SunEdison PV project pipeline stands at 1,416MW: installations to double in 2011

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Since polysilicon wafer producer MEMC took over SunEdison in an effort to move downstream in the PV supply chain, the project developer would seem to be going from strength to strength. In reporting fourth-quarter and full-year results, MEMC noted that SunEdison ended the year with a pipeline of 1,416MW, up from 1,023MW in the third quarter and an overall increase of 750MW compared to 2009. SunEdison also finished the year with 87MW under construction.

SunEdison net sales for the fourth quarter were reported to be US$307.6 million, compared to net sales of US$21.5 million in the third quarter of 2010, and only US$3.8 million in the prior year quarter. 

The company installed 167MW of projects in 2010, up from 40WM in 2009.

However, the project developer made an operating loss of US$8.2 million, compared to an operating loss of US$7.2 million in the third quarter of 2010.

Project pipeline

MEMC reiterated in its quarterly conference call that SunEdison uses the term ‘pipeline’ under very strict criteria, such as only for signed power purchase agreement (PPA) contracts or a secured grid-connection site as well as completed permitting or document of customer intent/letter of intent (LOI) documentation. The pipeline was said to include full-year 2011 and 2012 that so far met the criteria.

However, executives were conservatively optimistic in the call that SunEdison had the opportunity to double installations in 2011, pushing installs over 330MW.

Unlike 2010, when SunEdison successfully expanded into European markets, especially Italy with the landmark 70MW Rovigo project, management noted that less than 20% of installations in 2011 would be in Italy. This is a significant change from 2010 when between 40-50% of installations were in that country.

Without disclosing actual figures, management noted that a major portion of projects this year would be in North America and, to a lesser degree, India. The company reiterated that it was participating in Germany or the Czech Republic.


Interestingly, MEMC said in the call that timing of projects would remain flexible, since it expected to be able to take advantage of module price declines in the second half of the year on the project side. Executives therefore guided that revenues from projects would weighted heavily to that half of the year. Projects in Italy would be first-half year loaded, which is assumed to meet FiT changes due midyear. 

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