Thursday, January 3, 2008

Suntech and Akeena in Distribution Deal

2008 The Associated Press

LOS GATOS, Calif. — Akeena Solar Inc. said Wednesday it licensed Suntech Power Holdings Co. to distribute its Andalay solar-panel technology in Europe, Japan and Australia starting this month.

The solar-products companies did not disclose financial terms of the agreement.
Akeena shares surged $3.69, or 46.4 percent, to $11.65 in pre-market trading after closing at $7.96 on Monday. Suntech stock rose $1.68, or 2 percent, to $84. It closed at $82.32 on Monday.

Andalay products have lower installation costs because of built-in wiring, grounding and racking, Akeena Chief Executive Barry Cinnamon said in a statement. He described the products as having "outstanding aesthetics," because they are black and streamlined. Some consumers find the appearance of solar rooftop systems unappealing, seeing them as large and clunky.

"We are experiencing very strong demand for Andalay, and this licensing agreement with Suntech will allow us to meet our customer's needs for Andalay outside of our direct channels in the U.S.," Cinnamon said.

The companies already have an agreement with China-based Suntech to manufacture the technology. Suntech aims to sell Andalay products with more than 10 megawatts of annual generating capacity next year.

One megawatt of energy is enough to power about 778 households a year, according to the Department of Energy.

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