The CalRENEW-1 Solar Farm in sunny Mendota, California is being dedicated today.  It's the first utility-scale PVsolarfacility to connect to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) grid at the transmission level since the start of California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard program.  The facility is an operating 5-megawatt solar farm with 50,000 solar modules installed on 50 acres with power to be provided to PG&E and inverters by SatCon.  The 5MW solar array is the first major U.S. deployment of Sharp’s amorphous thin-film modules.  Remarkably, ground-breaking ceremonies were less than a year ago.

 

Months ago we discovered that National Semiconductor was shifting from their solar magic system product to selling chip sets, a strategy more in line with their traditional business. National Semi made sideways denials when we made inquiries.  This week, they announced that they are selling chip sets after meeting with limited success in marketing their overpriced systems.

 

SolFocus christened its 1-megawatt CPV installation in southern California; it's a modest installation by silicon PV standards but a huge deal for CPV.  Tom Cheyney does his usual fine job of reporting here. Clearly, cost questions certainly remain for this technology and this product.

 

Trina Solar has signed an agreement with the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) to develop an all-back-contact, high-efficiency silicon wafer solar cell using Trina Solar's monocrystalline wafers.  They are threatening efficiencies of 21 percent.  Watch out, SunPower.

 

Canadian Solar's stock took a hit as the company announced late on Tuesday that it was delaying its first quarter earnings because of an SEC investigation into sales.  The firm received a subpoena from the SEC related to 2009 sales and said it may have to revise earnings from the fourth quarter 2009, based on an accounting change being made to recognize sales only after receiving full cash payments "from certain customers." Full-year 2009 net revenue may need to be revised, as well.  Lazard Capital downgraded the stock to "hold" from "buy."