Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Solar EnerTech Establishes Joint Venture With Jiangsu Shunda Semiconductor Development Co. Ltd.

- JV Enhances Presence and Solar Opportunities in U.S. Market -

MENLO PARK, Calif., April 28 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ -- Solar EnerTech Corp. (OTC Bulletin Board: SOEN) (the "Company") today announced the establishment of a joint venture with Jiangsu Shunda Semiconductor Development Co. Ltd. ("Jiangsu Shunda"), a leading PV raw material manufacturer, to pursue solar expansion opportunities in the U.S. region.

Jiangsu Shunda is one of the largest polysilicon and wafer manufacturers in China, with an annual production output of approximately 1,500 metric tons of polysilicon.

The U.S. JV company, which will be called Shunda-SolarE Technologies, Inc., is expected to begin operating in early May of 2009. The joint venture is expected to utilize Jiangsu Shunda's strength in polysilicon and wafer supply and Solar EnerTech's advanced solar cell technologies as well as its resources in the U.S. market. Overall, both parties believe the joint venture establishes a vertically integrated operation in the U.S. market with services ranging from the production of polysilicon to ingots and wafers, to solar cells, panels and solar system installation.

Jiangsu Shunda and Solar EnerTech contributed $1.0 million and $0.7 million in cash respectively to the initial setup cost of the JV. Jiangsu Shunda will own 55% of the JV company, Solar EnerTech will own 35% and the management of the JV will own the remaining 10%. Mr. Yunda Ni, President of Jiangsu Shunda will serve as the JV Chairman of the Board, Mr. Leo Young, CEO of Solar EnerTech will serve as the Board's Vice Chairman. The Board of Directors will be comprised of five seats, three of which will be reserved for Jiangsu Shunda and two for Solar EnerTech. A Chief Executive Officer of Shunda-SolarE Technologies is expected to be identified in the near future.

Mr. Leo Young, CEO of Solar EnerTech, commented, "We are extremely pleased to establish this joint venture with Jiangsu Shunda, a highly successful polysilicon manufacturer in China. We have a compelling opportunity to penetrate the U.S. market with the establishment of this JV. Solar EnerTech has strong R&D capabilities supported by an outstanding technical team, and a fully operational U.S. office governed by experienced management whereas Jiangsu Shunda maintains a UL listing, which is instrumental in conducting large scale operations in the U.S. market, and controls the upstream supply which can provide large volumes of silicon feedstock to the JV in order to secure sizeable contract orders in the growing U.S. market. Together, we can more easily penetrate U.S. solar opportunities and establish Shunda-SolarE as a leading brand recognized for high quality solar products and service. We plan on providing investors with additional information on this JV in the coming weeks and months ahead."

Mr. Ni, President of Jiangsu Shunda commented, "The goal of this joint venture is to build market share in the U.S. and maximize profitability. There is great synergy between both companies as well as with myself and Leo. Together, we believe we have an excellent opportunity to expand our market presence in the U.S. We look forward to a successful venture together."

Additional information on this joint venture can be found in the Company's filing with the SEC.

About Jiangsu Shunda

Based in Yangzhou, China, JiangSu Shunda Group focuses on the photovoltaic market and produces polysilicon, monocrystalline ingots, and wafers. With an annual production output of approximately 1,500 metric tons of polysilicon, Jiangsu Shunda Semiconductor is one of the largest polysilicon and wafer manufacturers in China.

About Solar EnerTech Corp.

Solar EnerTech is a photovoltaic ("PV") solar energy cell manufacturing enterprise incorporated in the United States with its corporate office in Menlo Park, California. The Company has established a sophisticated 63,000 square foot manufacturing plant located in China, in Shanghai's Jinqiao Modern Technology Park. Currently, the Company is capable of producing 50MW of solar cells from its existing production line.

Solar EnerTech has also established a Joint R&D Lab at Shanghai University to develop higher efficiency cells and to put the results of that research to use in its manufacturing processes. Led by one of the industry's top scientists, the Company expects its R&D program to help bring Solar EnerTech to the forefront of advanced solar technology research and production.

Chint Solar Raises $50 Million

Chint Solar, a Chinese solar power producer, has raised $50 million in venture capital funding co-led by Cybernaut and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. Chint Solar was formed in 2006 as a subsidiary of Chinese electrical and power conglomerate Chint Group. It reached 100 MW of production capacity in July 2008, and expects to reach 1,100 MW production capacity by 2012.


Chint Solar announced that it has successfully closed a US$50 million round of fundraising - in the worst global financial conditions in decades - from a syndicate of global investors.

Cybernaut and Shanghai Alliance Investment Limited were lead investors in this round. A number of notable overseas and domestic funds formed the rest of the syndicate.

Founded in 2006 as a subsidiary of the Chint Group, China's leading electrical and power conglomerate, Chint Solar reached 100 MW of production capacity in July 2008, and is on track to increase exponentially to 1,100 MW production capacity by 2012.

Chint Solar's main product line features both thin film and crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules. The company has made an aggressive push to focus its business on amorphous microcrystalline (a-Si/µc-Si) tandem junction thin film, a next-generation solar technology with dramatically lower costs-per-watt than conventional crystalline silicon.

Through a-Si/µc-Si thin film, Chint Solar expects to be among the first companies in the world to reduce PV module cost to below US$1 per watt, and total PV system cost to below US$2 per watt, a critical industry benchmark known as "grid parity".

"The successful closure of this round of fundraising under unprecedented and turbulent financial conditions that witnessed the near-total shutdown of global capital markets is a testament to the superiority of Chint Solar's technology, the viability of Chint Solar's business strategy, and the strength of Chint Solar's team," said Dr. Liyou Yang, CEO of Chint Solar.

"We are very pleased to lead this effort," said Min Zhu, founder and Managing Partner of Cybernaut. "Chint Solar's technical strengths are well-known, and its partnership with Chint Group, China's leading electrical manufacturer, makes it the only photovoltaic company in the world that can achieve a complete systems-level integration. I am confident that, as a result, Chint Solar's products will be among the highest in reliability and lowest in cost in the industry, and Chint Solar will rapidly become one of the world's leading photovoltaic solutions providers."

Cybernaut is a leading global venture capital firm based in Hangzhou, China. Founded in 2005 by Mr. Min Zhu, the co-founder and former President and CTO of WebEx Communications, which was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2007 for US$3.2 billion, Cybernaut has an outstanding track record and has won numerous accolades including the Forbes 2008 China's Most Influential VC.

Shanghai Alliance Investment Limited (SAIL) is a leading domestic investment company and designated asset manager for China's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) in the areas of high-tech and financial services.

Taiwan BIPV maker Kinmac Solar sets up PV module joint venture in China

Nuying Huang, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES [Tuesday 28 April 2009]

Kinmac Solar (renamed from Lucky Power Technology), a Taiwan-based maker of BIPV (building-integrated photovoltaic) modules, has decided to establish a joint-venture assembly plant for making PV modules with Jinzhou Yangguang Energy, a maker of solar-grade monocrystalline silicon ingots/wafers in northeastern China.

Kinmac said the joint venture will have initial capital of 90 million yuan (US$13.2 million). Kinmac said it will hold a 49% stake in the joint venture, and Jinzhou Yangguang the rest.

The joint venture will set up an initial annual PV module production capacity of 100MWp in 2009 and then add 100-300MWp annually over the next three years, Kinmac said.

Kinmac said it also plans to expand it BIPV module capacity in northern Taiwan in July 2009 from 30MWp currently to 60MWp.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

China Seeing Drop in Manufacturing Cost of Crystalline Si Solar Cell Module

Apr 24, 2009 19:01
Motonobu Kawai, Nikkei Microdevices

"The spot price of silicon materials in China will drop to US$50/kg within 2009," said Dylen Liu of JL McGregor & Company, a research firm in China.

He delivered a speech on the Chinese solar cell industry at Solar Cell Market Seminar 2009 hosted by Nikkei Market Access with help from Nikkei Microdevices in Japan.

In his speech, Liu introduced recent drops in the spot price of polycrystalline silicon materials in China. The price was more than US$350/kg until October 2008 but dropped by half in November 2008, being hit by the financial crisis and other issues. And it continued to fall to less than US$80/kg in April 2009.

Liu forecast that the spot price will further decline to US$50/kg within 2009. And he calculated the manufacturing cost of a crystalline silicon solar cell module when the price of polycrystalline silicon materials is US$50/kg. The cost will be US$1.1 to 1.2/W at vertically integrated solar cell manufacturers in China, he said.

On the other hand, the manufacturing cost of a thin-film silicon solar cell module will be US$1 to 2 per watt at average Chinese solar cell manufacturers, Liu said. The manufacturing costs of the two types of solar cell modules are getting closer to each other due to the decreasing polycrystalline silicon material price.

At First Solar Inc, a US solar cell manufacturer that is a leader in cost reduction, the manufacturing cost of the CdTe type solar cell module was US$0.98/W as of the fourth quarter of 2008.

JA Solar starts construction of new integrated solar cell plant

22 April 2009

JA Solar Holdings has broken ground on its Phase II, ingot, cell and module facility in Yangzhou, China. According to Chinese news reports, the production plant will cost approximately US$100 million and be completed by the end of 2009. The reports suggested the new plant would increase JA Solar’s production capacity by 300MW.

The new expansion project would seem to be inline with JA Solar’s planned capacity of 875MW by the end of 2009, up from 600MW in 2008. JA Solar claims a solar cell production line costs US$10 million, suggesting approximately 6-8 lines could be added.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Canadian Solar to provide 5 MW modules to Helio Micro Utility

BEIJING, Apr 09, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- ZZFNV | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- China-based vertically integrated solar product maker Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ.Nasdaq) announced that that it has entered into an sales agreement to supply Helio Micro Utility with five MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules.
The purchase agreement includes the full line of PV modules by Canadian Solar with power rating ranging from 0.03 Watt to 300 Watt.

Canadian Solar provides 25 years of performance warranty meeting international standards of quality and safety.

This sales agreement will speed up the sales initiatives of Canadian Solar in the United States this year, according to Shawn Qu, president and CEO of Canadian Solar.

Earlier, Canadian Solar said that it has been selected to supply 80,000 solar home systems for rural households in China's Sichuan Province with a total capacity of 1.6 MW.

China's Jiangsu to detail solar PV power subsidy policy

BEIJING, Apr 09, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- ZZFNV | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- Jiangsu Province in East China is drawing up specific provisions for the implementation of national subsidy policy for solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, said Wei Qidong, secretary-general of Energy Research Association of Jiangsu Province.

This is seemed as an encouraging action to materialize China's newly issued subsidy policy on solar PV power projects, which provides 20 yuan for each watt-peak of installed solar PV power capacity.

The Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development jointly released China's version of solar roof program earlier.

The subsidy policy is aimed to build a number of demonstrative solar PV projects, mainly solar PV roof projects and PV curtains in large and midsize cities as well as off-grid solar PV power stations in rural and remote areas.

Still, industry insiders have expressed their concern on the available amount of subsidy each year given the lack of exact number of subsidy to be provided.

Wang Sicheng, an expert with solar PV industry, said that the government has to provide at least 10 billion yuan of subsidy for 500 MW of China-made solar products each year, accounting for 25 percent of national overall output in 2008.

It's hard to evaluate the impact of solar PV roof program on solar PV industry when the total subsidy amount number isn't available.

Wei said that solar product manufacturers are unlikely to enjoy subsidy on solar PV power projects and on solar PV electricity for the same time.

Overshadowing concerns on China's solar PV industry also include the sustainability of subsidy policy and possible over-crowded investment and speculation spurred by the subsidy policy.

Yangzhou Applies to Build 50MW Solar Stations

Yangzhou, Jiangsu province has applied to establish several demonstration solar stations with total production capacity of 50MW, reports yangzhou.gov.cn. The city has finished construction of the first 50KW phase of a separate 100KW station, said the report.

Q-Cells, LDK Solar Form Joint Venture

Ucilia Wang

April 8, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Q-Cells and LDK Solar said they are forming a joint venture to develop large-scale power plants to buyers in Europe and China.

LDK Solar has been supplying silicon wafers to Q-Cells, which turns those wafers into solar cells and sell them to panel makers. Q-Cells said the joint venture would enable both companies to work more closely together and offer better deals to customers. The joint venture, LQ Energy, would contract with panel makers to produce the panels for the power plant projects.

Both companies also figured that they could take advantage of each other’s marketing know-how in their home territories. LDK is based in China while Q-Cells is Germany. The companies said they have started their first, 40-megawatt project in Europe, and are shopping for a buyer.

Both companies have been hit by the economic downturn. Q-Cells has cut sales forecast for 2009 twice since December. LDK has delayed a factory expansion plan and has had to deal with customers who can’t pay as promised.

LDK’s shares on the New York Stock Exchange rose 4 percent in recent trading to reach $7.06 per share.

China PV plant set to open this year

[ 07 Apr 2009, Rob Cockerill, gasworld.com ]

Construction of China's largest photovoltaic (PV) power plant is scheduled to begin this year in Qinghai Province, an employee with one of the plant's investors is believed to have revealed recently.

According to a report by Semiconductor.net, the individual indicated that Qinghai New Energy Group Co. Ltd. plans to build a 30 megawatt (MW) solar array as the first phase of a 1 gigawatt (GW) project in the province's Qaidam Basin.

Qinghai New Energy Group and China Technology Development Group Corp. will reportedly invest approx. $146.20m in the first phase, which will be built with both thin-film solar cells and polysilicon solar cells.

Trina sees PV market to grow sharply

By Fu Chenghao | 2009-4-7 |

TRINA Solar Ltd, a leading solar product maker, expects China to account for 10 percent of the global photovoltaic market in three years to five years from less than 1 percent now as the government boosts support for the alternative energy.

"It's possible if we say, by 2012, China's installed solar PV capacity could reach 2.5 gigawatts while it would be 25GW for the world," Gao Jifan, Trina's chairman and CEO, said.

Although China is the world's top PV manufacturer, the domestic solar PV market has suffered from high costs and limited subsidies.

The Ministry of Finance said late last month that China would provide a subsidy of 20 yuan (US$2.93) per watt for solar projects that have a capacity of at least 50 kilowatts and attached to buildings, covering nearly half the cost.

Gao said the subsidy is a "precursor" of a long-term state support, although some analysts said the latest subsidy was limited to roof-top solar panels and not for large-scale solar projects.

New York-listed Trina, which is based in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, expects to sell 10 megawatts in China this year out of a planned total shipment of up to 400MW of solar modules, Gao said.

In 2008, the domestic market accounted for only a bit more than 1 percent of its shipment of 201MW.

The United States market could account for 15 percent of Trina's sales this year, up from less than 5 percent in 2008, thanks to the Obama administration's backing of renewable energy sources, he said.

Trina is not in a hurry to acquire assets but is looking at opportunities, according to Gao who said Europe would remain a top market.

Canadian Solar Wins a Bid to a Rural Electrification Project in China

TORONTO, April 6 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Canadian Solar Inc. ("the Company", "Canadian Solar" or "we") (Nasdaq: CSIQ) today announced that we were recently selected in a competitive bidding process to supply solar panels for 80,000 solar home systems for rural households in Sichuan province of China. The total order size is 1.6 MW. This project was initiated and financed by China's Ministry of Agriculture and the Sichuan Provincial Government. The solar home systems are rated for a peak capacity of 20 Watts each. A system of this size can power two lights and a small TV. The delivery of the 80,000 units will be completed by April.

Dr. Shawn Qu, President and CEO of Canadian Solar said, "We were very pleased to win this bid. A solar home system makes a real impact on the lives of these rural households. In many cases it will be the first electrical power source these rural families have ever had. We are very proud to be part of this project. Canadian Solar has a business division devoted to the designing, manufacturing and installing solar home and solar village systems for rural electrification and has been actively involved in rural electrification projects in China since 2004."

Suntech teams with Swinburne University for next-generation cell research

06 April 2009 | By Síle Mc Mahon

Great strides in solar cell efficiency are the name of the game as Suntech has teamed up with an Australian university to focus on the development of solar cells that boast twice the efficiency but half the cost of conventional cells. Joining research forces with Swinburne University of Technology of Melbourne, Suntech’s CEO Dr. Zhengrong Shi will lead the collaborative effort with the University’s Centre for Micro-Photonics Director, Professor Min Gu (below right).

"The project will be based around the development of nanoplasmonic solar cells," said Professor Gu. This new technology allows for the efficient collection of solar energy in a wider colour range than those currently being developed in other laboratories. "These will be twice as efficient as the current generation of cells, and will also cost significantly less to run."

The collaborative research group will be based in Swinburne's new Advanced Technology Centre, a nearly-completed $130 million dollar development. Tapping Suntech’s manufacturing experience and Swinburne’s years of research expertise, the project is expected to yield the next-generation cells within the next five years.

Dr. Shi said, "This relationship will combine Swinburne's high quality research with Suntech's ability to rapidly commercialize new technologies into cost effective applications. Nanoplasmonic technology has the potential to take solar to the next level."

Funding will come in the form of a $3 million dollar contribution to the venture from Swinburne University, with a further $3 million coming from Suntech throughout the lifecycle of the research, and a tender for further funding being presented to the Victorian Government.