Archive for June 24th, 2009

Canadian Solar to Offer Six Year Product Warranty

TORONTO, June 24 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (“the Company”, “Canadian Solar” or “we”) (Nasdaq: CSIQ) today announced it would offer a six year warranty on module material and workmanship, extended from two years previously. Under this extended warranty, Canadian Solar warrants its standard solar module products, which account for more than 90% of the Company’s production, to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a duration of 72 months from the date of delivery (EX-work). Some of the company’s off-grid and specialty solar products may carry different warranty terms.

Dr. Shawn Qu, the President and CEO of Canadian Solar, commented, “This is one of the best product workmanship warranties in the PV industry and Canadian Solar is pleased to offer this extended warranty. This was a logical step for us given the high confidence we have in our product workmanship and positive real world feedback from customers. Our solar modules are designed and manufactured to the highest industry standards. For example, Canadian Solar is the only major solar module manufacturer accredited with ISO:TS 16949, the automotive Quality Management System standard since 2003. By extending the product warranty to 6 years, we want to make sure our customers can sit back and relax after they have completed their PV system with our modules. Importantly, while we are giving our customers a significant benefit we do not expect this to impact profitability. Rather, we believe our policy change will help increase sales and margin.”

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Dow Corning and Leading Solar Energy Companies Call for Policies to Make America a 21st Century Solar Power

WASHINGTON, June 24 /PRNewswire/ — Representatives of Dow Corning, a leading producer of silicon-based materials used in solar energy technologies, and representatives of America’s top solar energy companies visited Washington D.C. today to call for new federal policies to encourage the growth of a domestic solar energy industry that will promote economic growth, create jobs, and help meet greenhouse gas emissions goals.

“Solar energy is a clean, efficient and readily available technology that with the right support could help transform America’s energy, environmental and economic future. To make America a 21st century solar power, we need smart and effective government policies from Congress that will help the private sector grow, thrive and create thousands of new jobs,” said Dow Corning Chairman, President and CEO Stephanie A. Burns.

During the visit, Dow Corning and representatives from several of its leading solar technology customers met with key members of Congress and the Administration. They delivered to policy makers a Four Point Policy Plan that outlines the steps needed to encourage the adoption of solar energy technologies and support a new renewable energy manufacturing sector in America. The plan calls on Congress and the Obama Administration to:

  • Enact a broad federal legislative and regulatory package, designed to encourage the rapid growth of a viable renewable energy industry and encourage consumer adoption.
  • Increase investments in research and development to support innovation in solar energy technologies.
  • Increase renewable energy-related education, training and job creation.
  • Establish the federal government as a leader in the utilization of clean energy technologies.

Dow Corning was joined by nine of its customers representing the solar energy value chain:

  • Abengoa Solar
  • BP Solar
  • Kyocera
  • National Semiconductor Corporation
  • Sanyo
  • SCHOTT Solar
  • Solar Power Industries
  • SolarWorld
  • Suniva, Inc.

Dow Corning’s silicon-based materials are used in solar cell manufacturing, solar module assembly and installation. In the past five years, Dow Corning and its joint ventures at the Hemlock Semiconductor Group have announced investments of more than $5 billion to research and develop as well as to expand production of materials critical to the solar industry.

To learn more about Dow Corning’s efforts to promote a comprehensive energy policy that will support the growth and success of a vibrant American solar energy industry visit

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Signet Solar Appoints Bruce Horn as Chief Financial Officer
MENLO PARK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Signet Solar, a global manufacturer of thin film silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules, today announced a key addition to its executive team with the appointment of Bruce Horn as the company’s Chief Financial Officer. In his new role, Horn will oversee Signet’s financial development and offer strategic support as the company scales its manufacturing capabilities.

Bruce Horn has over 20 years of accounting, finance and management experience with public and private high-technology companies. Prior to joining Signet, Horn was CFO at StrataLight Communications, Inc., which was acquired by Opnext, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPXT) earlier this year. Horn also served as CFO and Treasurer of Oplink Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPLK), and CFO and VP of Finance of Larscom, Incorporated. He directed the execution of the IPO process for both companies.

“I was impressed with Signet’s aggressive growth plans and uncompromised determination to bring large area thin film silicon PV technology to the mass market,” said Horn. “I look forward to lending my assistance to this already stellar executive team and helping to provide ‘Clean Affordable Renewable Energy’ to citizens around the world.”

“With a rich history in Silicon Valley’s financial underpinnings, Bruce brings critical experience raising public and private capital and supporting the growth of rapidly maturing technology companies,” said Signet Solar founder and CEO Dr. Rajeeva Lahri. “We will utilize his financial expertise to assist in the sophistication of our fiscal roadmap as we continue to expand our global operations.”

In 2008, Signet Solar produced the industry’s first “Generation 8.5” large-area silicon thin film solar module from its production facility in Dresden, Germany. Signet has been shipping products to its customers since October 2008 for installations across Europe. Signet recently announced plans to build the company’s first North American production facility in Belen, New Mexico, scheduled to begin operations in 2010.

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Solar Energy Initiatives Announces Securing Land to Build up to 18 Megawatt Solar Park in California
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Solar Energy Initiatives, Inc. (OTCBB:SNRY), executing on a grass roots campaign, “RENEW THE NATION”, to help redeploy a portion of the U.S. work force and focus on reducing the world’s dependence on fossil fuels by selling solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) technologies, today announced that the Company signed a contract securing land for the design, construction and operation of a solar park in Southern California. The project could generate over $80 million in revenue within a 5-year time period.

Construction of up to an 18 megawatt system represents Solar Energy Initiatives first contract in the rapidly expanding solar park market. Preliminary work, including zoning, permitting, EPA and other activities, is expected to begin immediately. At full capacity, the solar park could generate enough green renewable energy to displace over 55,600 metric tons of carbon emissions, annually, that would have otherwise been produced by non-renewable power generation. The project could produce enough energy to provide power to more than 3,000 homes.

Solar Energy Initiatives, Chairman, Brad Holt, who initiated this project stated, \”Our entire organization is excited to announce this groundbreaking solar park agreement. Our Company was chosen over several other solar development firms, including some who far exceeded us in size. The landholder\’s confidence in the team we have assembled allowed us to be granted this monumental contract. While working with the landholder, we assembled a world class development team from within our own ranks, a construction crew with extensive knowledge in renewable projects and a finance team with over 15 years of experience in energy financing. We are all excited and prepared to commence work on this project which will be completed over the next several years and may lead to future projects for the SNRY team.\”

John Jaffray, President of JJR Power LLC, a partner in the project, states, \”We look forward to working with SNRY on this and future projects. This opportunity is very attractive to JJR because of the area\’s demand for solar, ideal location, great incentives and the proximity to the grid.”

JJR has assembled a syndicate of financing sources for funding the installation and permanent capital requirements for this project. SNRY is expected to provide in excess of $100 million of additional financing opportunities to JJR from their robust development pipeline through year-end 2010.

“The growing demand for solar parks are proof that the federal government is dedicated to working alongside trusted industry partners to embrace cleaner and more affordable green technology,” stated, David Fann, Chief Executive Officer of Solar Energy Initiatives. “Management is extremely pleased with the direction the Company is headed and this approximately $80 million project is proof that our strategic business plan is not only working but allowing us to rapidly increase our market share in the fast growing solar sector. We believe that our disciplined focus of our business model will allow us to secure additional contracts, increase market presence and achieve our overall goal of improved shareholder value.”

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Auria Solar Ramps Up 60 MW Micromorph® End-to-End Line In Record Time
TAINAN, Taiwan & TRUBBACH, Switzerland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Auria Solar today announced to be the first manufacturer to reach the mass production stage with Oerlikon Solar’s industry leading end-to-end manufacturing technology for high efficiency Micromorph® thin film silicon solar PV modules. Oerlikon Solar’s advanced process integration technology and on-site customer support helped Auria Solar reach the mass production stage, and attain IEC certification from TÜV Rheinland, in record time. Oerlikon Solar and Auria Solar ramped up the entire 60 MW Tainan facility and brought it to mass production in less than eight months after the move-in of equipment.

“Oerlikon Solar was our preferred supplier because of its proven technology, superior panel performance, comprehensive customer service and unmatched track record in delivering the fastest time-to-market. We are extremely impressed with the speed in which Oerlikon Solar’s expert team was able to bring our Micromorph® end-to-end fab to mass production,” says Dr. Chi-Yao Tsai, CEO of Auria Solar. “With our own innovations and state-of-the-art technologies, Auria Solar can already produce modules with 120 W stabilized power output and 9% conversion efficiency. Furthermore, the low-cost manufacturing process enabled through Oerlikon Solar’s leading-edge, end-to-end solution will help us reach the target of grid parity in the foreseeable future.”

Oerlikon Solar’s tandem-junction Micromorph® process will enable Auria Solar to produce 60 MW of highly efficient, cost-effective thin film silicon solar PV modules per year. “We congratulate Auria Solar in being the first end-to-end producer of our Micromorph® technology. Auria Solar achieved a fast ramp-up of certified high-performance PV modules resulting from our proven end-to-end line solution,” states Jeannine Sargent, CEO of Oerlikon Solar.

Dramatically Accelerated IEC Certification

The TÜV Rheinland IEC master certificate enables Oerlikon Solar’s customers like Auria Solar to accelerate their own IEC certification process, reducing time-to-market for certified high-performance modules from six months to less than six weeks. “We believe Oerlikon Solar is one of the premier equipment and module technology providers in the thin film silicon solar PV market. They have proven their ability to scale world-class technologies and processes to mass production, and passed all of our tests,” stated Willi Vaassen, Head of Renewable Energy division, TÜV Rheinland. The TÜV IEC master certification is valid worldwide and is just one part of the established portfolio of solutions Oerlikon Solar offers its customers to enable rapid ramp-ups to mass production of thin film solar PV modules.

Cost competitive Solar PV solution

Oerlikon Solar’s Micromorph® process significantly boosts solar cell efficiency by adding a second microcrystalline absorber to the amorphous silicon (a-Si) layer. This layer converts the energy of the red- and near-infrared spectrum, yielding efficiency and module power gains of up to 50 percent. The Micromorph® technology enables module manufacturers to produce thin film silicon solar modules at competitive cost.

Dr. Tsai: “With Auria Solar’s TÜV Rheinland IEC certificate, we are well positioned technically and competitively to compete in the worldwide PV market.” In late 2008, Auria Solar expressed aggressive growth plans to expand its manufacturing capacity to 500 MW by 2012.

“Oerlikon Solar’s competitive time-to-market for the Auria Solar facility is another example of the world-class experience, support and knowledge Oerlikon Solar can offer to all of its customers,” adds Sargent. “We are dedicated to helping make solar PV an economically viable alternative energy option, and our ability to quickly ramp our high-performance Micromorph® end-to-end fab illustrates this commitment.”

“Just one more milestone in Oerlikon Solar’s mission to make solar power economically viable”

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Solar Supplier Chooses Toledo for First North American Facility
TOLEDO, Ohio–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Toledo and Northwest Ohio area’s involvement in solar energy production took another major step forward with the announcement of plans to develop North America’s most advanced polycrystalline silicon (c-Si) production facility in Toledo.

Officials of California-based Sphere Renewable Energy Corp. (SREC) said the company will develop a wholly-owned subsidiary, Buckeye Silicon (BeSi), in Toledo. The initial production module will be located at The University of Toledo’s renowned Center for Renewable Energy.

“Toledo is an outstanding community, one with the human resources that readily can be applied to our manufacturing business,” said Harrison Choi, BeSi’s President and CEO.

Polycrystalline silicon is the key component and essential raw material used to produce 90 percent of the photovoltaic (PV) solar cells currently being manufactured.

Product produced by BeSi will be sold predominantly to PV producers in North America and Europe. SREC recently has entered into a joint venture with strategic, East Asian investors to begin using SREC’s proprietary process to mass produce c-Si for the PV market.

Solar cell manufacturers in the Toledo market currently use a process that does not require c-Si to produce PV solar cells. With the addition of BeSi’s manufacturing base, the Toledo area will be capable of boosting its photovoltaic manufacturing portfolio, spanning the entire PV value chain.

A ceremony in conjunction with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was held at UT’s Center for Renewable Energy. Signatories included BeSi, UT, the City of Toledo and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

With an eye toward the future of both his company and the area’s role in solar energy, President Choi said: “Over the next several years, we look forward to working with each of the MOU parties to create many net-new skilled jobs for Toledoans. Our plan is to grow to become a dominate, global polysilicon supplier as well as to further improve the NW Ohio platform so other solar-focused companies will base their businesses here.”

Michael J. Stolarczyk, President and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, endorsed BeSi’s move to Toledo. \”The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority strongly supports the further development of the solar industry in Northwest Ohio, and we are committed to working with BeSi on the development of its financing,\” Stolarczyk said.

Sphere Renewable Energy Corp’s approach involves a light industrial, modular process which requires much less space and energy than a traditional polycrystalline silicon production facility. Also, SREC’s development is more efficient. The approach up until now has involved massive chemical infrastructure facilitation, similar to an oil refinery, with many of the related concerns that refineries experience.

SREC’s process does not have the environmental problems other polycrystalline silicon manufacturer’s experience.

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GT Solar Launches Engineering Solution to Enable the Manufacture of Silane Gas
MERRIMACK, N.H.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GT Solar, a global provider of specialized equipment and technology for the solar power industry, today announced the availability of its Silane Production Package, which bundles GT Solar’s silane technology expertise with its proprietary equipment. This new package enables companies in the semiconductor, solar, and flat panel display industries to secure their own source of ultrapure silane gas using cost-effective, local production facilities.

“Increased demand from the semiconductor, photovoltaic, and flat panel display industries has resulted in shortages of silane gas accompanied by rising prices,” said Dave Keck, vice president and general manager of GT Solar’s polysilicon business. “As the need for silane gas continues to grow, companies around the globe are beginning to seek more secure solutions. With silane production a natural extension of our existing, well-proven polysilicon and trichlorosilane production plant capabilities, we believe we are well positioned to take advantage of these adjacent market opportunities.

“Similar to what we are experiencing in polysilicon production, where GT Solar’s efforts with new entrants are drastically augmenting polysilicon supply, we expect that our technology and know-how will help create a new class of regional competitors in the silane market. As a result, we anticipate that silane users will have more choice, and there will be a reduced reliance on the one, primary supplier that currently exists.”

GT Solar’s Silane Production Package is a modular equipment solution and basic engineering package that enables companies to construct silane plants and begin delivering silane gas within 24 months. The package includes design, fabrication, quality control, training and technical support services; as well as a modular silane production plant, complete with piping, instrumentation, and analytical equipment.

Silane (or monosilane) gas is one of the most widely used silicon-containing gases utilized in the production of the thin silicon layers that are the foundation for semiconductor and photovoltaic products, as well as flat panel displays.

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Orange- French Telecom-Their Tent of The Future
Check out this prototype of a Solar Tent. Camping or homelessness will never be the same again!

Solar Concept Tent is made of photovoltaic “fabric”:

Photovoltaic Fabric

Latest research shows that by weaving specially coated solar threads into conventional fabric, revolutionary new ways of capturing the sun’s energy could soon become a reality. These radical advances mean that rather than relying upon familiar fixed panels, designers were free to conceive how a tent of flexible solar fabrics might look.

The Concept Tent’s solar shell uses this technology to full effect with three directional glides which can be moved throughout the day to maximise its solar efficiency, capturing the optimum amount of energy which can to be used throughout the tent in a variety of new and exciting ways.

French Telecom company Orange is behind this Solar Tent. Read about it HERE.

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China Heating Up Global Competition for Solar

There’s no question that China is a force to be reckoned with in the solar industry. The country is the largest silicon-based solar-cell producer in the world, with Chinese and Taiwanese production accounting for 39 percent of global production last year, compared with 28 percent from Europe, according to a report the Worldwatch Institute released last week.

But while China had long been considered a potential game-changer in solar, companies’ growth had previously been slowed by a silicon shortage that hit newcomers more dramatically than incumbents. Even so, Chinese manufacturers overtook German and Japanese companies in 2007. Now that plenty of silicon is available, could the country’s dominance grow even larger? Or will some Chinese manufacturers struggle to differentiate themselves and suffer more than the rest of the market during an oversupply of panels?

Read more of this story »

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NPR: A Breakthrough Way to Seize Clean Energy Opportunity
NPR’s Morning Edition ran a segment today on the Breakthrough Institute, where I work as Director of Energy and Climate Policy. The segment featured our small think tank’s work to re-frame global warming as an economic opportunity and advance a fundamental shift in policy capable of seizing that tremendous opportunity.

You can listen to the NPR segment online here.

If you’re new to the Breakthrough Institute and want to get familiar with our work, please head here for a few recommendations of things to read. We love your comments, so please don’t hesitate to opine.

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Microsoft enters energy management with Hohm app
Redmond, Wash.-based software giant unveils beta release from its new startup, announcing partnerships with four utilities and two leading meter companies, with more to follow.

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Italian Researchers Inventing New Type of Solar Concentrator
Roberto de Luca and Aniello Fedullo from the University Salerno of Italy invented a new solar concentrating device they say is inspired by the Ear of Dionysus. According to the legends, Doinysus’s ear had an elliptical cave so he could hear even the weakest whispers of a prisoner in one of the cave’s foci.

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Roof Mounted – Residential Wind Turbine

Finally. Quiet, Safe,  wind power for your roof.  Up until now, most wind installations required you looking above the tree line, for wind streams.  No doubt, the air currents are better up there but the costs and permitting process can be a problem.  This new unit from Swift Turbine looks like a low cost alternative to make rooftop energy a real alternative.

swift turbine 200x250 Roof Mounted   Residential Wind TurbineSome product information below;

The Swift turbine is mounted on an aluminum mast with a minimum blade-roof clearance of approximately 2 feet. It is usually mounted at the highest point of a roof, in a position which benefits from maximum prevailing wind, but it will work effectively in almost any location. The Swift is designed to be both aesthetically pleasing and quiet.

The Swift turbine mounting brackets incorporate a damping system, specifically designed to absorb a wide range of frequencies. The patented diffuser minimizes turbine noise by preventing noises at the blade tip. In addition, the five bladed design allows for a slower speed of rotation to further reduce noise, making the Swift Wind Turbine one of the quietest wind systems. Now you can have a quiet vibration free energy generated right from your rooftop.

Swift Wind Turbine will be manufactured by Cascade Engineering in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Cascade Engineering will be manufacturing all blades worldwide and will do assembly for all turbines sold in the United States.

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Renewable Energy Stocks and Green Stocks Directory Update, Following President Obama’s Press Conference on Clean Energy Economy
POINT ROBERTS, WA and DELTA, BC – June 24, 2009 –, a leading global investor and industry portal for the renewable energy sector within, updates the current global directory of renewable energy stocks for investors following the sector, following the June 23rd Press Conference held by President Obama, commenting on ongoing efforts to build a clean energy economy.

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