“Brightsource cancels IPO – #in”

DFN: Very interesting, another solar company (Enphase) elected to go ahead with its IPO, a couple of weeks ago, with its offering price cut in half (approximately), but floating the same number of shares. The funds its
raised were thus cut in half. Brightsource, perhaps faced with a similar quandry, choose not to sell the shares on the market place. Why did one sell and the other didn’t? Interestingly, Brightsource offers a thermal solar
technology, versus PV (photovoltaic). Solar Millennium was attempting a different version of Thermal technology, but, couldn’t make its version of the technology economically viable.

BrightSource Energy cancels IPO

San Francisco Business Times
Date: Thursday, April 12, 2012, 7:04am PDT

BrightSource Energy Inc. canceled plans for an initial public offering, citing adverse market conditions.
The Oakland-based maker of solar-thermal systems had hoped to raise $182.5 million from the offering, with shares priced between $21 and $23 each.
The company had planned to trade on the Nasdaq, with pricing scheduled for Wednesday after the market close.
“While we received significant interest from potential investors, the continued market and economic volatility are not optimal conditions for an IPO,” John Woolard, president and CEO of BrightSource Energy, said in a statement.


“Overview of US Solar Installers / Integrator / EPCs – #in”

DFN: Over a year old but an interesting overview of the US Solar Installers / System Integrator / EPC Companies. Also the optimsim expressed in the article below is currently surpressed by current market conditions, but, it / Solar’s return is inevitable.

List of USA Solar Installers/System Integrators/EPC Companies – Massive Growth Ahead

8 Mar, 2011
First Solar,MEMC,Sharp,Solar Energy,Solar EPC,Solar Panels,Solarworld,Sunpower,Suntech,USA,Yingli

The US is the world’s largest electricity producer and consumer with a total electricity capacity of around 1 Terawatt.The share of Solar Energy in the US Electricity Production is negligible compared to around 19% for Nuclear Energy and around 2-3% for Wind Energy.However Solar Energy in the US is set to grow at high double digits over the next 2 decades as the Costs of Solar Energy Decline with prices of other Energy Forms set to rise.In some states like Hawaii and California,solar energy prices are already at grid parity with retail electricity prices.Some states like New Jersey,Colorado,Arizona have seen sharp increases in solar energy adoption over the last 2-3 years boosted by state specific government policies and subsidies.With the US Federal 30% Cash Grant on System Costs and falling systems prices for solar systems,the growth in inevitable.The US Solar Market has seen the rise of a number of innovative and fast growing system integration and installers.Some companies have come up with innovative financial solutions to solve the high initial investment hurdles in solar systems through leasing and financing plans.Here are a list of Top US Installers/System Integrators.Note the list will keep expanding in the coming years as the size of the US Solar Energy Market Grows.

The Large Vertically Integrated Solar Panel Installers

1) SunEdison/MEMC – US Polysilicon and Wafer Producer MEMC bought Sunedison which was one of the largest solar installers in 2008.Now MEMC is strongly expanding the system installation business not only in the US but other parts of the world like India,Europe,Korea,Canada and other places.The company recently installed one of the biggest solar plants in the world in Rovigo,Italy

2) Sunpower – Sunpower is a vertically integrated solar energy company known more for its highest efficiency solar panels.The company bought Powerlight a few years ago to enter the solar systems market and has bolstered the business constantly to become a major global installer.Sunpower is present in all 3 segments of the solar sytems business namely a)residential b)commercial and c) utility. It is one of the largest US installers and has recently won a number of large utility contracts for building solar farms.

3) First Solar – First Solar is the largest producer of solar panels in the world using its properietary thin film technology.The company is also one of the biggest utility solar system developer in the world focusing mainly on the North American Market.The company has built and sold the world’s largest solar farms in Sarnia,Ontario.The company has beefed up its solar installation business by buying project development teams and pipelines from Ausra,OptiSolar Turner etc.

4) Sharp/Recurrent Energy – Sharp recently bought Recurrent Energy one of the large independent solar power developers and system integrator in the US.Sharp already had a big presence in the California market where it is now facing increasing competition from the low cost Chinese players like Trina Solar,Yingli etc.

5) REC Solar – The Norwegian based Solar Company REC has started it solar system in the US a year or two ago and has managed to win some contracts..It is targeting all the 3 segments and is present in the major solar states of the US like New Jersey and Californa.It claims to be the largest residential solar installer in California with 17 MW of installations in 2010.

6) Solarworld – Another European company like REC,Solarworld is mainly targeting the utility and big commercial market recently winning a 11.6 MW order from LADWP.The company has a big manufacturing facility in Oregon and has aggressive expansion plans in the US as its domestic German market slows down.

7) Mitsui/Sunwize – Mitsui,the giant Japanese tradings house bought Sunwize in 2006 to enter the solar system market in the US.Note Mitsui is not a big solar panel producer like Sharp,Panasonice and others.The company sells mainly in Oregon and Californai and targets all the 3 segments of the market

The Solar Financing/Leasing Companies

8 ) Sungevity – Sungevity is a California company targeting the residential market through a solar leasing plan.It extensively uses the Internet to design the system and has a JV with US Bank to provide financing to its customers.

9) SolarCity – SolarCity is a full-service solar provider for commercial and residential customers and does solar power system design, financing, installation and monitoring services from a single source.SolarCity is introduced a new solar lease option, called SolarLease.It also has other options like PPA .The company’s footprint extends to Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington D.C.

10) SunRun – SunRun is one of the newer solar installation and solar financing companies that target the residential market mainly.The company is present mainly in the Western part of USA operating in 7 states Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.The company uses a PPA model to sell solar systems and has partnered with a number of pure play solar installers

Solar EPC/Installation Companies

11) Akeena/Westinghouse Solar (WEST) – The first US Solar Installer to list on the US Stock Exchange,the company’s operations are based mainly in California.The company also sells solar sytems through retail outlets which was a first.The company also has a unique solar system which reduces solar installation costs called Mandalay.

12) Real Goods Solar (RSOL)- The second US Solar Installer to list on the Stock exchange,Real Goods Solar is present in California and Colorado and it targets the residential and commercial segments of the market

13) Verengo Solar – The company also provides solar financing solutions and is present in the California market.

14) Borrego Solar – The company is similar to Verengo Solar but mainly concentrates on the commercial market.The company signed a deal with Chinese solar panel producer Yingli for procuring solar panels.The company is headquartered in California like most others.


The US Solar EPC Market has a good mix of large vertically integrated solar companies as well as independent solar installers.The leasing and PPA companies have added another dimension to the Solar System Market by making it easier for customer adoption of solar energy.There a a large number of solar system installers in the US and its tough to include most as most of them remain private companies.Solar Installation is a huge growing business and has also attracted a number of shady companies.It pays to understand what is involved in the solar installation since customers are easily fleeced by a myriad of regulations and procedures.

Note Suntech,LG,Posco,Samsung are some of the other major foreign companies looking to build a major solar installation business in the US.Suntech has already won a utility deal and OCI and LDK have bought small US installers to accelerate their penetration of the US Market

Author Links

  1. Independent Solar Project Developers becoming Extinct as Upstream Companies keep gobbling them up
  2. List of World’s Major Solar Energy Companies
  3. Largest Photovoltaic Solar Farms – Are they Advantageous over Distributed Rooftop Solar and Why Utilities Love Them
  4. Posco set to join compatriot LG in building massive solar plant in USA
  5. Most Electricity Expensive USA State Hawaii implements a Limited Renewable Energy Feed in Tariff despite Utility Opposition
  6. The Chinese Penetrate the US Solar Utility Market – exclusive playground of First Solar and Sunpower
  7. Why is Japanese Technology Giant Toshiba entering the Solar EPC business?

“Solar Trust of America Files for Bankruptcy – #in”

DFN: Good projects, will undoubtedly allow some company to ‘bootstrap’ its development efforts. The Blythe development was Six Years +/- to get it to the point where it was ready to start development. I doubt that whoever acquires the property will be able to start development from the getgo, but it won’t be another Six Years, maybe 1-2 years, to get it re-permitted, finance and for the supply / development / construction efforts to be put into place. Can’t tell from this article whether its Chapter 7 or 11. A similar article on www.4-traders.com says that STA is filing for Chapter 11.

Solar Trust of America files bankruptcy
Mon Apr 2, 2012 3:52pm EDT

(Reuters) – Solar Trust of America LLC, which holds the development rights for the world’s largest solar power project, on Monday filed for bankruptcy protection after its majority owner began insolvency proceedings in Germany.

The Oakland-based company has held rights for the 1,000-megawatt Blythe Solar Power Project in the Southern California desert, which last April won $2.1 billion of conditional loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy. It is unclear how the bankruptcy will affect that project.

Solar Trust said it ran short of liquidity after Solar Millennium AG (S2MG.DE), which holds a 70 percent stake, sought court protection in December.

Solar Millennium then tried to sell that stake to solarhybrid AG (SHLG.DE), but that transaction collapsed when solarhybrid also sought court protection in Germany.

Edward Kleinschmidt, Solar Trust of America’s chief operating officer, in a court filing said the company has already missed two quarterly rent payments on the Blythe project, and cannot make several other payments due imminently.

He said NextEra Energy Resources LLC has committed to provide some financing and "expressed an interest" in serving as an initial bidder for some assets.

Ferrostaal AG owns the other 30 percent of Solar Trust of America but does not provide financial help, Kleinschmidt said.

Solar Trust of America and several affiliates filed for protection from creditors with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware. It estimated to have as much as $10 million of assets, and between $50 million and $100 million of liabilities.

Blythe is about 220 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

"We have been working with Solar Trust of America for a couple of years in getting this project going," David Lane, Blythe’s city manager, said in an interview. "Although the project is not in the city limits, we are the only city within 100 miles. My sense is that with the large investment in what was to have been the world’s largest solar power plant, someone somewhere will buy it and build it."

Separately, Solar Millennium said it has been sued by former Chief Executive Utz Claassen over public statements by company representatives that he claims have damaged his reputation and left him unable to find a job. Solar Millennium said the lawsuit would not directly affect its insolvency proceedings.

The case is In re: Solar Trust of America LLC et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 12-11136.

(Reporting By Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Victoria Bryan in Frankfurt; Editing by Gary Hill and Gerald E. McCormick)