Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

US solar panel maker SunPower Corporation (SunPower) yesterday agreed to acquire SunRay Renewable Energy (SunRay), a leading European solar power firm for approximately $277 million, aiming at expanding its activities in Europe and the Middle East.SunPower will acquire SunRay from its shareholders, which include its management and Denham Capital, a leading global private equity firm, for $235 million in cash and $42 million in a letter of credit and promissory notes.The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2010, subject to customary and regulatory approvals.SunPower said that the acquisition will be funded using the company\'s internal resources. Specific financial guidelines regarding the impacts of the acquisition of SunRay will be presented in March, during the company\'s fourth quarter earnings conference.The transaction will enable SunPower to acquire a project pipeline of solar photovoltaic projects totalling over 1,200 MW of power in southern European countries and Israel. The projects are in various stages of development and about 70 SunRay employees are associated with their financing and implementation.Both the companies have worked together on several solar energy projects including the large 24-MW power plant Montalto in Italy.Sanjose, California-based SunPower designs and manufactures high-performance solar electric systems worldwide for residential, commercial

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Akeena Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq:AKNS), a leading installer of solar power systems and designer of AC solar panels, today announced results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2009.\"2009 was a turning point for Akeena Solar as we diversified our revenue streams by launching the distribution sales of Andalay AC solar panels. Our patented Andalay technology, new distribution channels, and growing brand awareness provide the foundations for rapid growth in the rooftop solar market,\" said Barry Cinnamon, CEO. \"The traction we are gaining with our new distribution partners -- including our growing network of Andalay dealers, Lowe\'s home improvement stores, Morgan Stanley Solar Solutions and Highland Solar -- is a strong validation of our technology. Andalay AC panel\'s built-in monitoring, ease of installation, superior aesthetics and better safety characteristics make it a natural choice for new distribution partners in 2010, including new home builders, as well as HVAC and electrical contractors, seeking opportunities to tap into the solar energy marketplace.\"\"It was a challenging year from a top line revenue standpoint; nevertheless, our other financial metrics showed strong improvement from 2008 to 2009: net cash position (cash and cash equivalents net of credit facility) improved from a negative $1.1 million

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Vestas Wind Systems has secured an order to help produce 33 new turbines for a New Hampshire wind farm, a contract that experts say should help sustain work at its Windsor plant.The Weld County operation, where the blades will be constructed, temporarily halted turbine work in December in light of weak sales.\"The turbines will maximize the project\'s wind resource, providing clean reliable electricity . . . for New England,\" according to a news release issued Thursday.Vestas officials did not return phone calls to provide details about the price tag of the new deal with Granite Reliable Power Windpark in New Hampshire.The turbines will not go into production until 2011.This is the second major deal the Denmark-based manufacturer has struck with a New Eng land firm. Vestas supplied 22 turbines for another project in Maine that began operation in October.The new agreement, according to economic-development experts, should help restore production activity at the Wind sor plant.In recent months, the facility\'s 500 employees have been assigned to training, maintenance and other jobs.\"They\'ve been retooling it (the Windsor division) to accommodate the production of a larger blade,\" said Larry Burkhardt, president of Upstate Colorado Economic Development in Weld County.\"This is definitely good for

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A month after United Technologies Corp. announcing that it closed on a $270 million deal to acquire nearly half of a California wind turbine manufacturer, the chief financial officer says the conglomerate is interested in other investments in alternative energy.CFO Greg Hayes said at an analysts meeting Thursday that the acquisition of Clipper Windpower PLC was a \"relatively small bet.\"\"We\'ve been looking at alternative energy for a long time,\" he said. \"We always liked the space. We see the movement towards clean energy as a space that we can participate in with the technologies that we have.\"The Hartford conglomerate, which owns jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney, Otis elevator and other businesses, said with the Clipper deal it can expand its power generation businesses and enter the high-growth wind power industry.Hayes said United Technologies may seek a majority share of Clipper. It currently has a 49.5 percent stake.\"If over the next couple of years we see what we like, we always have the opportunity to take a majority share if we want,\" he said. \"And if we like the market dynamics, I think you might see more in that space or other alternative technology spaces, which are adjacent to markets

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China Datang Corp, the country\'s second-largest power producer, plans to float shares of its renewable energy unit in a Hong Kong IPO, which is expected to raise at least $1 billion, sources close to the deal said.Analysts expect a potential wave of issuance from the nation\'s power producers at a time when valuations of Chinese wind assets are high and investors in renewable energy are seeking alternatives to out-of-favour solar.Datang has held discussions with several banks to underwrite the offering, which includes hydro and wind power assets. None of the banks have been mandated yet. The company declined to comment.The IPO pursuit follows plans by China\'s Huaneng Group, the country\'s largest power producer, to raise $1 billion through a Hong Kong IPO of its wind power unit [ID:nTOE61708D].\"Company listings could unlock the potential value of the assets and raise money in an industry that enjoys strong earnings growth potential,\" said Felix Lam, analyst with CCB International.China is now the world\'s largest market for wind power after it more than doubled its wind generation capacity to 25 gigawatts last year. The nation\'s unofficial target for wind capacity is at 100 to 150 GW by 2020, possibly attracting investments of over $150

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DEK Solar is reflecting on an extremely positive Q4, having sold a record number of photovoltaic metallization lines in China. Most recently, the solar screen printing specialist completed a contract to supply a high-profile turnkey provider in the region with a large number of new metallization lines.DEK Solar\'s current success in China is being attributed to the company\'s commitment to growing its business in this region, along with the major productivity advantage delivered by its PV1200 and PV3000 metallization lines. Backed by DEK\'s experienced team and comprehensive support infrastructure in the region, the award-winning PV1200 is extremely popular with Chinese customers thanks to its 1200 wafers per hour throughput, six-sigma process rating and 12.5 micron resolution. DEK\'s recently launched PV3000 is also generating significant interest in this fast-paced market. A very high throughput metallization line, the PV3000 deploys patented multiple print heads in parallel to eliminate downtime while optimising advanced processes such as print-on-print or selective emitter. DEK Solar Alternative Energy Project Manager, Daniel Chang, explains: \"Both our PV1200 and PV3000 metallization lines are being received extremely well by the Chinese marketplace. Obviously, these platforms represent a major technology advantage but I think our commitment to service and support is

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With a surplus of both land and sunshine, Texas could easily be the nation\'s leader in solar power generation but needs more help from state leaders, advocates said Wednesday.A coalition of environmentalists, politicians and more than 80 businesses held events around the state to release a letter urging Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Public Utility Commission to take more action promoting solar power use.The group noted that Texas, which produces and refines a huge portion of the nation\'s oil, already is home to many companies in the solar business as well as plenty of high-tech and energy industry expertise. So they say there\'s no reason only 0.01 percent of the state\'s power should come from the sun.\"We\'re here today to call on Governor Perry to use his authority to make Texas go solar,\" Environment Texas spokesman Sriram Madhusoodanan said at a 5,000-square-foot home in suburban Dallas that produces its own solar energy. \"Right now is really the time for Texas to take the lead, to lead the world.\"Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said the governor supports all sorts of alternative energy in Texas, which leads the nation in wind energy production. Three major solar projects are scheduled to begin this

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Funds from the $787 billion stimulus package and other federal assistance kept growth in the renewable energy sector strong in 2009, a trend that will probably persist as federal investment continues to pay off over the coming year, industry leaders said in a teleconference Tuesday.The picture was especially good for the solar industry, which created almost 20,000 new jobs in 2009 while adding 470 megawatts in generating capacity, a record, according to Rhone Resch, the president of the Solar Energy Industries Association. The solar industry could create as many as 45,000 new jobs in 2010 if Congress extends several tax incentives and grant programs set to expire at the end of the year, Mr. Resch said.\"I think 2010 is going to be a bigger year than 2009,\" he said. \"Most analysts expect the solar industry to grow by 100 percent this year.\"Yet while the near-term outlook for renewables is mostly positive, the industry\'s long-term prospects will be shaped significantly by energy legislation under consideration by Congress, the executives said. At the top of renewable executives\' wish list was the passage of a national renewable energy standard, which would require all utilities to generate a certain fraction of electricity from sources

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Renewable Energy Corp. ASA, the Norwegian maker of solar-energy components, fell to a record low in Oslo trading after predicting lower earnings this quarter.Renewable Energy, known as REC, fell 6.87 kroner, or 20 percent, to 27.61 kroner, the lowest since the initial public offering in May 2006.Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will be \"significantly lower\" in the first quarter compared with a year earlier amid lower prices for solar modules and wafers, the Hoevik-based company said.This is \"really bad news for the case of earnings expansion in 2010,\" Einar Kilde Evensen, an Oslo-based analyst at DnB NOR Markets, said in a note to clients. He recommends investors sell the shares.REC had a fourth-quarter loss of 1.05 billion kroner ($178 million), compared with a profit of 1.11 billion kroner a year earlier. Analysts expected, on average, a profit of 110 million kroner, according to a survey.Lower sales prices, impairments and plant expansion costs hurt earnings. REC took an impairment charge of 1.5 billion kroner in the fourth quarter, mainly from its so-called mono wafer and module businesses and its Sovello plant in Germany.‘Difficult Year\'\"2009 was a difficult year for REC,\" Chief Executive Officer Ole Enger said at a presentation.

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The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) this week at a workshop in Turkey, said that Turkey must exploit its huge wind energy resources if it wants to meet its increasing power demand while becoming less dependent on energy imports. The workhop on integrating wind power was held in Ankara and organized by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) in cooperation with the Turkish Wind Energy Association (TWEA/TÜREB). The event brought 300 representatives from industry, government and national electricity companies together to discuss the potential for wind power development in the country.Turkey\'s installed wind capacity tripled during 2007 from 50 megawatts (MW) to almost 150 MW. It tripled again during 2008 to reach 433 installed MW, and by the end of 2009 it had almost doubled to 801 MW. At the same time, the Turkish government announced a 30% objective for renewable energies by 2023 with plans to push wind energy up to 20,000 MW of installations for the same year.\"With an average growth in power demand of 8% each year, this means that if the 20,000 MW target is met, wind power will cover one fifth of Turkey\'s power demand by 2023\" said Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA. \"With huge

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