Evergreen Solar in call for cash as sales slump

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Citing a slowdown in module sales and prising pressure in the first quarter of 2011, Evergreen Solar has declared that its near term liquidity has been negatively impacted, which could lead the company to find new sources of cash sooner than expected. The struggling String Ribbon module producer said shipments were only 18MW in the first quarter, down significantly from 47MW in the fourth quarter of 2010.

“As a result of our low year to date sales volume and potentially slower sales for the remainder of this year as the industry balances inventory levels, along with significantly increased pricing pressure, the cash that we had previously expected to realize through the reduction in accounts receivable and inventory from our recently closed Devens facility will be less than expected and will take longer than expected to realize,” noted Michael El-Hillow, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Therefore, our near term liquidity has been negatively impacted and may require us to secure additional sources of cash sooner than expected.

The company continued to sell modules at a loss with average selling prices of US$1.86 per watt, down from US$1.90 per watt in the previous quarter. Cash and cash equivalents stood at only US$33 million as of April 26.

Evergreen Solar is also in the process of completely changing its business model towards becoming a solar wafer producer using its String Ribbon technology – as it offers the potential for lower cost (less silicon usage) and high-quality wafers compared to conventional multicrystalline production methods.

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