Evergreen Solar to close U.S. module plant: US$70 million write down on Sovello JV

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email

As part of its plans to conserve cash and reduce module assembly costs to remain competitive as module prices have declined over 30% since last year, Evergreen Solar is planning to shift its Devens module assembly production to China, starting in mid-2010. When the company announced its manufacturing partnership in China with Jiawei Solar back in May, 2009 executives had said that the Deven’s module plant would continue to make modules for the expected expansion of the U.S. market. Now the company will shut-down production next year and only reopen the facility should demand dictate.

“Our Devens facility has continuously met its key operational goals of rapid sequential production increases and significantly reduced manufacturing costs since opening in mid-2008,” noted Richard M. Feldt, Chairman, CEO and President, Evergreen Solar. “In particular, we are especially pleased with the success of our Quad wafer production performance, which has met or exceeded our expectations to date. However, panel prices have fallen over 30% since mid-2008 making it very difficult for manufacturers located in high-cost regions to remain price competitive. Therefore, we are accelerating our strategic initiative of increasing the focus on our unique wafer manufacturing technology; and we will begin to transition our Devens-based panel assembly to China in mid-2010.”

In reporting third quarter financial results, Evergreen Solar also noted it undertook an impairment charge of approximately US$70 million on its investment in Sovello. The company noted in the revaluation of this asset that if Sovello was not able to ‘restructure the terms of its loan agreements or its operations continue to deteriorate, the carrying value of this investment could be further impaired in the future.’

With respect to quarter results, Evergreen Solar posted sales of US$77.7 million, including US$2.2 million of fees from the Sovello JV. Second quarter sales were US$63.8 million, including $1.1 million of fees.

The company shipped 31.3 MW from its Devens facility, an increase of 35% over second quarter shipments of 23.2 MW, shipping all its production in the quarter.

Total manufacturing costs were reduced to US$2.24 per watt, down 17% from US$2.70 per watt for the second quarter. Wafer manufacturing cost was approximately US$0.75 per watt, down from US$0.85 per watt in the second quarter.

Production of its String Ribbon cells will continue at the Deven’s facility, Evergreen Solar said. As a single ‘open’ facility the module line is in affect mothballed, subject to market demand conditions before it could be restarted.

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. Get 10% off with code 38LCF6KN
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.
7 September 2022
The demand for rooftop solar PV is soaring, driven by falling costs of the technology against energy crises that are gripping countries globally. But while an increasing number of households turn to solar to generate their own electricity, there is now a need for more specialist equipment, technologies and services to ensure the solar transition can reach as many customers as possible. Delivering these is now a major challenge for rooftop solar installers. This webinar will analyse the characteristics of the rooftop solar market, discussing how the products, logistics, installation and servicing of solar systems has evolved in line with consumer demands.
14 September 2022
Join us in London for 2 days as we look at the UK’s new landscape for utility & rooftop solar. Understand the new opportunities within this GW-plus annual market!
15 September 2022
Bifacial PV modules will be the dominant solar PV technology globally within one or two years; in the utility-scale sector, their market share is already above 70%. This webinar will provide a clear view on the successful implementation of bifacial technology, maximizing system performance and minimising LCoE.
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.

Read Next

August 10, 2022
Canadian Solar plans to build an integrated PV manufacturing plant in Western China, with a capacity of 200,000MT of high-purity polysilicon, 10GW of both cells and modules and multi-GW productions of raw and auxiliary materials.
August 10, 2022
Iberdrola has commissioned the 590MW 'Francisco Pizarro' PV project in Extremadura Southwestern Spain, which is Europe’s largest solar plant.
PV Tech Premium
August 10, 2022
PV Tech Premium looks at the main drivers that drove solar PV in Chile in the last years and has risen as one of the leaders in the region.
August 10, 2022
OMERS Private Equity has acquired a minority stake in the Arizona-headquartered solar operations & maintenance (O&M) provider NovaSource Power Services.
August 10, 2022
A solar PV module frame made of recycled roll-formed steel has outperformed conventional aluminium frames in testing by an independent third party.
August 10, 2022
US solar tracker manufacturer FTC Solar has cut its net losses compared with last quarter and Q2 2021 but has seen its revenue collapse, blaming a hostile solar environment in the US that has seen project delays and cancellations, which it said it now hoped was coming to an end.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
September 7, 2022
15:30 AEST (UTC +10)
Solar Media Events
September 14, 2022
London
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA
Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event