Saturday, January 31, 2009

Trina Solar Signs Sales Agreement With GA Solar

Friday, Jan 30, 2009

CHANGZHOU, China, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ --Trina Solar Limited a leading integrated manufacturer of solar photovoltaic products from the production of ingots, wafers and cells to the assembly of PV modules, today announced that its subsidiary, Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co.,Ltd., entered into a sales agreement with Spanish customer Gestamp Asetym Solar, S.L. ("GA Solar"). The agreement was signed during the recent World Future Energy Summit 2009 in Abu Dhabi,held on January 19-21.

Under the terms of this agreement, Trina Solar will supply GA Solar between 20 to 36 MW of PV modules for one year at pre-determined prices. Shipments under this agreement have recently been initiated.

"We are excited to have entered into this sales agreement which affirms our successful long-term supply partnership with GA Solar in the past," stated Mr. Arturo Herrero, Vice-President of Sales & Marketing of Trina Solar. "GA Solar's plan to implement new solar projects in markets such as Italy, Greece, the United States and the Middle East will be supported by their parent company's presence in over twenty countries, and we believe that our experience in working with PV system integrators can play an important part in GA's expansion plan."

"This agreement reinforces and confirms the strategic alliance between both companies," declared Mr. Jose Maria Rodriguez Paraja, Strategic Development Director of GA Solar. "This association assures a high quality technical solution that will enable us to successfully approach diverse PV markets worldwide, thereby assuring our needed requirements are fulfilled in terms of reliability, competitiveness and excellence proven by Trina Solar in our recent years of partnership.

Suntech and Standard Solar Reach 5 Megawatt Solar Panel Supply Agreement

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO and GAITHERSBURG, Md., Jan. 27/PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world's leading manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) modules, and Standard Solar, Inc. are looking forward to powering cleaner energy solutions throughout the Mid-Atlantic U.S. under a new agreement by which Suntech will supply up to 5 megawatts of photovoltaic solar panels to the Maryland-based solar developerand installer during 2009.

"Partnering with Suntech, a top-tier manufactureroffering a broad assortment of high-quality solar panels, better equipsStandard Solar to fulfill its rapidly growing customer requirements from NewJersey and Pennsylvania to North Carolina and Virginia," said ScottWiater, Vice President of Procurement at Standard Solar.

"Suntech looks forward to partnering with StandardSolar in supplying cleaner, cost-effective solutions to businesses, governmentagencies and homeowners. In addition to reducing the dependence on highlypolluting fossil fuels, we believe that the solar industry can also help togenerate new domestic, green jobs," said Roger Efird, President, SuntechAmerica, Inc.

In his address after taking the oath of office and becomingthe nation's 44th President, Barack Obama called for Americans to "harnessthe sun . . . to meet the demands of a new age."

"This agreement," said Standard Solar Presidentand Chief Executive Officer Anthony Clifford, "strengthens our ability torespond to this challenge. We cannot agree more with our new President when headded from the West front of the U.S. Capitol: "All this we can do. Andall this we will do."

Standard Solar looks forward to deploying Suntech's high-quality panels in solar solutions that deliver cost-effective power.Recently, Standard Solar helped Kelly & Sons Electrical Construction sourceits electricity supply through a power purchase agreement with Washington GasEnergy Services. Find more information about this power purchase agreement at

Suntech recently achieved 1 gigawatt of global solar panel production capacity. In doing so, it completed an 18,000 square meter, 1megawatt solar facade -- the world's largest to date -- at its new world headquarters in Wuxi, China. You can find a photo of this precedent-setting application on Suntech's website at under Press:Press Assets.

ReneSola secures funding for Sichuan facility


JIASHAN, CHINA: Solar wafer manufacturer ReneSola subsidiary Sichuan ReneSola Material has signed a RMB 800 million (US$117 million) five year project loan agreement with the Sichuan branch of China Construction Bank to support the construction of a polysilicon production facility in Meishan, Sichuan province.

ReneSola Chief Financial Officer Charles Bai said that the company had now secured around 90 percent of the capital needed to fund the project to completion.

Pilot production for phase one of the Sichuan polysilicon facility is expected to begin late in the second quarter of 2009, while phase two will begin late in the third quarter. Each phase will consist of 1,500 metric tons (1,476 tons) of polysilicon production.

The facility will provide ReneSola with a stable source of polysilicon feedstock for its wafers.

Suntech Reports Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2008 Financial Results

Company Exceeds Fourth Quarter Revenue and Full Year PV Product Shipment Guidance; Announces Repurchase of $93.8 Million of Convertible Senior Notes SAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, Jan. 23

SAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Suntech Power
Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world's largest photovoltaic (PV) module
manufacturer, today announced preliminary financial results for the fourth
quarter and full year 2008.

For the fourth quarter of 2008, Suntech expects total net revenues to be
in the range of $405 million to $420 million, above previously issued guidance
of revenues in the range of $345 million to $360 million. Full year 2008 total
net revenues are expected to be in the range of $1.91 billion to $1.93 billion
and full year 2008 PV product shipments are expected to be in the range of
493MW to 496MW.

As a result of the rapid decline in silicon prices in the fourth quarter,
Suntech expects to make an inventory provision in the range of $46 million to
$58 million, which would have a negative impact to the gross margin of 11% to
14%. Fourth quarter 2008 consolidated GAAP gross margin is expected to be in
the range of -1% to 2%.

"We are pleased to have exceeded our revised revenue and shipment guidance
for the fourth quarter and full year 2008," said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's
Chairman and CEO. "While the weakening macro-economic environment and limited
availability of credit has led to rapid changes in market conditions and
reduced visibility, we believe that there is relatively strong underlying
demand for Suntech products. We also believe that in this challenging
environment, customers recognize the value in partnering with Suntech due to
our reputation for consistently delivering premium quality modules, record of
very successful projects, localized customer service and commitment to solar

Convertible Senior Notes Repurchase and Investment Impairment

During the fourth quarter of 2008, Suntech conducted open market
repurchases of Suntech's 0.25% Convertible Senior Notes due 2012. Through
December 31, 2008, Suntech re-purchased $93.8 million aggregate principal
amount of the Convertible Senior Notes for a total cash consideration of $61.0
million. As a result, Suntech realized a net gain of approximately $30 million.
Suntech may from time to time seek to make additional repurchases of its
Convertible Senior Notes. Such repurchases, if any, will depend on prevailing
market conditions, our liquidity requirements and other factors.

Due to the rapid decline in silicon prices and difficult financing
environment, Suntech expects to incur an expense related to the impairment of
Suntech's investments in Nitol Solar and Hoku Materials. The total value of
the investment impairment is expected to be in the range of approximately $49
million to $52 million.

As of December 31, 2008, Suntech's cash and cash equivalents balance was
approximately $508 million, which is approximately $113 million higher than
the cash and cash equivalents balance at the end of the third quarter of 2008.
Cash and cash equivalents increased primarily due to the liquidation of some
short term investments and the accelerated collection of some Value Added Tax

Amy Zhang, Suntech's Chief Financial Officer, said, "The prudent
restructuring of our balance sheet enabled us to simultaneously reduce our
Convertible Senior Notes commitment and increase our cash balance during the
fourth quarter. With our relatively strong financial status, we believe we are
well positioned to weather the global economic downturn and capitalize on the
long term growth potential of the solar industry."

The Company also announced that it had reduced the workforce by
approximately 800 employees as a result of ongoing performance evaluation in
the fourth quarter of 2008. In addition, Suntech suspended the hiring of a
further 2,000 new staff in line with the Company's decision to maintain
production capacity at 1GW as a result of the difficult economic environment.
Suntech will consider further expansion and hiring when market conditions
improve. Suntech's headcount as of December 31, 2008 was 9,070.

The estimates presented in this press release are preliminary. Adjustments
to the estimates and projections set forth in this press release may be
identified as a result of, among other things, finalization of the company's
financial closing procedures and external audit process for the year ended
December 31, 2008. As such, these estimates and our expectations set forth
herein may change materially.

Suntech will hold a conference call to discuss fourth quarter and full
year 2008 financial results at 8am EST on February 18, 2009. For further
information and dial in details please visit
under Investor Center: Financial Events.

Alcom Solar Equipments Obtained CNY78 mln VC from Govtor

The CNY78 million venture capital invested by Govtor will be used for Jiangyin Alcom’s development of solar battery fittings and solar integrated system, as well as its R&D center.

PRLog (Press Release) – Jan 21, 2009 – Jiangyin Alcom Solar Equipments Co., Ltd had signed strategic investment agreement with Jiangsu High-Tech Investment Group (Govtor) on Jan, 18, 2009 in order to maintain its leading position. The CNY78 million venture capital invested by Govtor will be used for Jiangyin Alcom’s development of solar battery fittings and solar integrated system, as well as its R&D center.

Founded in Mar, 2006, the sales revenue of Jiangyin Alcom reached CNY400 million in 2008. Its key product, aluminum frame special for solar battery panel, its precision has achieved 0.02mm, meeting the international advanced requirements. In addition, its solar frame had topped in the world successively from 2007 to 2008, accounting for 15% all over the globe. Alcom also had established the first solar fitting R&D center in Jun, 2008, and had applied for over 50 patents. Meanwhile, the first production line of solar EVA adhesive film with independent intellectual property rights, which Alcom had invested CNY80 million R&D expense, had been put into trial production in the beginning of 2009.

Govtor is one of the early provincial professional venture capital organizations in China. It has led and participated 27 professional venture capital funds in recent years, the management assets has reached CNY5 billion, and the accumulative investment projects has amounted to more than 140, as well as has helped 12 companies go public in domestic and international capital market. After the cooperation with Alcom, it will help Alcom to make, adjust and perfect the long-term development strategy, adjust optimizing business combination, integrate industry chain, and assist to establish standard management system and corporate structure, bring in strategic investors and high-grade management talents, and make up reasonable plans for going public.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ReneSola Announces Wafer Supply Agreement With BP Solar

JIASHAN, China, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ -- ReneSola Ltd (''ReneSola'' or the ''Company''), a leading Chinese manufacturer of solar wafers, today announced that it has signed a one-year wafer supply agreement with BP Solar International Inc. (''BP Solar''). Under the terms of the contract, ReneSola will supply BP Solar with 120 megawatts (''MW'') of monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar wafers in 2009 and BP Solar will supply 700 metric tonnes of polysilicon to ReneSola.

''We are pleased to extend our relationship with BP Solar, one of the world's leading solar companies,'' commented Mr. Xianshou Li, ReneSola's chief executive officer. ''This contract demonstrates our continuing efforts to strengthen ties with existing global customers and expand our international business beyond Asia.''

About ReneSola

ReneSola Ltd (''ReneSola'') is a leading global manufacturer of solar wafers based in China. Capitalizing on proprietary technologies and technical know-how, ReneSola manufactures monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar wafers. In addition, ReneSola strives to enhance its competitiveness through upstream integration into virgin polysilicon manufacturing. ReneSola possesses a global network of suppliers and customers that include some of the leading global manufacturers of solar cells and modules. ReneSola's shares are currently traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SOL) and the AIM of the London Stock Exchange (AIM: SOLA). For more information about ReneSola, please visit .

About BP Solar

BP Solar, part of BP Alternative Energy, is a global company with over 2300 employees. BP Solar designs, manufactures and markets products which use the sun's energy to generate electricity for a wide range of applications in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. With over 30 years of experience and installations in more than 160 countries, BP Solar is one of the world's leading solar companies with solar cell and module manufacturing plants in Bangalore, India; Madrid, Spain; and Frederick, MD, USA; and module manufacturing in Xi'an, China. In Frederick it also has casting and wafering facilities. BP Solar invests more than $10m annually in photovoltaic research and development.

BP Alternative Energy, launched in November 2005, combines all of BP's interests in low and zero-carbon energy including wind, solar, hydrogen power with carbon capture and storage and biofuels for low carbon transport and distributed energy for emerging markets.

BP is one of the world's largest energy companies, with interests in more than 100 countries and over 96,000 employees.

LDK Solar Starts Polysilicon Project

XINYU, Jan 19, 2009 (SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) --Chinese solar wafer producer LDK Solar Co., Ltd. recently held an ceremony for the operation of the Phase I of its 16,000-ton polysilicon project in Xinyu City, Jiangxi Province, East China.

The project that broke earth in February 2008 adopts the world-class modified Siemens processes, and it is expected to rank top worldwide by production cost and energy consumption after fully operation.

The firm is to start running the Phase II, which will be capable of producing 5,000 tons of polysilicon per year and is part of a 15,000-ton plant, in mid-2009.

LDK Solar targets to have annual polysilicon production capacity of 16,000 tons at 2009-end, and it will use all the output to make solar wafer, in a bid to secure raw material supply and lower production cost. Besides, the rising polysilicon production capacity will help the company materialize the target of become capable of producing 3,200 megawatts of solar wafer in 2010.

Abu Dhabi Picks Suntech, First Solar for 10MW Solar Farm in Masdar City

Masdar, a government-funded project, is set to rise from 6.5 square kilometers of desert land and powered mostly by solar.

by: Ucilia Wang
January 18, 2009

ABU DHABI -- Low-cost and high-volume manufacturing were apparently among the selling points that won two companies contracts to build Masdar City's first, 10-megawatt solar farm.

Managers of Abu Dhabi's ambitious project to build a zero-emission technology utopia in the desert named China's Suntech Power Holdings Sunday as the second company that is providing 5 megawatts worth of solar panels for the power plant. First Solar, based in Tempe, Ariz., made it known three days earlier that it won the other 5-megawatt contract.

Masdar City is the brainchild of Masdar, a government-funded initiative that invests in all sorts of greentech companies. Part of the plan is to build a massive city powered by renewable energy and occupied by greentech companies. When completed in 2016, the 6.5-square-kilometer city would be able to house about 50,000 people.

Abu Dhabi, known for its rich oil reserves, hopes to stake a new claim to fame through Masdar. Like its neighbor Dubai, Abu Dhabi is keen on finding new sources of revenues to brace for the day when oil isn't so plentiful.

Masdar has teamed up with solar companies to build solar and wind power plants in Europe (see Masdar Heats Up Concentrating Solar and Masdar Bets on Massive Offshore Wind Park). It also is building a factory to produce solar panels (see Masdar Breaks Ground on $230M Solar Factory).

"This is going to become the first model of a sustainable city," Khalid Awad, director of property development for Masdar, during a press event.

The 10-megawatt solar farm is being erected in the sand, and it's scheduled to be completed and hooked to the electric grid in March this year, said Khalid Ballaith, a project manager with Masdar. The solar farm is costing about 185 million dirhams ($50 million) to build, said Sander Trestain, a project manager at Environmena, the generator contractor for the $22 billion Masdar City build out.

The solar farm will be used to power Masdar City's construction, which started in 2008. Its first residents will be the 100 students and professors of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. They plan to move in by September this year.

Madsar is planning on building 240 megawatts worth of power plants overall for the city, Awad said.

Awad and other Masdar representatives showed off the project's progress to journalists Sunday as a prelude to the three-day energy by Masdar called "World Future Energy Summit."

The summit is attracting executives from public and startup companies in solar, wind, geothermal, water and other greentech businesses from around the world. Tony Blair will give a speech.

Masdar City planners envision using solar panels to generate 80 percent of the electricity the city needs, and many of the panels will go on rooftops, said Sameer Abu Zaid, who oversees a competition to test and select solar panel providers for the project. The remainder will come from other types of solar technologies, such as solar thermal, as well electricity generated from wastes and other fuel sources.

At one of the stops of the press tour, Zaid walked around rows of solar panels provided by companies from Japan, Germany, the United States, China and even Italy. The companies included Conergy, Yingli Green Energy, Trina Solar and Isofoton.

Masdar is trying out crystalline silicon panels as well as thin-film versions that much less silicon or different materials all together. In all, 33 companies are setting up 40 systems for Masdar. Solyndra, a Fremont, Calif.-based start and whose investors include Masdar, is still setting up its unusual, solar cell-lined tubes.

Masdar is using the contest to see how the panels perform in the desert, where wind and sand can easily dirty them and curb their ability to generate electricity. Zaid declined to say whose system has performed the best or provide costs for buying and running those systems.

Awad said the impact of the global economic downturn on the Masdar City project isn't known yet. He said given that customers are hard to come by for solar companies these days, Masdar project should become even more attractive. He noted that Masdar already has benefited from falling prices in solar panels and construction materials such as steel in recent months.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

China PV module sector sees departure of 70% of makers

Nuying Huang, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES [Thursday 15 January 2009]

China's photovoltaic (PV) module sector, faced with fast decreasing global demand, saw a drastic reshuffling process in the fourth quarter of 2008 and as many as 250, or 70%, of its originally 350 makers have been forced out of the market because of relatively unhealthy corporate structure and poorer competitiveness, with about 100 large ones remaining, according to industry sources.

The surviving PV module makers are large makers with strong vertical integration, some of whom are invested by government organizations, the sources pointed out. Suntech Power is the largest China-based maker of both solar cells and PV modules with an annual PV module production capacity of 1GWp, followed by Yingli Green Energy with 800-1,000MWp, Trina Solar with 700-800MWp and Solarfun Power with 600MWp, the sources indicated.

Unlike China, Taiwan's PV module industry consists of about 100 independent makers with comparatively small annual production capacities of up to 300MWp, while main makers of solar cells such as Motech Industries and Gintech Energy are unwilling to step into making PV modules because they consider it conflict of interest with their clients from the PV module sector, the sources pointed out.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Canadian Solar to invest 220.28 million yuan in R&D

SUZHOU, Jan 14, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ.Nsadaq) plans to invest 220.28 million yuan in research and development, the company said recently. The company inaugurated its solar cell engineering technology research center on January 9 in Jiangsu with the aim to build it into one of the world's leading solar cell testing centers.

The R&D center will focus on the research, development and production of high-efficient solar cells and low-cost silicon solar cells made from refined metallurgical silicon.

By now, the company has set up a research team composed of four Ph.D holders and seven master's degree holders, headed by the president.

Meanwhile, it has entered into cooperation with many domestic and international institutions including Dupont China, the Solar Energy Institute of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Energy Research Center of the Netherlands and University of Toronto.

inese Academy of Sciences launches Action Plan for Solar Energy

January 14, 2009

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced the official launching of the Action Plan for Solar Energy on January 12.

The plan is divided into three phases: distributed utilization of solar energy by 2015, substitution utilization by 2025 and extensive utilization by 2035, aiming to make solar energy one of China's important energy sources around 2050.

Reporters learned that CAS will devote all its efforts and collaborate with China's relevant scientific and technological resources to establish a number of public platforms for solar energy technologies as well as research centers.

The focus will be on the key scientific issues concerning the transformation and utilization of solar energy such as photovoltaic, photothermal, photochemical and photobiological techniques.

CAS will strive to make breakthroughs in the areas of theory, methodology, materials and techniques. At the same time, through the integration of production, study and research, the plan will promote the research and development of core techniques, application models and transfer transformations, and eventually the formation of a scientific and innovative value chain for the utilization of solar energy from basic research and application to marketing.

All these will be done in an effort to turn solar energy into a new source of energy that can soon be utilized on a large scale.

By People's Daily Online

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ET Solar Announces a 13 MW Agreement with a Large German PV Product Integrator for 2009

NANJING, China, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- ET Solar Group Corp. ("ET Solar"), a Nanjing-based solar power EPC solution provider and integrated manufacturer of photovoltaic products including ingots, wafers, modules, and state-of-the-art dual-axis tracking systems with manufacturing facilities located in Taizhou, China, announced a 13 megawatts (MW) sales agreement with USE, a large German photovoltaic product integrator and distributor.

According to the signed agreement, ET Solar will deliver a total of 13MW of high-efficiency solar modules to USE between January and November 2009.

Dennis She, Vice President and Chief Sales Officer of ET Solar Group commented, "Our strategic relationship with USE dates from the second half of 2008 when we shipped a substantial module volume to our new strategic German partner. Amid a severe global economic downturn and a more challenging solar industry landscape, this 13MW agreement demonstrates the total customer satisfaction and superior product quality that we achieved in 2008 with our customers. The strong ties we share with a quality name like USE will ensure that ET Solar plays an increasingly significant role in world's largest PV market.

Arnold Berens, CEO of USE commented: "We are very pleased with the strategic relationship with ET Solar, a strong solar PV turnkey service and state-of-the-art equipment provider. Through the business relationship we have had in the past few months, we are convinced that ET Solar is the right long term business partner for us to work with given the excellence in their product quality, pre and after-sales services and business strategy."

About ET Solar

ET Solar is a Nanjing-based solar power solution provider and integrated manufacturer of photovoltaic products including ingots, wafers, modules, and state-of-the-art dual-axis tracking systems with manufacturing facilities located in Taizhou, China. Please contact Public Relations Manager, Simon Laing, for more information at

About Solar Distributor USE

USE is a German solar Integrator and distributor based in Holzgerlingen, close to Stuttgart. They realize turnkey large-scale systems for their customers which they also service during the operating stage. The company has additional agencies in Germany, Czech Republic and Croatia. For more information please contact Daniel Grunauer and Arnold Berens, phone +49-7031- 20492-0.

LDK Solar delays operation of polysilicon projects

BEIJING, Jan 13, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- China's wafer manufacturer LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (LDK.NYSE) recently delayed the operation of two polysilicon projects for half a year, involving a production capacity of 6,000 tons.

So the two polysilicon projects will come into operation in the mid of 2009.

Agreements with suppliers of steel, cement and other construction materials need be re-signed when the prices have slumped, and it also takes time to re-check the polysilicon production facilities after some similar facilities in China incurred environmental protection and production accidents continuously, said Yao Feng, spokesman of LDK Solar, when talking about the delay.
It's not necessary either to hurry through the construction project now as the price of polysilicon plunged from 400 U.S. dollars per kg to 150 U.S. dollars per kg, Yao added.

According to a senior official with LDK Solar, some of its customers also asked to postpone the shipment from 2008 to 2009.

LDK Solar had planned to expand the annual production capacity of polysilicon by 6,000 tons within 2008. Included are 5,000 tons from a 15,000-t/y polysilicon project and 1,000 tons from a 1,000-t/y polysilicon project.

Now, the minor one is in trial production but not put in full operation and the bigger one is scheduled to operate in the mid of 2009.

Suntech Laid Off 10%, Factories Running at 50%-60% Capacity

The Chinese solar panel maker refutes claims made by a news story reporting that the company has carried out a massive layoff.
by: Ucilia Wang
January 12, 2009

After a Chinese news report claimed Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STP) was planning a massive layoff, the solar panel maker on Monday said the report was inaccurate but disclosed that it did cut 10 percent of its workforce in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Economic downturn prompted the world's largest solar panel maker to chop roughly 800 people from the payrolls, said Steve Chadima, vice president of external affairs at Suntech.

The layoffs affected mostly contract factory workers, who were let go as the company reduced its production, Chadima added. Back in Novmber, Suntech trimmed its sales forecast for 2008, blaming the weak euro and credit crunch. The company has several factories in China, and the layoffs took place at the main factory near its headquarters in Wuxi.

"We were slowing down production because of this worldwide slow down in demand for modules," Chadima said.

Suntech's investor relation staff called major investors Monday trying to correct a news report by a business daily in China that appeared on Saturday and posted on A research firm, JLM Pacific Epoch translated the story into English and posted on its Website.

The original, Chinese version of the story, which cited a former Suntech employee, said Suntech started laying off employees in the last quarter, and the workforce reduction would reach 4,000 people, or 30 percent of the company's workforce, around now.

The story included comments from a Suntech spokesman, who didn't refute the numbers. The spokesman said the staff cut was seasonal because market demand is typically low during the winter.

But Suntech representatives said Monday the Chinese news report exaggerated the layoffs. Four thousand employees would've represented 50 percent of Suntech's workforce, Chadima said.

Suntech has no immediate plans to cut more staff, Chadima said. The company is putting off on its previous plan to hire more factory employees in 2009 until it can better determine market demand.

The Chinese news report also mentioned that some workers were asked to take a long holiday break without pay, and that the company cut executive salaries. Chadima, who initially told Greentech Media that some factory employees did take a two-week break -- instead of one-week -- without pay, called back to say that in fact the workers took paid vacation.

He added that the company didn't cut salaries for the executives. Instead, managers didn't take the year-end bonuses for 2008 "to deal with financial challenges in the next few months."

The company's factories are running at 50 percent to 60 percent capacity, which falls in line with the guidance the company has given to investors. The company recently celebrated reaching a 1-gigawatt production capacity for its solar cells and panels.

Suntech isn't alone in laying off employees. OptiSolar, based in Hayward, Calif., laid off 300 employees – or 50 percent of its staff. HelioVolt, which opened its first-ever solar panel factory last October in Austin, Texas, also has cut staff. SunEdison, a large solar power plant developer in Beltsville, Md., let go 50 to 60 people, a former SunEdison employee told Greentech Media.

Other solar companies, including Q-Cells in Germany and LDK Solar in China, have cut their 2009 sales and production forecast.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Suntech Reaches 1 GW of Solar Cell & Module Production Capacity

San Francisco, United States []

Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. has reached 1 gigawatt (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) cell and module production capacity in Wuxi, China. The company also announced the opening of its new headquarters in Wuxi that incorporates a 1-megawatt (MW) grid-connected building integrated solar facade.

"Since our inception, we have focused on rapidly building world-class manufacturing facilities that can meet the burgeoning global demand for green energy."-- Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Chairman and CEO, Suntech

"We are very proud to become the world's first PV solar company to achieve 1 GW of solar cell and module production capacity," said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's chairman and CEO. "Since our inception, we have focused on rapidly building world-class manufacturing facilities that can meet the burgeoning global demand for green energy. This milestone is a credit to all Suntech employees that have tirelessly worked towards the common goal of making cost-effective solar energy systems available on a global scale."

Suntech's new solar headquarters in Wuxi is an 18,000 square meter building that incorporates one of the world's largest on-grid photovoltaic facade systems. The system includes more than 2,552 semi-transparent Light Thru solar panels and will have an annual output of more than 1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.

This announcement comes as other companies have started to scale back production estimates for 2009 because of polysilicon supply issues, market conditions and the problems that still exist in the world's credit markets following late 2008's record stock slide around the world.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Yingli Acquisition Marks Company's Expansion Into Polysilicon

Vertically integrated photovoltaic product manufacturer Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited (NYSE:YGE) announced on Thursday that it had completed the acquisition of Cyber Power Group Limited, the parent company of Baoding-based polysilicon producer Fine Silicon Co. Ltd. Yingli Green Energy paid $77.6 million to Cyber Power affiliate Grand Avenue Group, which is controlled by Yingli CEO Liansheng Miao, Baoding Yingli Group Company Limited and Yingli subsidiary Yingli Energy (China) Company.

Cyber Power's Fine Silicon subsidiary is a development stage enterprise that is scheduled to begin manufacturing polysilicon in the second half of 2009. The acquisition expands Yingli's production capacity to include solar-grade polysilicon, said Yingli chief financial officer Zongwei Li.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

LDK Solar Lowers Sales Outlook, Delays Factory Plan

January 5, 2009

LDK Solar on Monday slashed its sales and shipment estimates for the fourth quarter of 2008 and is now expecting a lackluster 2009, news that caused its stock to plunge by 15 percent.

The Chinese maker of silicon wafers, which are turned into solar cells for making solar panels, said preliminary data showed that it likely generated $425 million to $435 million for the quarter that ended in December, instead of the previously anticipated $555 million to $565 million.

LDK (NYSE: LDK) said it also shipped an estimated 245 megawatts to 255 megawatts worth of wafers during the quarter, down from the 260 megawatts to 270 megawatts.

Recession and customers who wanted to delay delivery prompted the lower sales, the company said. LDK plans to announce full fourth-quarter and 2008 financial results in late February or early March.

The revised estimates underscore how declining prices are whacking the solar industry. The company reduced revenue estimates by around 23 percent but lowered shipment by only 5 percent. Thus, prices are dropping far faster than any decline in actual demand for products.

The situation could get worse in 2009 as it completes manufacturing projects while facing declining demand.

LDK launched ambitious plans to build two factories in China for producing polysilicon, the main ingredient for making wafers, over the past year and half. The two polysilicon factories are LDK's first efforts to make polysilicon instead of relying on outside suppliers.

But LDK is having trouble bringing its first factory into full production mode, the company said Monday. The 1,000-metric ton factory was supposed to be completed and running at capacity by the end of 2008. The factory is producing polysilicon, but it isn't likely to reach full production until mid 2009.

LDK blames problems with the "optimization process" for the delay but didn't provide more details. Calls and emails to the company weren't immediately returned.

The company said the construction of its second polysilicon plant is on track. LDK expects the 15,000-metric ton factory to begin production in the second quarter of 2009.

The outlook for 2009 isn't rosy. LDK expects lower average selling prices for its products and lower wafer shipment this year.

For 2009, it expects to generate between $2.3 billion and $2.5 billion in sales. Shipment could reach between 1.57 gigawatts and 1.67 gigawatts.

The company previously thought it would bring in between $2.9 billion and $3.1 billion in sales and ship between 1.8 gigawatts and 1.85 gigawatts worth of wafers in 2009. Its customers include Q-Cells, Suntech Power Holdings and Canadian Solar.

LDK now expects to produce between 3,000 metric tons and 5,000 metric tons of polysilicon instead of 5,000 metric tons to 7,000 metric tons.

The company's annual wafer capacity would reach 2.3 gigawatts in 2009, an estimate that hasn't changed from the prior forecast.

LDK's shares dropped more than 15 percent to reach $12.61 per share in after-market trading. The company announced the lower sales and forecast after the market closed.

JA Solar Signed 60MW Solar Cell Supply Contract with Solar Power

Roseville-based Solar Power Inc. says it has signed a contract with JA Solar Holding Co. Ltd. for up to 60 Megawatts of polycrystalline photovoltaic cells.

Solar Power says it needs the cells to meet increased customer demand in Europe, Asia, and for turnkey systems in the United States. The cells will go into SPI's solar modules.

Based in Hebei, China, JA Solar is one of the world's largest producers of high-performance solar cells.

"We are excited about our agreement with JA Solar. Their products are known for quality and performance and we are very fortunate to be able to integrate them into our own," says Steve Kircher, CEO of Solar Power. "This is a true strategic relationship with strong mutual benefit. It will allow us to leverage our vertical integration business model through a significant amount of supply."

He says the contract should put the company and its franchise holders in a strong position to compete on price.

Yingli Green Energy Signs 15 MW Sales Contract with GOLDBECK Solar

BAODING, China, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ -- Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited ("Yingli Green Energy" or the "Company"), one of the world's leading vertically integrated photovoltaic ("PV") product manufacturers, today announced that it has entered into a sales contract with GOLDBECK Solar GmbH ("GOLDBECK Solar"), a leading German PV system specialist company for PV applications on industrial buildings. Under the terms of the contract, Yingli Green Energy is expected to supply a minimum of 15 MW of PV modules to GOLDBECK Solar in 2009. In addition, the contract provides a framework for GOLDBECK Solar to purchase up to an additional 58 MW of PV modules from Yingli Green Energy in 2009.

"We are pleased to have Yingli as one of our key suppliers," said Joachim Goldbeck, General Manager of GOLDBECK Solar. "We aim to provide our customers maximum value with our products and services. Cooperating with top tier suppliers like Yingli is one of our principal strategies for achieving these goals in order to secure customers on a long-term basis."

"We look forward to working closely with GOLDBECK Solar in 2009," commented Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy. "Given the cost advantage and quality control capability of our vertically integrated business model, we can provide reliable and high quality products at a reasonable and competitive price, in line with our strategy to continually enhance the value that we provide to our customers. We believe this will lead to a broader and deeper penetration of our products and brand awareness worldwide."

About Yingli Green Energy

Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited is one of the world's leading vertically integrated PV product manufacturers. Through the Company's principal operating subsidiary in China, Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd., Yingli Green Energy designs, manufactures and sells PV modules and designs, assembles, sells and installs PV systems that are connected to an electricity transmission grid or operate on a stand-alone basis. With 400 MW of total annual production capacity in each of polysilicon ingots and wafers, PV cells and PV modules, Yingli Green Energy is currently one of the largest manufacturers of PV products in the world as measured by annual production capacity. Additionally, Yingli Green Energy is one of a limited number of large-scale PV companies in the world to have adopted a vertically integrated business model. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Yingli Energy (China) Co., Ltd., Yingli Green Energy currently plans to expand annual production capacity of polysilicon ingots and wafers, PV cells and PV modules to 600 MW in the third quarter of 2009. Yingli Green Energy sells PV modules under its own brand name, Yingli Solar, to PV system integrators and distributors located in various markets around the world, including Germany, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Belgium, France, China and the United States. For more information, please visit .

Monday, January 5, 2009

Yichang Nanbo (CSG) began to test the polysilicon production line

Yichang Nanbo (CSG) began to test the polysilicon production line in November 2008, and on December 30th 2008 Yichang Nanbo (CSG) successfully released their first furnace polysilicon product.

The polysilicon production capacity for the whole project is 4,500 to 5,000 metric tons, and the first phase project capacity is 1,500 metric tons.

Asia Silicon Started to Produce Polysilicon

2008 December 31st Asia Silicon (Qinghai) Company released their first furnace polysilicon.

The total polysilicon production capacity for the project is 6,000 metric tons, and the first phase project capacity is 1,000 metric tons.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Shanghai Electric sells stake in Topsolar for RMB 138.6 mln

Jan. 4, 2009 (China Knowledge) - Shanghai Electric Group Co Ltd (SEG), China's largest producer of power equipments, has sold the 36% stake it holds in Shanghai Topsolar Green Energy Co to Yancheng Dongtou New Energy Equipment Co for RMB 138.6 million, according to a SEG's statement filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The transaction is estimated to bring SEG a net gain of RMB 3.38 million.

The Shanghai-based company will sell the remaining 25.35% in Topsolar soon and expected to gradually exit the field of solar energy business and focus on its core business such as wind power.

SEG's gross profit rate of electrical equipments in the first half of last year rose to 19.5%, while that of its solar energy-related business stood at 7.1%, according to a company source.

China Plans World's Largest Solar Power Plant

At 1 gigawatt, the solar power plant in northwest China would be the world's biggest, but the timeline is a bit iffy at the moment. Construction starts next year.

by: Jeff St. John December 31, 2008

Two Chinese companies have proposed a massive, 1-gigawatt solar photovoltaic power plant in China's northwest, one that would be the worlds biggest if it's completed.

The China Technology Development Group Corp. (NSDQ: CTDC) and Qinghai New Energy Co. announced this week that they had formed an agreement with local Chinese officials to start the project, according to a report from research firm JL McGregor & Company.

The project in Qinghai's Qaidam Basin will start out in 2009 with a more modest initial goal of 30 megawatts at a cost of 1 billion Yuan ($146 million), and will combine crystalline silicon and thin-film solar panels, the firm reported. The timeline and projected cost of the entire 1-gigawatt project were not disclosed.

But if built, it would be almost twice the size of the largest solar photovoltaic power project announced so far, a 550-megawatt thin-film power plant to be built in San Luis Obispo, Calif. by OptiSolar to supply power to California utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Hong Kong-based China Technology Development Group entered the solar market in 2007 with a focus on manufacturing tin oxide glass plates for use as substrates for amorphous silicon thin-film solar cells. In September it announced the opening of a factory expected to build enough of the plates to supply 20 megawatts to 30 megawatts of thin-film cells by 2009.

Given China's meager installations of photovoltaic solar power plants so far, China Technology Development Group and other Chinese solar companies like Suntech Power Holdings, China Sunergy and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. have so far focused on exporting products to the rest of the world.

A Worldwatch Institute report released in May said that solar photovoltaic power projects within China remain in their infancy compared to Japan, Germany and the United States, with most of the estimated 20 megawatts of generation capacity installed in 2007 being used for remote, off-grid applications.

Earlier this month, an experimental, 166-megawatt grid-connected solar photovoltaic power project started construction in the town of Chilin in southwestern China, People's Daily Online reported. That project is expected to cost 9.1 billion Yuan ($1.3 billion).