Rise & Shine: February 25, 2009

The Rise & Shine is your daily source for all solar-industry news. Brought to you by Sweet Solar Home and the Experts at SunRun.

CALIFORNIA NEWS

PG&E to Own Photovoltaic Solar Plants, Could Act as “Green Knight” for Solar
Under a program that will run five years, PG&E plans to build out solar photovoltaic projects that together will produce 500 MW of power, 250 MW of which it will own outright.

LA County Seeks Review of Solar Power Plant Project
Los Angeles County officials directed on Tuesday a review into the legality of building a solar power plant on parts of a 17,750-acre site bought decades ago for use as an international airport.

Eurus Energy to Build 1MW Solar Plant in Cali
The company’s Japan-based subsidiary recently completed a 1 MW photovoltaic project in South Korea, and now the group plans to build a plant of the same size in California.

Mitsubishi Electric Photovoltaics Light Up Butte College
The project will save the college money over time, save on emissions and encourage students interested in renewable energy careers.

NATIONAL NEWS

First Solar Cuts Production Cost to $0.98/watt
The company continues its march to produce the cheapest panels in the solar industry. It also doubled its fourth-quarter profit, but saw its stock fall on a weak quarterly outlook.

Suntech, Eagle Roofing Sign Distribution Agreement
Under the agreement, Eagle will distribute SolarBlend roof tiles to its network of roofing, solar and electrical contractors as part of its Eagle Solar Roof, a roofing system that combines the aesthetics and performance of concrete tile with the functionality of solar.

UTILITY INDUSTRY & REGULATORY NEWS

Solar Thermal Vs. PV: Which Tech Will Utilities Favor?
As more solar-thermal developers apply for permits to build mega projects that promise to drive down costs, why wouldn’t utilities prefer those guys over the PV folks?

US Renewable Energy Faces Weak Economy, Old Grid
People in the industries say the stimulus will help speed the process, but it still may not be fast enough to meet the Obama administration’s goal of ramping up renewable energy production and related investments to revive the economy.

Poll: Saving Money Motivates Iowans to Save Energy
Although Iowans are concerned about the environment and global warming, the number one reason they conserve energy is to save money.

FINANCIAL NEWS & MARKETS

First Solar’s Strong Earnings, Weak Outlook Report
First Solar executives said that between 10 percent and 15 percent of their customers are at risk of defaulting on their contracts. Then they said revenue would be “flat to slightly down” for this quarter and between $1.8 billion and $1.9 billion for the full year.

ICP Solar Provides Preliminary Fourth Quarter Results
Revenue rose 45% over the fiscal fourth quarter of 2008, to approximately $950,000.

ersol Solar Energy Issues Preliminary Key Figures as of December 31, 2008
Bosch subsidiary, ersol Solar Energy AG (ersol) saw consolidated 2008 revenue almost double in comparison with 2007, climbing 93.3 percent from ? 160.2 million to ? 309.6 million.

Q Cells Reports Preliminary 2008 Results
German cell manufacturer, Q-Cells SE has published the preliminary figures for fiscal 2008. In the past year, production of crystalline solar cells was increased to 570.4 Megawatt peak (MWp) (same period in the previous year: 389.2 MWp) and consequently by 47% compared with 2007.

SOLON SE Increases Revenues to More Than 800 million
Germany module manufacturer, SOLON SE presented its preliminary figures for fiscal year 2008 today. The figures show that the company was again one of the fastest growing solar companies in Germany last year.

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Federal Renewable Energy Standard Faces GOP Challenge
In reality, every state has some form of clean energy that could be tapped to meet a federal RPS.

Obama Vows Support for Renewables
He said that solar, wind and biofuels, along with “clean coal” and more efficient vehicles, would receive investments of $15 billion a year, though eventually he wants to ensure that renewables become a “profitable kind of energy.”

Obama Says Clean Energy Key to US Leadership
President Barack Obama is urging investment in clean and renewable energy, saying it will help America lead the world in the 21st century.

Sen. Reid Announces Introduction of Major Energy Transmission Bill
Reid will introduce a bill that will make it easier to carry renewable energy from often remote locations to urban centers in need of power.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

90% Would Consider Solar With a 50p Feed-in Tariff
Householders would be influenced to buy solar panels if the feed-in tariff rate was higher than the grid electricity purchase price, new research has suggested.

Solar Energy to Power Common Services Piloted at Two HDB Estates
Singapore’s public housing estates could well be powered by sunlight in future, if a pilot project currently underway proves successful.

Roth & Rau to Provide Turnkey Thin Film Production Lines
Roth & Rau AG has acquired all of the shares in CTF Solar GmbH, Kelkheim, from the management and the investment company Murphy&Spitz Green Capital AG based on a share purchase and assignment contract dated today.

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