48 inches wide at speeds of up to six feet per minute.

The PV-480 delivers liquid coating with transfer efficiencies in excess of 90 percent, utilizing a traversing Ultra-Spray blade head. This versatile system is ideal for the application of cadmium chloride solution and anti-reflective coatings, as well as other low viscosity liquids.

The system can be operated in-line or as a stand-alone process, and is easy to control via touch screen user interface. USI coating systems are industry proven with more than 2,500 systems installed worldwide in multiple markets.

“We are pleased to announce the launch of our new PV-480 thin-film coating system,” said Stuart Erickson, president of Ultrasonic Systems. “The PV-480 extends our unique nozzle-less spray head technology to glass plate applications critical to CdTe thin-film solar production.”

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Suntech, Calisolar ink letter of intent for new Ontario manufacturing facility and long term purchase agreement

TORONTO, CANADA: Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd, the world's largest producer of crystalline silicon solar panels, and Calisolar Inc., a privately held, vertically integrated manufacturer of solar silicon, wafers and cells, announced that the companies have signed a Letter of Intent to construct a solar silicon manufacturing facility in Ontario Canada.

Once completed, the manufacturing facility will add new operators and engineers and will significantly expand the existing manufacturing operations in Vaughan, Ontario, doubling total employment at Calisolar's wholly owned subsidiary, 6N Silicon to more than 350.

As set forth in the Letter of Intent, Suntech will assist with financing the expansion, and enter a multi-year agreement to purchase solar silicon produced by Calisolar at the new manufacturing facility.

"This partnership with Calisolar is an excellent opportunity for Suntech to accelerate the development of the solar industry in Ontario and meet the growing solar demand across Canada," said Steven Chan, president of Suntech's North American operations.

"We have looked at the various alternatives for investment in Ontario and have determined that our continued commitment to the silicon refining industry provides the best opportunity to create long-term sustainable jobs given the product's export viability."

"This agreement with Suntech, a recognized global leader in solar products, marks a significant milestone in Calisolar's expansion," commented Calisolar CEO Sandra Beach Lin.

"Calisolar's unique silicon refining technology was developed in Ontario and provides significant cost and environmental advantages compared to traditional processes. Together with Suntech we will be able to expand our operations in Ontario and bring long-term, sustainable jobs to continue to serve this exciting, emerging market for solar energy."

Chan added: "We are very excited about this initiative and have been working with the Province of Ontario to seek clarification regarding the local content regulations so that we can move forward in the most efficient manner possible. This is a unique opportunity to leverage the economic advantages of technologies and expertise found only in Ontario for use in cost effective, large scale, renewable energy."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BioSolar intros bright-white BioBacksheet for improved PV solar panel efficiency

SANTA CLARITA, USA: BioSolar Inc., a developer of a breakthrough technology to produce bio-based materials from renewable plant sources that reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, has introduced a bright-white BioBacksheet in response to demand from its prospective customers.

Dr. David Lee, BioSolar’s CEO, said: “While meeting with PV module manufacturers in recent months, we encountered an overwhelming preference for a bright-white colored BioBacksheet in lieu of the existing translucent design. For cosmetic reasons, as well as for its high-reflectivity which improves cell efficiency, manufacturers prefer a bright-white colored backsheet.”

“We have successfully modified our product formulation to meet this request without compromising our industry-leading product characteristics. Subsequent testing demonstrated that the improved product meets all industry standards, as well as customer and BioSolar internal product requirements. The new bright-white BioBacksheet opens up a wider pool of potential customers and will be sold as a standard product.”

The original translucent BioBacksheet has proven to be extremely durable in all categories of short-term, as well as long-term durability tests. For example, while only 1,000 hours of damp heat oven exposure (85 degree C at 85 percent relative humidity) is required to test a typical new backsheet, the translucent BioBacksheet endured more than 3,000 hours.

“Based on the test results completed to date, it appears that the bright-white BioBacksheet will be as durable as the original design,” said Dr. Stanley Levy, BioSolar’s CTO.

“Testing of the new bright-white model not only involves examination of the physical characteristics of the product itself, but also the material of which it is made. This is especially important when a new formulation will be used as an integral component of a PV panel. Once these tests are finalized, our prospective customers will submit their specific PV modules with the new bright-white BioBacksheet for UL (or IEC) certification or recertification.”

According to Dr. Lee, BioSolar currently has commitments from select PV module manufacturers willing to move forward with recertification of their existing PV panels upon completion of the remaining tests. This is a necessary step before making quantity purchase commitments.

First Solar increases revolving credit facility to $600 million

TEMPE, USA: First Solar Inc. has amended its existing senior secured revolving credit facility, increasing it from $300 million to $600 million. The term of the facility, which was oversubscribed, has been extended from three to five years and will mature in 2015. First Solar intends to use the facility for general corporate purposes, including the issuance of letters of credit.

The facility was agreed upon between First Solar and a syndicate of 13 leading international financial institutions. J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch served as Joint Lead Arrangers and Book Runners.

First Solar manufactures solar modules with an advanced semiconductor technology and provides comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) system solutions. The company is delivering an economically viable alternative to fossil-fuel generation today.

Bluetooth SIG formally announces smart energy effort

WASHINGTON, USA: From GridWeek, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced an enhanced focus on the needs of manufacturers of consumer devices in the Smart Grid environment. This effort, called Bluetooth Smart Energy, addresses the needs for wireless connections of sensors and actuators in the residence.

The organization has released two key strategy documents. The first describes the market for in-home wireless in Smart Energy, domestic HVAC, and home appliances; the second is a technical justification of Bluetooth technology as the choice for these markets. Both papers are available on the Bluetooth website at

Recently, at the Bluetooth SIG Working Group Summit, an optimized business and technical structure was adopted to ensure the continued success of Bluetooth technology over the coming decade. The revised structure will allow the SIG to better address specific requirements for both existing and evolving markets. Reflecting the continuous evolution of the wireless market, the SIG has now aligned around five key focus areas: phones; automotive; home and personal computer; health and fitness; and Smart Energy.

“Ten years ago, the first Bluetooth enabled mobile phone and headset shipped,” said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “In the decade since, more than three billion Bluetooth enabled devices have come to market, serving the world’s broadest range of wireless applications. By 2020, the industry could be integrating more Bluetooth chips into smart meters and home appliances than it is into mobile phones and laptops.”

The Bluetooth SIG’s more than 13,500 members deliver innovative wireless solutions to a worldwide market. Nearly every smart phone and feature phone that ships in the
developed world contains Bluetooth technology, as do most portable computers.

Integration of Bluetooth technology into vehicles has enabled a safer and richer driving experience, while lightweight, cost-effective health and fitness monitoring solutions containing Bluetooth technology enjoy broad acceptance. With the Bluetooth SIG’s embrace of Smart Energy, consumers, utilities, and vendors will now benefit from an ecosystem which has qualified more than 12,000 wireless products over the last ten years.

“Bluetooth wireless technology offers a number of key advantages for Smart Energy applications,” added Foley. “First and foremost, the industry needs assurances that a chosen wireless technology is robust, readily able to cope with interference from the multitude of other wireless products in the home. Second, the wireless technology must be sufficiently secure, ensuring billing accuracy and consumer privacy while protecting against theft of service.

“Third, the technology must be interoperable, backed up by a stringent and effective qualification program. Since Bluetooth wireless technology is the only standard that can give full assurance to each of these concerns, we are excited to publicly announce the Bluetooth Smart Energy Group, which has been working since early this year to define solutions for Smart Energy and Smart Grid applications.”

The Bluetooth specification is the only major unlicensed wireless standard that can deliver a full solution from radio to host application. Bluetooth frequency hopping technology provides robust operation in the home environment, providing a high level of assurance for interference-free communication.

“The comprehensive scope of our specifications enables Bluetooth technology to provide an integrated solution that can cope with interference and which is optimized to have the lowest power consumption for these applications,” said Tom Siep, chairman of the Bluetooth Smart Energy Group.

“That places Bluetooth technology as the prime candidate for the Smart Energy market, giving manufacturers and utilities the confidence that their products and data will be secure and reliable. The Bluetooth SIG is confident in our projections for success as the world addresses the need to make better use of energy.”

CTDC announces production capacity expansion plan for crystalline PV modules

HONG KONG: China Technology Development Group Corp. (CTDC), a growing clean energy group based in China to provide solar energy products and solutions, announced that it plans to expand its production capacity of crystalline PV modules to 150 megawatt by the end of 2011 and 300 MW by the end of 2012.

Since June 2010, we have been, through our wholly-owned subsidiary China Merchants Zhangzhou Development Zone Trendar Solar Tech Ltd. ("Trendar Solar"), engaged in manufacturing and sales of crystalline PV modules at China Merchants Zhangzhou Development Zone, located at the south bank of Xiamen Bay. Our products are being exported to both European and US markets.

To cater for the increasing market demand and maximize our shareholders' value, we strive to increase our production capacity to 150MW by the end of 2011, and aim to double this amount to a total of 300MW by the end of 2012. In addition to expanding the production lines of Trendar Solar, we also intend to speed up the pace by means of mergers and acquisitions, to accomplish the targets set out in the Expansion Plan.

On October 13, 2010, we received seven honorable guests at our production base in the China Merchants Zhangzhou Development Zone, including Dan Xiaoshan, Chairman of Board of Supervisors, State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), Ye Xiangxun, Office Director of Board of Supervisors of SASAC, and Hu Zheng, VP of the China Merchants Group.

During the visit, our senior management team presented our Company's development strategies, expansion plans and technical applications to our guests, and they all highly commended the Company on its continuing commitment and dedication to the solar industry and indicated that the PV industry is currently emerging and is expected to receive strong support from the PRC government in the future.

Alan Li, chairman of the Board and CEO of CTDC, said: "We are honored to receive the unwavering support from both Chairman Dan and Vice President Hu. Their recognition is truly encouraging to our PV business."

Li concluded: "We believe the global PV module market will continue to perform well in 2011 and we are expanding our capacity to keep pace with the market demand. Looking forward, we will cooperate with our upstream and downstream partners to develop the Xiamen Bay into a renowned production base for the solar industry which will integrate vertical value chain from ingots, wafers, cells, PV modules and PV applications, etc."

Nanofluid increases thermal efficiency of Kalahari's solar system

BALTIMORE, USA: Kalahari Greentech Inc. released a statement detailing the benefits of Nanofluid additives for the Tri-Brid Solar Generator.

Nanofluid applications have the potential to increase solar thermal efficiency by approximately 10% with no redesign needed. New manufacturing techniques for 30 nm graphite spheres make this technology economically feasible for Kalahari's products. Using Nanofluids as a direct absorption solar collector has been demonstrated to offer unique advantages over conventional collectors.

Kalahari representatives are in exploratory discussion with research organizations for research and licensing of next generation Nanofluid formulations that have even greater efficiency benefits. A selection of materials will be conducted based on successfully concluded research results.

At a selling price of $6,000 per "Tri-Brid" system unit, the current market potential for 2 million homes is $12 Billion. Assuming manufacturing begins in early 2012 Kalahari should be able to place approximately 3,000 units in the field by December 2012. As a result, the expected sales for fiscal 2012 are $18,000,000 ($18 million).

The trend toward renewable sources of energy is growing. "Renewables accounted for 60 per cent of newly installed capacity in Europe and more than 50 per cent in the USA in 2009."

Internationally, China is expected to raise its 2020 solar power generation target to at least 10,000 MW. The Tri-Brid generator has a potential market of over 2.5 billion users including India and China.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Price of solar cells in 4Q10 estimated to drop by 8-12pc due to weak demand and climate impact

TAWIAN: Affected by the forecasted declining market demand in the first half of 2011 and the current severe cold weather in Europe, TrendForce, the research institute, indicates that the price of solar cells in the fourth quarter of 2010 may decrease by 8-12 percent to $1.21/per Watt~$1.26/per Watt.

According to TrendForce’s survey, the average price quote of solar cells in September slightly declined by $0.01. However, the average price quote still remained at $1.43/per Watt in the third quarter of 2010. Besides, the capacity utilization rate has maintained at high level. It is forecasted that the profitability level may remain high.

As for the outlook of solar cells in the fourth quarter of 2010, since the demand from the German market has started declining, the spot price in 1HOct arrived at $1.38/per Watt - $1.4/per Watt, declining by $0.02-0.04 MoM.

In terms of the price quotation of December in 2010, the bid price from solar module manufacturers dropped to around $1.3/per Watt, reducing by 6-7 percent compared to the current bid price. It is showed that module manufacturers took a conservative attitude towards the demand in the first half of 2011, which met TrendForce’s early forecast on the worldwide solar market demand in 2011.Source:TrendForce, October 2010.

In terms of the demand and supply of solar cells in the latter half of 2010, the demand still remained strong. However, the dates of shipments were mostly scheduled before the end of November, which caused the declining price in the fourth quarter in 2010.

On the other hand, according to the latest weather forecast, influenced by anti-ENSO events, the severely cold weather in the European areas may occur. It is estimated that the opportunity of rush orders is low in Europe in December, and that is unfavorable for prices to increase.

TrendForce indicates that the price fluctuation of solar cells only limited to the transactions between solar cell manufacturers and module manufacturers at this stage.

Hence, the price of wafers still remains the same, which is not affected by the declining transaction price for the downstream clients. If the pressure from the decreasing solar cell price continues to increase, the solar cell manufacturers are forced to reduce the prices of wafers and Poly-Si to reflect costs.

SoloPower now has IEC and UL certifications

SAN JOSE, USA: SoloPower Inc., a California-based manufacturer of flexible, thin film solar cells and modules has become the first solar company to obtain certification to both IEC (61646 and 61730) standards and UL 1703 standards for flexible, thin film CIGS modules.

This pacesetting accomplishment enables SoloPower to sell flexible, lightweight CIGS modules in Europe in addition to North America.

“Achieving these certifications clearly puts us in a position to offer our global customers a better solution to many of the challenges they are facing,” stated SoloPower CEO Tim Harris. “We are now on a path to developing global market channels for this powerful, lightweight, low-cost product offering.”

Mustafa Pinarbasi, SoloPower CTO, added, “Certification of our flexible modules against IEC and UL standards is a direct result of outstanding efforts by our team, demonstrating significant advances in our technology and products.”

SoloPower's flexible CIGS module achieved IEC 61646 and IEC 61730 certifications through TÜV SÜD America, Inc. Prior to that, SoloPower’s flexible module received ETL Mark certification to the UL 1703 standard by Intertek. These certification standards test product durability, safety, reliability, and performance.

SoloPower modules offer an unmatched combination of power and cost effectiveness, packaged in a durable, lightweight, flexible form. The company has obtained certification under IEC and UL standards for its initial module format, the SFX1 module (70Wp and 75Wp, 0.3m x 2.9m, 2.3kg / 5lbs.).

SoloPower’s SFX1-i3 module (up to 260Wp, 0.88m x 3m, 6.8kg/15lbs.) is currently completing certification testing.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Soaring PV demand drives record levels of manufacturing equipment spending

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Quarterly manufacturing capacity added during Q3'10 broke through the GW barrier for the first time driving PV equipment spending to a new quarterly high, according to the Solarbuzz PV Equipment Quarterly, a 200-slide report on PV equipment trends with accompanying cell manufacturer database.

Manufacturing equipment spending posted record returns, with c-Si ingot-to-module and thin-film panel spending in excess of $2.9 billion. Specifically, the dominant c-Si process tool types (etching, diffusion, passivation deposition and printing) each delivered quarterly served addressable market sizes over $120 million. Strong c-Si cell and thin-film panel expansion will continue through Q4'10 with a further 1.3 GW of quarterly ramped capacity projected to come online.Source: Solarbuzz, USA.

"Chinese and Taiwanese c-Si cell manufacturers are expanding at an unprecedented rate, stimulated by record levels of downstream demand through 2010," noted Finlay Colville, Senior Analyst at Solarbuzz. "This wave of capacity expansion is driving equipment spending levels to record quarterly highs, reflected by strong revenues reported by leading process tool suppliers to the PV industry during 1H'10."

"While c-Si cell capacity expansions in China and Taiwan continue to benefit qualified c-Si process tool suppliers based in Europe and North America, thin-film capital equipment spending remains increasingly fragmented by thin-film absorber type, substrate, supply-chain and manufacturing region," Colville added.

The Solarbuzz PV Equipment Quarterly provides quantitative 5-year forecasts and analysis to address technology trends, capacity expansions, fab productivity and equipment demand, while highlighting the key challenges awaiting c-Si cell and thin-film equipment manufacturers.

In 2011, c-Si cell equipment manufacturers must adapt product offerings to address new high-efficiency c-Si cell expansion, while thin-film tool suppliers have a window of opportunity as the second cycle of thin-film spending reaches its peak.

Q3'10 capacity expansion dominated by c-Si manufacturers
Capacity expansion during Q3'10 was heavily biased toward c-Si cell technologies, providing further indication that c-Si cell manufacturing has evolved into a mature process with qualified equipment readily available. New c-Si cell lines contributed an incredible 95 percent of the 1.12 GW of quarterly capacity brought online during Q3'10, compared to just 5 percent from all the thin-film panel types.

Furthermore, China and Taiwan cell manufacturers accounted for 80 percent of capacity added. Standard c-Si cell types dominated new lines ramped up during Q3'10, as c-Si cell manufacturers reverted to qualified process tools and employed low-risk process flows within these fabs.

Standard cell lines accounted for 78 percent of the new c-Si capacity during the quarter, with the remaining 22 percent spread across high efficiency variants. Top tier c-Si makers continue to implement high efficiency enhancement options, with 221 MW of new quarterly capacity comprised of incremental line improvements or dedicated selective emitter concepts.

Equipment spending on c-Si cell lines reaches $852 million in 2010
Equipment spending on c-Si cell lines during Q3'10 was $852M, down 5 percent Q/Q, following the record high in Q2'10 of $898 million. Tool spending was dominated by established c-Si cell makers such as China Sunergy, DelSolar, Gintech, JA Solar, Motech, Suntech and Solartech, but the industry saw sizeable contributions from new competitors in China including Hareon Solar, Jinko Solar, LDK Solar and ReneSola.

China and Taiwan now account for a combined 72 percent of all c-Si cell equipment spending over the trailing 12-month reporting period. With standard process tooling in strong demand, c-Si equipment suppliers such as Applied Materials, Amtech, Centrotherm, Despatch, and Roth & Rau were among the leading beneficiaries over the quarter.

Thin-film equipment spending grew 53 percent Q/Q, as a new cycle of thin-film capital equipment investment gained traction. Tool spending within this segment remains highly fragmented, with a wide range of tool types and supply-chains being implemented during the quarter. This was in part driven by CIGS tool spending which-while exceeding $200 million and returning 165 percent Y/Y growth-was spread across a wide range of absorber, substrate and process flow variants.

Equipment spending will remain strong for c-Si cell tooling though Q4'10, but with flat-to-negative growth. Conversely, the thin-film spending cycle will maintain its upward growth trajectory, as existing tool backlogs are delivered across a range of thin-film companies worldwide ramping up fabs for the first time.

However, PV equipment revenues are projected to decrease during 2011 as the threat of overcapacity impacts the expansion plans of leading cell and panel suppliers.

Source: Solarbuzz, USA.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

SunEdison secures financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch for final phases of Duke Energy's 17.3MW deployment

BELTSVILLE, USA: SunEdison, a leading worldwide solar energy services provider and subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR), announced that Bank of America Merrill Lynch has committed to financing the final two phases of SunEdison's 17.3 megawatt (MW) solar farm project in Davidson County, North Carolina.

The solar farm is being deployed through solar power purchase agreements between Duke Energy Carolinas and SunEdison.

Once all phases are activated, the 17.3MW solar farm is expected to generate over 510 million kilowatt hours of energy over 20 years—enough energy to power over 48,000 U.S. homes for one year.

"Bank of America Merrill Lynch is extremely pleased to help bring utility-scale solar power to our home market of North Carolina and build on our long-standing corporate relationship with MEMC," said Todd Karas, President of Banc of America Public Capital Corp. "Our financing of this project is a powerful example of Bank of America's 10-year, $20 billion business initiative focused on addressing climate change."

The financing of the 17.3MW solar farm affords SunEdison the opportunity to offer "no-upfront cost" solar solutions to Duke Energy with long-term predictable energy pricing. Through solar power purchase agreements, SunEdison will finance, construct, monitor and maintain the solar farm and Duke Energy will purchase the energy produced for 20 years to add to their renewable energy mix.

"Since 2004, SunEdison has deployed over 340 solar power plants across the globe," said William Lee, Vice President of Project Finance and Corporate Development at SunEdison. "Through our proven experience and timely deployments, we make solar an easy choice for our customers and our financing partners."

Friday, October 15, 2010

GE acquires Opal Software — strengthens smart grid software portfolio

ATLANTA, USA: GE has expanded its smart grid software portfolio with the acquisition of data migration and SCADA simulation specialists Opal Software.

The acquisition allows GE’s Digital Energy business to deliver greater operational and network productivity to utility customers and increase the development speed and delivery of new solutions—securing GE as a smart grid technology leader. In addition, the Australia-based Opal Software team will improve GE’s ability to support growth in the Asia Pacific region by providing increased local workforce and technology.

“GE’s acquisition of Opal Software formalizes an already strong relationship,” said Bill Tarlinton, chief executive officer for Opal Software. “We are proud to be a part of GE Energy, and look forward to offering smart grid solutions to the regional and global marketplace.”

Opal Software is a well-respected specialty software designer, supplying professional engineering services and SCADA and DMS software products to electricity, water and gas utilities. Opal Software’s data migration capabilities are able to switch quickly between multiple platforms, easily integrating GE software into non-GE systems to provide greater flexibility and more options for customers.

“Opal Software’s products and project management services are integral to the delivery of GE Energy projects,” said Matt McKenzie, general manager, Asia region for GE’s Digital Energy business.

“By bringing Opal Software’s proven technologies together with GE’s solution platforms, our talented teams will drive the next wave of software solutions. Opal Software will help secure GE as a smart grid technology leader and meet the needs of the fast-growing Asia Pacific region.”

Opal Software’s employees will join GE’s Digital Energy business and the Asia Pacific team.

Molex SolarSpec portfolio drives innovation in renewable energy

Solar Power International 2010, LISLE, FRANCE: Molex Inc. showcased its SolarSpec solutions at Solar Power International 2010.

SolarSpec products are designed to support efficient, reliable and flexible interconnections for photovoltaic panels, solar trackers and concentrators, and solar inverters.

“Our interconnect products drive innovation in data, telecommunications, consumer electronics, industrial, transportation, medical, military/aerospace and, most recently, the solid state lighting and audio industries,” said Peter Commane, product manager, Molex. “In 2009, we unveiled 221 new products, including the SolarSpec portfolio for the renewable energy market. Across all industries, Molex solutions make our customers’ jobs easier and businesses more profitable.”

Addressing key applications within the global solar industry, SolarSpec products support efficient, reliable, and flexible solar interconnections. The Molex junction box and cable assemblies are designed for installation on the back of mono- and polycrystalline photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, providing the interface between the conductor ribbons on the panel and the DC I/O cables.

The innovative junction box can be attached to the PV solar panel using robotic pick-and-place, thereby simplifying panel assembly and reducing production time and costs.

“Tremendous growth within the solar-power market is fueling competition in the manufacture of PV solar panels. The automated fabrication of PV modules improves efficiencies, product integrity, and reduces production overhead,” adds Commane.

SolarSpec products are manufactured in ISO certified production plants and designed to resist long-term UV and ozone, and to meet stringent energy requirements, including: UL 1703, IEC, IP67/IP68/IP69, NEC and NEC2008, and RoHS compliance.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

KYOCERA solar module first to pass major testing of TUV Rheinland's independent 'Long-Term Sequential Test'

KYOTO, JAPAN: Kyocera Corp. announced that its main 210-watt solar module is the first in the world to have passed the major sub-tests of the new "Long-Term Sequential Test" performed by TUV Rheinland Japan Ltd. which independently evaluates solar module quality and reliability.

The Long-Term Sequential Test which is conducted by the third party certification organization, TUV Rheinland, evaluates solar modules with four sub-tests: Damp Heat, Thermal Cycling, Humidity Freeze, and Bypass Diode.

These test the module's overall performance and quality by putting it under harsher conditions than those standardized by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Furthermore, while conventional testing dictates that a separate individual module be used per sub-test, the Long-Term Sequential Test carries out all four sub-tests on the same module, thereby evaluating it under conditions closer to those a product faces over its actual lifetime.

The company's main 210-watt solar module (comprised of 54 multicrystalline silicon photovoltaic cells; mass-produced since 2008) has passed TUV Rheinland's major sub-testing for Damp Heat and Thermal Cycling — and Kyocera's module has proven to maintain a constant level of power output throughout.

Furthermore, compared to conventional industry testing methodology, these two sub-tests evaluate modules over a longer time period. Currently, the company's module is undergoing the remaining sub-tests — Humidity Freeze and Bypass Diode — with the full Long-Term Sequential Test planned to be completed by December 2010.

"With many years of experience in the solar energy business dating back to 1975, Kyocera was the first company in the industry to successfully mass-produce multicrystalline silicon solar cells. Evidence of the long-term quality and reliability of our modules can be found in a 43kW solar power generating system that we installed in 1984 on our research center which is still generating electricity at an extremely high level compared to its original power output. The results of TUV Rheinland's new test further support Kyocera's own data collected over the years from actual installations," stated Tatsumi Maeda, vice president and general manager of Kyocera Corporation's Solar Energy Group.

"TUV Rheinland's test results and data from our own long-standing installations prove the reliability of Kyocera modules, and provide our residential- and large-scale-use customers peace-of-mind in their solar investment."

"Now that the market is promising up to 25 years of life for a PV module, end users are asking for more evidence to give them confidence in a solar investment," says Stefan Kiehn, head of the PV testing facilities at TUV Rheinland Japan.

"TUV Rheinland's Long-Term Sequential Testing does not guarantee that the product will be as perfect in 25 years as when it was purchased, but it can help manufacturers to better understand how their modules may behave after being in use for a long time. Until now this was only possible through real outdoor lifetime testing."

Kyocera provides products with outstanding reliability, assessing its product quality in-house and with third-party testing, in order to contribute to further development and expansion of solar energy use. As a manufacturer, Kyocera will continue to develop its solar cell technologies to create solutions for the energy and environmental problems our world is currently facing.

3Sun appoints chairman and CEO

ROME, ITALY, OSAKA, JAPAN & GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Enel Green Power, Sharp and STMicroelectronics announced the appointment of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of their new joint venture company 3Sun by its Board of Directors, constituted at the end of July 2010. The appointment is in line with the agreement signed by Enel Green Power, Sharp and STMicroelectronics on January 4, 2010.

The goal of the joint venture is to start operations at the Catania factory for integrated production of innovative photovoltaic cells and panels.

The new Chairman of 3Sun is Andrea Cuomo, STMicroelectronics' Executive Vice President for the Europe, Middle East and Africa Region. Cuomo will also retain his position at ST, which he has held since January 2008, and will continue to head up ST's Advanced Systems Technology (AST) group and be a member of ST's Corporate Strategic Committee. Born in Milan, Italy, in 1954, Cuomo joined SGS Microelettronica, a predecessor company of STMicroelectronics, in 1983.

The new Chief Executive Officer of 3Sun is Mauro Curiale, since January 2007 in charge of Enel SOLE, a subsidiary of Enel Group and a leading company in the construction and management of public and artistic lighting systems. Curiale is also a member of the Board of Directors of AIDI (Italian Lighting Association).

Born in Ancona, Italy, in 1952, Curiale began his professional career with ENEL in 1981.
The new Chairman and CEO are members of the 3Sun Board of Directors. The headquarters of 3Sun is in Catania, Italy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Solar Frontier and GE enter global CIS module supply agreement

SANTA CLARA, Solar Frontier will supply GE with its proprietary CIS (copper, indium, and selenium) thin-film solar modules as part of GE’s globally marketed portfolio of solar energy solutions.

The company will provide GE branded panels to help meet the growing global demand for reliable clean-energy solutions. In return, GE will be providing its power plant expertise to enhance the development of Solar Frontier’s CIS technology for use in utility-scale solar installations.

GE’s extensive testing and benchmarking determined that Solar Frontier modules offered a compelling combination of performance and efficiency, meeting the established high standards of GE’s globally respected brand.

“By teaming up with a billion-dollar global industry leader, Solar Frontier demonstrates that the solar market has matured to support large-scale players,” said Shigeaki Kameda, President and CEO, Solar Frontier. “GE’s selection of Solar Frontier’s thin film technology establishes our leadership in bringing bankable, reliable and ecological solar technology to the global market.”

The modules produced for GE by Solar Frontier will be part of GE’s utility-scale solar projects. The contract will ensure that its customers have a reliable supply of standard-setting thin-film solar modules for large ground-mount and roof-top installations.

“Our modules have been proven in field tests since 2003, and we will have gigawatt-scale production online by next year,” added Kameda. “For a stable, mature solar market, we have to combine reliable panels with reliable supply chains.”

The modules will be manufactured at Solar Frontier’s state-of-the-art, automated production plant in Miyazaki, Japan. The Miyazaki facility will be the world’s largest PV factory when the third phase of production comes online next year.

The agreement with Solar Frontier was included in GE’s announcement of an expanded portfolio of highly differentiated solar solutions that would establish GE “as the global leader in the Renewable Energy space,” offering both leading technology and “the unique bankability that comes with one of the world’s leading brands.”

Solar Frontier uses fewer natural resources and raw materials than competing crystalline-silicon processes, enabling an industry leading energy payback time of less than one year, and less carbon emissions per kilowatt of production capacity. Materials like cadmium or lead are not used in the production process, minimizing the environmental impact and offering superior PV panel recyclability.

Ascent Solar launches USB OEM ready modules for portable and remote power solutions

Solar Power International 2010, THORNTON, USA: Ascent Solar Technologies Inc., a developer of flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules, announced the launch of its OEM ready USB charger integrated modules for portable, off-grid charging solutions.

The integration of the USB outlet makes it a universally acceptable application that can meet the need for a diverse and growing market for portable power needs in developed and emerging market countries. Ascent Solar will be exhibiting the new product to OEM interested customers and the general public at booth number 4653 during the upcoming Solar Power International trade show on October 12-14, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

Rafael Gutierrez, SVP of Sales and Marketing for Ascent Solar, stated: “With the growing proliferation of power on the go needs to meet the rising electronic application from cell phones to other personal electronic devices, our USB integrated light-weight, rugged and efficient CIGS modules can meet this demand. This OEM product will be an important solution for our off-grid portable power portfolio.”

Accent closes 5 million Euros in series B funding to expand smart grid technology offerings

MILAN, ITALY & PALO ALTO, USA: Accent, a world leader in semiconductor integration of communications and metering technologies, announced today that it has closed a new round of financing of 5 million Euros from Silicon Valley investor Tallwood Venture Capital.

The funding will be used to accelerate development and productization of key communication technologies for system-on-chip solutions required by Smart Meter as well as emerging Smart Home applications.

According to Pike Research, Smart Grid deployments are quickly accelerating at a 30 percent growth rate with an installed base reaching 18 percent of 1.4 billion electric meters worldwide by 2015.

Thanks to major Smart Grid design wins in North America and China with industry leaders such as Itron and Topscomm, Accent has amassed significant traction in the AMR/AMI market space. As the Smart Grid industry continues to define an open, standard-based framework for deployments, meter vendors need quick access to cost effective silicon solutions incorporating the latest technologies for in-home networks and communication back to the utility.

Accent’s ASMgrid flexible silicon platform already supports critical meter functions — such as ZigBee Pro, AMI application processing, power-line communication — enabling system vendors the highest levels of silicon integration with mass volume deployment in as little as three months.

“We were attracted by Accent’s ability to innovate the semiconductor landscape for smart grid equipment manufacturers, providing tangible performance and cost benefits. Looking forward, we expect Accent to extend its leadership position with more advanced solutions combined with their comprehensive semiconductor capabilities,” said Luis Arzubi, general partner at Tallwood Venture Capital.

“We are delighted to add a prestigious firm like Tallwood to our shareholders. The closure of this funding is a strong endorsement of our global market reach and technology position,” said Federico Arcelli, CEO of Accent. “This funding will enable us to accelerate market introduction of next generation Smart Grid technologies, as part of our ASMgrid offering, and continue to optimally address the needs of our customers worldwide.”

SunWize announces availability of Samsung solar modules

Solar Power International 2010, KINGSTON, USA: SunWize Technologies, the solar industry’s leading wholesale distributor, has been selected by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. to introduce and distribute its solar modules to the North American market.

The first Samsung solar module offered by SunWize is the LPC241SM, available for immediate delivery. SunWize will be exhibiting the LPC241SM at Solar Power International 2010 in Los Angeles, CA, October 12-14, at Booth 3911 in South Hall.

Samsung Electronics, a global leader in consumer electronics, semiconductor and display technologies, has been developing its solar cell production capabilities for several years and recently entered the marketplace. It has taken its manufacturing expertise in semiconductors and developed its own line of highly efficient monocrystalline solar cells and modules. Samsung chose SunWize as its distribution partner for the LPC line, and as the primary distributor of Samsung modules for the North American market.

The LPC241SM solar module stands out in today’s marketplace with its 15+ percent module efficiency, higher than any other product in its class. It sets a new benchmark for price/performance and narrows the performance gap against premium priced modules.

The superior PTC power density of the LPC241SM provides residential and commercial installers a competitive edge, as well as higher value to end-users in terms of cost per kWh. The quality of Samsung modules is evidenced by a world class peak power tolerance rating of -0%/+2 percent, guaranteeing full performance.

“We are excited to have been chosen by Samsung to launch their products into the North American market. Samsung is a prominent and well trusted consumer brand that will be quickly embraced by both installers and homeowners,” states David Kulik, President and CEO of SunWize. “We look forward to a long partnership.”

Advanced Energy highlights market-leading PV inverters and service offerings

Solar Power International 2010, FORT COLLINS, USA: Advanced Energy Industries Inc. (NasdaqGM: AEIS) will be featuring its complete line of market-leading PV inverter solutions and PV system operations and maintenance (O&M) capabilities at Solar Power International 2010. The show, one of North America’s largest events for the solar industry, is scheduled for October 12-14 in Los Angeles, CA.

Advanced Energy’s innovative offerings are part of the company’s strategy to provide customers with a complete portfolio of inverter solutions that address the entire range of the fast-growing solar inverter market. This includes innovative Solaron and PV Powered solar inverter technologies, coupled with the company’s SiteGuard whole-site O&M offerings. This strategy has enabled the company to achieve the number one share position in North America for PV inverters in the first half of 2010.

Visit the Advanced Energy’s Inverter Showcase at Booth #1201 and the PV Services Showcase at Booth #3313 to learn firsthand about new breakthroughs in PV inverter technology and whole-site service offerings:

Broadest line of market-leading PV inverter products: Advanced Energy offers a complete line of PV inverters that span utility-scale installations to smaller residential needs. Solaron and PV Powered inverters are raising the bar on solar power performance by delivering industry leading efficiency, a better levelized cost of energy, and a complete portfolio of lifecycle services.

Solaron PowerStation: The latest addition to the award-winning product line includes integrated Solaron PowerStation solutions from 1 MW to 2 MW. The PowerStation solutions incorporate the Solaron commercial and utility-scale grid-tie inverters, delivering a record-breaking 97.5 percent CEC-weighted efficiency and 98.5 percent European-rated weighted average efficiency.

The PowerStation integrated solutions maximize energy harvest and reduce project costs by providing easy, fast, repeatable installation. They are available in open skid and enclosed container configurations and include inverters, switch-gear, and a medium-voltage transformer. Recent installations include a 1 MW PowerStation for REC Solar’s coastal PV array in California.

PV Powered PowerVault: The PowerVault is a factory-assembled turnkey inverter power plant with DC inputs on one side and medium voltage outputs on the other. Its integrated design eliminates the need for separate pads, trenching and conduits between components, significantly reducing the need for field labor and accelerating the construction schedule.

This makes the PowerVault ideal for use in the North American market and for getting the most power out of the new lower-cost thin-film solar arrays. These value-added features have enabled significant market traction in 2010, with five new PowerVault-based projects being installed in Q4 2010.

SiteGuard Program: The SiteGuard whole-site O&M program covers all of the maintenance needs of the PV array. It simplifies O&M by consolidating the activities with a Global Services organization that for decades has supported multi-billion dollar, 24x7 manufacturing facilities in the semiconductor and other industries.

Sites with AE inverters can opt for the SafeGuard 99 percent uptime guarantee program to maximize power production and reduce LCOE further. Asset owners, integrators, and EPCs gain from AE’s inverter expertise and site quality benchmarking reports and have awarded AE dozens of sites, of which over two-thirds do not have an AE inverter, demonstrating the confidence the market has in Advanced Energy’s Global Services.

PV Data Monitoring Solutions: Advanced Energy’s innovative data systems deliver choice, convenience, and simplicity. Both Solaron and PV Powered inverters connect to many industry-leading third-party solutions. The company also offers low-cost, easy-to-use inverter direct data monitoring of commercial and residential installations through and the Solaron IDS remote monitoring solutions.

Expansion into Canada: The company recently announced the expansion of its operations in Ontario, Canada. The expansion includes the creation of a new legal entity and a strategic relationship with a global leader in electronics manufacturing services based in Ontario to manufacture the Solaron and PV Powered PV grid-tie inverter products.