- Industry Roundup
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JinkoSolar Holdings has opened a PV module testing lab in Jiangxi, China, which was awarded the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Witness Testing Data Program (WTDP) certificate. The company worked with UL to obtain certification and will now be able to offer customers and third parties testing facilities, under the supervision of UL personnel, with an aim to ensure high quality and expedite the time to market.
Sharp was awarded the “Top Brand PV” by EuPD Research for its presence in Germany.. The award was granted after EuPD examined several factors, including brand awareness and distribution depth, with brand perception among customers one of the leading factors for determining the seal.
According to RenewEconomy, Silex Systems has restarted production at its solar module facility in Sydney, Australia. The company announced in November that it would be halting production as it was hard hit by the rooftop solar market and was looking for ways to restructure its business. The report states that Silex decided to start operation again, upon Tindo Solar’s plans to begin commercial production were publicized. Plans to continue ramping up capacity at the company’s Sydney site are being considered.
Polysilicon price declines on the spot market have finally taken their toll on Yingli Green and its polysilicon operations, Fine Silicon. An asset write down of US$361 million has been made on Fine Silicon assets of which a US$43 million impairment of goodwill is to be made in its fourth quarter financial statements. However, Yingli also said it would make a provision of approximately US$135 million on its polysilicon inventory as a result of the continuing decline in the purchase price.
Better than expected market demand, across multiple regions in the fourth quarter of 2011 has led to Canadian Solar to significantly increase its module shipment guidance ahead of releasing Q4 and full-year results on March 7th. Previously, the company guided fourth quarter shipments to be in the range of 340MW - 360MW, inline with third quarter shipment levels and in contrast to many of its tier 1 rivals. However, the company expects shipments to be in the range of 430MW - 440 MW.
The last 12 months for Suntech have been quite successful, even amid the chaos surrounding Suntech’s response to accusations by US companies of impeding US growth. Technology Review’s annual list comprises 50 of the world’s most innovative companies and Suntech has been nominated in the energy and materials category. Editors look for companies that have demonstrated original, valuable technology to market and significantly influencing their competitors.
Bio-based PV module backsheet developer, BioSolar claims that a customer is preparing a batch of solar panels with its ‘BioBacksheet’ material for full panel recertification by Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL). In March, 2011 the company announced it was supplying sample material for PV module manufacturers based in Asia for evaluation.
As part of its utility-scale project pipeline in Imperial Valley, California, 8minutenergy Renewables has signed a 25-year contract to sell 200MW (AC) from the planned Mount Signal Solar project to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). The Mount Signal Solar project is expected to begin supply to SDG&E in mid-2013 and has an 18-month construction time, employing 450 direct jobs and more than 500 indirect jobs in Imperial County. The contract is pending approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.
Weak demand that continued until the fourth quarter of 2011 led to Sunways sales annual sales decline by almost 50%, compared to 2010. Record module shipments in the fourth quarter did little to dent the revenue declines as ASPs declined significantly compared to the prior year period. Preliminary full-year 2011 results show sales of €115.4 million, compared to €222.7 million in 2010.
TÜV Rheinland has certified Emmvee modules as compliant with the Italian Energy Agency’s GSE guidelines. The TÜV Rheinland confirmation certifies that Emmvee modules are equipped with cells manufactured in Europe, primarily in Germany. The company notes that TÜV Rheinland will soon begin testing the origin of the cells in order to certify their manufacture and production sites.