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First Solar Now Officially in the Silicon PV Production Business

First Solar’s TetraSun silicon solar photovoltaic production line is officially in service. The line, located at First Solar’s Kulim, Malaysia manufacturing facility, has capacity for 100 megawatts of annual module production. This was initially...

Posted January 21, 2015    

Desert Sunlight, Another 550MW Solar Farm From First Solar, Now Fully Operational

The title of world’s largest solar farm is fleeting with California adding solar capacity in half-gigawatt chunks.Yet another half-gigawatt solar power project is coming on-line in California.Late last year, the 550-megawatt capacity Topaz Solar...

Posted January 16, 2015    

Boston-Power Aims to Rival Tesla With Gigawatt Battery Factories

Will the lithium-ion batterymaker be able to build its own Giga factories to power EVs?Late last December, lithium-ion battery builder Boston-Power announced that it had received $290 million in "financial support" from Chinese government agencies...

Posted January 13, 2015    

Can an Advanced Nuclear Reactor Design Ever Be Approved in the US?

U.S. DOE, private sector and National Labs are very slowly developing molten salt nuclear reactors.This week, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. announced that it has entered a collaboration with Canadian firm Terrestrial Energy to...

Posted January 12, 2015    

Cleantech Venture Capital: Why Are These Investors Smiling?

I'm going to suggest that cleantech venture capital, as measured by societal impact, has been a spectacular success in 2014 and over the last few years. For the moment, I'm not going to allow conventional wisdom, hard financial data or actual...

Posted January 8, 2015    

A Setback for SolarWorld and a Trade Case Win for Chinese Solar Manufacturers

On Saturday morning, in a preliminary review of Chinese solar panel imports from May 2012 to November 2013, the Department of Commerce found that China was dumping product -- but just a little bit.Commerce's findings slow some of the momentum in...

Posted January 5, 2015    

The Sol-Wind IPO: Can a Renewable YieldCo Win Master Limited Partnership Benefits?

A new renewable project YieldCo goes after the tax-code advantage of MLP status.Last week we covered Sol-Wind's IPO filing for its modestly sized YieldCo, but I neglected to highlight that the movement toward a master limited partnership (MLP)...

Posted January 4, 2015    

Cleantech IPOs: Predictions Revisited, 2014 Winners, 2015 Picks

An IPO or acquisition is the promised land for VC-funded startups -- but there have been relatively few cleantech IPOs over the past few years. The fact is that most cleantech companies require a longer time frame, a bigger budget, and a different...

Posted December 20, 2014    

First Solar Jumps Into Financing Residential PV With Investment in CEC's Community Solar

First Solar just entered the U.S. residential solar market by becoming the largest single investor in Clean Energy Collective's community solar business.Clean Energy Collective (CEC) builds and sells community solar projects to residential and small...

Posted December 18, 2014    

World Record Solar Module Efficiency of 40.4% From CPV Startup RayGen

RayGen Resources of Australia and the University of New South Wales have built a solar module with a world-record efficiency of 40.4 percent. The results were verified at NREL's test facility and handily beat the previous module record of 36.7...

Posted December 13, 2014    

Rest in Peace: The Fallen Solar Companies of 2014

Keeping track of failing solar companies in 2011 and 2012 bordered on full-time work. That was when solar manufacturing overcapacity and price pressure brutally culled the field. The 2014 dead pool is much smaller and much less painful to view....

Posted December 6, 2014    

SunEdison, TerraForm Buy First Wind For $2.4B to Become Renewable Project Giant

SunEdison and its YieldCo Teraform just acquired wind developer First Wind for $2.4 billion. It means SunEdison is in the wind business and can now add wind projects to the solar project pipeline of its YieldCo, TerraForm. The purchase price was...

Posted November 23, 2014