A Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar
cells, solar panels and solar system,
) has entered into a joint venture agreement with Tianjin
Zhonghuan Semiconductor ("TZS"), Inner Mongolia Power Group
("IMP") and Hohhot Jinqiao City Development Company ("HJCD"). Per
the agreement, the partners will manufacture and deploy
SunPower's high efficiency, C7 concentrator solar systems in
Inner Mongolia and other regions in China.
FIRST SOLAR INC (FSLR): Free Stock Analysis
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In exchange, SunPower will get a stake of 25% in the joint
venture agreement valued at $60 million, thereby investing $15
million. However, the agreement is subject to the approval of
People's Republic of China ("PRC") government. Post-approval, the
initial C7 deployment is expected to begin by the end of 2013.
The SunPower C7 Tracker features single-axis tracking technology
with rows of parabolic mirrors. These mirrors reduce the number
of solar cells that are required to generate electricity. This
lowers the levelized cost of energy by up to 20% in comparison
with the other competing technologies.
Meanwhile, SunPower has also entered into an agreement with
Kubokura Densetsu Co. Ltd. As per the deal, the former will
supply its T5 Solar Roof Tile for the latter's Kanagawa
T5 Solar Roof Tile provides the maximum installed capacity on
limited rooftop space. It has a non-penetrating
installation that does not need anchoring of the system to the
roof. Moreover, it minimizes waterproofing and structural risks
on the rooftop surface.
The industry's first all-in-one, non-penetrating photovoltaic
rooftop product combines solar panel, frame and mounting system
into a single pre-engineered unit. The T5 roof tile features high
efficiency E20 / 327 solar panels that have 20% efficiency, which
is included into the all-in-one system. The T5 Solar Roof Tile is
tilted at a five-degree angle. Its patented design is adjustable
to virtually any flat or even a low-slope rooftop.
Through the local utility, Kubokura will sell the clean energy
generated from the 540-kilowatt solar systems back to the grid.
The system is sufficient to supply eco-friendly energy to more
than 180 homes. Kubokura will begin the construction of the
system at the end of 2012 and expects it to be completed in
These two agreements demonstrate SunPower's international
footprints and would help the company in boosting sales globally.
The company is proactive in entering new markets. SunPower's
customer base is spread across North America, Europe, the Middle
East, Asia and Australia. In addition to a sizeable presence in
the US, it is already focusing on improving market shares while
gaining new market shares in the emerging markets.
Despite the current tepid economic environment, we are bullish on
the company due to its diversified channel strategy with a strong
presence in the residential and commercial market, along with its
status as a conversion efficiency leader. The company
presently retains a short-term Zacks #2 Rank (Buy). We have a
long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.
The company mainly competes with
First Solar, Inc.
Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd.
) in the international markets like North America, Europe, the
Middle East, Asia and Australia.