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SunEdison’s PV project pipeline has risen sharply since the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 32% or 454MW, and now stands at 1,870MW, making the MEMC subsidiary a major player in the PV project developer market. SunEdison sales for the first quarter were US$158.1 million, compared to net sales of US$307.6 million in 2010's fourth quarter. However, seasonal factors and the sale of large projects in the previous quarter exaggerated the fall in sales. In comparison, SunEdison sales in the first quarter of 2010 had been US$60.7 million.
“In the current environment, where the market situation in Italy is unresolved, for example, market diversification is key,” noted Ahmad Chatila, CEO of MEMC, during a conference call to discuss financial results. “While SunEdison's pipeline growth was impressive during the quarter, so was the diversity in project size and geography. We have a pipeline that encompasses projects from less than 1 megawatt to greater than 10 megawatts, and we have transitions from North America-centric organizations to building a balanced pipeline in multiple regions around the world, from China to India and the rest of Asia, to Europe, Canada and United States. This diversity reduces risks and offers more stability to this business.”
Chatila also noted that MEMC expects SunEdison’s PV installations to more than double this year, with the US remaining the largest market. However, greater geographic diversity, especially in Asia, is set to enable more installations during the winter months as the climate doesn’t suffer from snow or icy conditions.
SunEdison connected 40MW in 2009 and 167MW in 2010. Total first-quarter interconnections were 20.3MW, including 12.1MW of direct sales and sale-leaseback projects and 8.2MW of debt-financed projects.