The sun is moving in and out of the clouds here in San Francisco, but there seem to be a good number of heart-warming stories in the renewable energy sector today.
Here is a roundup:
Q-Cells and LDK Play Nice: It was only a month ago when Q-Cells and LDK took their contract dispute public with press release missives. Now the two companies say that was ancient history. The two companies said Friday they have "resolved all differences of opinion over the interpretation of the agreement," and Q-Cells would continue to buy silicon wafers from LDK from 2009 to 2018.
The companies declined to discuss the specific terms of their dispute. But it had to do with whether LDK would agree to Q-Cell's demand to adjust its delivery schedule. In the latest agreement, LDK would ship about a third of the volumes in the original contract in 2010 and 2011. Q-Cells also would end up taking just 20 percent of what it had initially wanted to buy for 2009. Overall, the 10-year contract would still amount to 6 gigawatts.
When they were still fighting, Q-Cells claimed LDK had failed to honor the contract and threatened to draw on a bank guarantee to get $244.5 million back. Both companies posted losses and struggled to protect themselves from recession.
Whopping IPO Planned by Big Wind Power Producer: Longyuan Power Group is going public and hoping to raise up to $2.2 billion on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
The company is the largest wind power producer in Asia, according to Reuters. The offer has attracted China Investment Corp., China Life Insurance Group and Wilbur L. Ross Jr., an American billionaire.
Asian IPOs have attracted more investors than those in other parts of the world. About two-thirds of the $42 billion in proceeds from the top 10 IPOs globally came from Asian IPOs, Reuters said.
The Los Angeles Times recently ran an interesting story about how some American investors believe they could get better deals in foreign markets during this downturn.
Solarfun Snags 100MW Power Plant Project: Not to be outdone by fellow Chinese manufacturers, Solarfun said it, too, has lined up a nice power plant project in its native China.
The public company, which makes silicon ingots, cells and panels, has signed a deal with the city government of Jiayuguan to build a 100-megawatt solar farm. Solarfun's project-development subsidiary, Jiangsu Lingyang Solar would undertake this project.
The deal does come with a string attached: Solarfun would have to build a solar panel assembly plant in Jiayuguan.
Ever since the Chinese government launched incentives to boost solar energy installation earlier this year, a slew of Chinese manufacturers have finagled and announced agreements with local governments and state-owned utilities to supply solar panels; some would even become project developers.
Earlier this week, Trina Solar said it expects to ship 8 megawatts of solar panels for projects within China in November and December this year.
Solar Money Going, Going ... Gone: This story will sound really familiar. Massachusetts just used up the $68 million solar incentives it had set aside for three to four years.
The state began offering rebates for home and business owners an average of $13,000 to install solar energy systems 22 months ago. The money ran out in October this year, reported the Boston Globe.
Massachusetts is now drafting a new program and hopes to deploy it by Jan. 1.
Other state and local governments who instituted rebates and other solar incentives have saw similar strong demand. The city of Gainesville in Florida launched a feed-in tariff earlier this year and put a cap on the amount of solar electricity that would qualify for the premium rates. The annual allocations are now spoken for through 2016.