U.S. Alternative Energy Correspondent
Nichola's Feed
Sep 19, 2011

Analysis: Solar startups plough ahead despite Solyndra

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Solyndra’s collapse has cast a harsh spotlight on rival start-ups backing a promising solar technology that, despite the flameout by a leading player, remains on the verge of cracking the renewable energy market.

Undeterred rivals from HelioVolt to Nanosolar continue to espouse non-silicon copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) panels that many industry experts continue to argue is cheaper to make. Solyndra failed because of its inability to bring down costs, not the fundamental promise of its technology.

Sep 19, 2011

S.Korean co invests $50 mln in U.S. solar startup

Sept 19 (Reuters) – South Korean conglomerate SK Group said
on Monday it has invested $50 million in U.S. solar start-up
HelioVolt to help the company bring its next-generation solar
panels to the mass market.

SK energy and technology units SK Innovation (096770.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
and SK TIC will expand HelioVolt’s operations in Austin, Texas,
and develop its “global capabilities,” the companies said in a
joint statement.

Sep 12, 2011

Itron CEO seeks to retake centerstage

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – After two years of doing little but fly-fishing, golfing and playing with his grandchildren, Itron Inc Chief Executive LeRoy Nosbaum is suddenly back at the helm of the smart grid company he is credited with building into a billion-dollar business.

Under Nosbaum’s 9-year tenure as CEO from 2000 to 2009, Itron enjoyed explosive growth as energy efficiency and the so-called smart grid became one of the market’s hottest sectors. Helped by nine acquisitions, sales at the smart meter maker grew to nearly $2 billion and its share price soared more than five-fold.

Sep 8, 2011

FBI searches Solyndra offices in California

/LOS ANGELES, Sept 8 (Reuters) – FBI agents
searched the offices of Solyndra on Thursday, the U.S. solar
start-up that received millions of dollars in federal loan
guarantees before filing for bankruptcy this week.

The search comes amid intensifying pressure on the Obama
administration, which championed Solyndra as being at the
forefront of solar technology when President Barack Obama
visited the company’s Fremont, California, facility in 2010.

Aug 31, 2011

US solar company that Obama visited will shut down

LOS ANGELES, Aug 31 (Reuters) – U.S. solar start-up
Solyndra LLC, succumbing to pressure from lower-cost Chinese
rivals, said it has suspended operations and plans to file for
bankruptcy, 15 months after President Barack Obama visited a
company factory that was to be expanded with the help of a
federal loan guarantee.

The Chapter 11 filing, expected next week, will make
Solyndra the third U.S. solar company to seek bankruptcy
protection in the last month. Former Wall Street high flyer
Evergreen Solar Inc (ESLRQ.PK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) filed for Chapter 11 two weeks
ago, followed four days later by SpectraWatt Inc, a private
company that was backed by Intel Corp (INTC.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Aug 16, 2011

First Solar executive Meyerhoff leaving company

LOS ANGELES, Aug 16 (Reuters) – First Solar Inc (FSLR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on
Tuesday said the head of its utility systems business, Jens
Meyerhoff, is leaving the company, effective Sept. 30.

James Brown, senior vice president of utility systems
business sales, will succeed Meyerhoff in the utility-scale
solar unit and will report to Chief Executive Rob Gillette.

Aug 15, 2011

Solar company Evergreen files for bankruptcy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. solar company Evergreen Solar Inc filed for bankruptcy on Monday, its once cutting-edge technology falling victim to competition from cheaper Chinese rivals and solar subsidy cuts in Europe.

The Chapter 11 filing by a company once seen at the forefront of U.S. renewable energy technology came after a two-year struggle to stave off competition from Asia. The increasingly crowded market forced Evergreen to close its much-touted but short-lived Massachusetts factory and relocate manufacturing to China, and resulted in the virtual disappearance of its once-lofty stock market value.

Aug 9, 2011

SunPower cuts 2011 profit forecast, addresses costs

LOS ANGELES, Aug 9 (Reuters) – SunPower Corp (SPWRA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on
Tuesday lowered its 2011 profit outlook but backed its revenue
and gross margin forecasts, saying demand for solar panels is
strong after a tumultuous first half of the year.

The U.S. panel maker, which also reported an expected net
loss for the second quarter, is majority-owned by French energy
giant Total (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) following a tender offer that closed in

Aug 4, 2011

First Solar profit falls, cuts 2011 forecast

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES, Aug 4 (Reuters) – First Solar Inc
(FSLR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted lower-than-expected quarterly profit and cut
its 2011 forecast as slack demand in Europe hit prices for its
thin-film panels.

Global solar module demand has suffered this year as
declines in subsidies in key European markets hurt sales, even
as First Solar and rivals such as Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd
(STP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Trina Solar Ltd (TSL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) expand production.

Aug 3, 2011

GT Solar results, MEMC deal cheer investors

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Solar investors on Wednesday cheered better-than-expected results from equipment maker GT Solar International Inc and MEMC Electronic Materials Inc’s newest purchase of a solar project developer, sending both stocks up in extended trade.

GT Solar, the world’s third biggest maker of the machines used to make photovoltaic equipment, said its backlog rose to a record $2.3 billion, sending its shares up more than 5 percent. The company has booked a string of contract wins this year, thanks in part to its entry into the LED business through the acquisition last year of sapphire maker Crystal Systems.