ECD posts loss of US$57.5 million: cell efficiency improvements pushed out again

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Having stopped all production at various plants to preserve cash and help draw down inventory, Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) posted a net loss from continuing operations of US$57.5 million, which includes a non-cash impairment charge of US$34.3 million for its financial Q1 results. Revenue was reported at US$22.0 million, which compares to US$65.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, and US$70.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011. ECD previously cancelled its conference call and refrained from providing information on whether a call would be organised.

In a statement issuing first-quarter results, management said that it had adjusted its technology roadmap to speed up the introduction of higher conversion efficiencies via its patented ‘Nano-Crystalline’ technology, claimed to boost efficiencies by 50%.

ECD noted that equipment modifications were underway at its Greenville, Michigan plant that would see pre-production and optimization begin in mid-2012, though did not say when actual production would begin.

However, ECD management had previously told PV-Tech on several occasions in 2010 that its first major upgrade to conversion figures, including a larger cell area within the laminate, would be in production by the end of 2011.

Though the efficiency gains are inline with a cited 9-10% figure, claims of the speeding-up of this implementation have been brought into question.

With production currently halted, ECD did not provide guidance on when it expected to restart any of its plants, instead providing a mid-2012 timeline for the upgraded line in Greenville.

ECD said it sold 11.4MW of ‘UNI-SOLAR’ a-Si thin-film laminates in the quarter. However, ECD did not provide any details on inventory levels but held a total inventory value of just over US$68 million, equivalent to three-quarters of the worth of net sales based on the last quarter’s sales. In SEC filings, ECD had US$43 million in finished goods and US$14.59 million of work in progress. Raw materials made up the balance of inventory. 

Bringing higher efficiency products to market would impact the value of inventory held. Consequently, a meaningful write-down of inventory would be required if sell-through from stock does not improve significantly in coming quarters, taking into account the fact that production plants are being idled.

As of September 30 2011, ECD held US$130.2 million in cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and short-term investments. This represents a decrease of US$10.5 million from June 30, 2011.

However, the company noted that it would be continuing seek new investment funds and a broad range of business strategies (though not specified) as well as the start of talks with holders of an outstanding Convertible Senior Notes (US$316.3 million) due in June 2013, in an effort to restructure payment terms. 

19 July 2022
As New South Wales is gearing up to become a renewable energy superpower, an exciting clean energy event is coming to Sydney. Energy Next is a free-to-attend industry event focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy management technologies, which will be held from 19-20 July 2022 at the ICC Sydney in Darling Harbour. Organised by the same people behind the country’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will bring a quality exhibition and technical session series to NSW. Energy Next will also host the Clean Energy Council’s Solar Masterclass with a program developed for solar designers and installers. Across two days, Energy Next will provide an extensive exhibition, workshops and networking opportunities for those working in the renewable energy industry to meet with leading suppliers, discover the latest technologies and gain an understanding of how to successfully launch new clean energy projects.
21 July 2022
The rooftop solar PV market is set for significant growth, but installers are being held back by complicated design software that is slow, cumbersome and fails to take into account rooftop shading, module compatibility and energy storage. Huawei’s SmartDesign 2.0 is a web-based PV and energy storage system tool that promises to solve all of those issues, and much more. This webinar will provide a live demonstration of the SmartDeisgn 2.0 tool, showing how installers can quickly complete Huawei PV & ESS system designs and assemble a professional report with 3D site view for potential customers, streamlining the design and sales service.
23 August 2022
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 23–25, 2022, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry. In 2021 – despite the Covid-19 pandemic – Intersolar South America welcomed more than 28,000 visitors and over 1,000 conference attendees over 3 days. 200+ providers showcased their products. Combining local and international expertise, Intersolar South America brings together the PV and solar thermal sector to discuss the current status and strategic trends for Latin American PV markets, as well as technology innovations and new business opportunities. Overall, distributed generation is still driving momentum in the Brazilian market.
6 September 2022
Intersolar Mexico sits at the cross-section of photovoltaics, solar heating & cooling technologies, and energy storage. The event serves as the industry’s go-to source for invaluable technology trends and premier B2B contacts in the promising Mexican solar market. From September 6–8, 2022 Intersolar Mexico together with the co-located The GREEN Expo® and Aquatech Mexico will take place in Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City.
19 September 2022
RE+ 2022 is the umbrella event that includes SPI, ESI, RE+ Power, and RE+ Infrastructure. As North America's largest renewable energy event, it's a catalyst for industry innovation that's supercharging business growth in the clean energy economy.
20 September 2022
From source to generation, from grid to consumer, the boundaries of the sector are blurring and this evolution is being shaped by established players, external disruptors, innovative start-ups and the increasingly engaged end-user. Enlit Asia is the unifying brand for POWERGEN Asia and Asian Utility Week, showcases expert knowledge, innovative solutions and foresight from industry leaders, coherent with Asian strategy to achieve a smooth transition towards a low carbon energy supply. This year, Enlit Asia will be co-located with Sustainable Energy Technology Asia (SETA) & Solar & Storage Asia (SSA).

Read Next

July 1, 2022
Hanwha Qcells’ power plant division Q ENERGY Europe has teamed up with newly rebranded Q ENERGY France to establish umbrella company Q ENERGY Solutions SE as it seeks to deepen its ties to the European market where it has a 12GW development portfolio.
July 1, 2022
The US Supreme Court has restricted the federal government’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants in a ruling that critics have warned will hit renewables deployment and hobble the Biden administration’s climate agenda.
July 1, 2022
Off-grid pay-as-you-go solar provider Bboxx has partnered with telecommunications company Orange to launch a new solar mini-grid project to help accelerate clean energy access for households across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
PV Tech Premium
July 1, 2022
PV Tech Premium spoke with Cypress Creek Renewable Energy and AES Clean Energy to discuss the newly formed US Solar Buyer Consortium, its objectives, market challenges and the potential advantages it holds for US manufacturing and project development.
July 1, 2022
Energy management software company Cleartrace has secured US$20 million in a financing round to accelerate the growth of its platform.
June 30, 2022
Investor CleanCapital has acquired renewable energy developer BQ Energy, adding 300MW of late-stage solar development to its pipeline.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA
Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event