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  • Oct 29, 2008 10:03 AM Flag

    100MW: First Solar & SolarCity

    Funny - Morgan Stanley, who funded SolarCity, is in trouble, so now First Solar invests in SolarCity and sells to SolarCity (kind of reminds me of the dotcom deals). We will see. But CertainTeed better find some other toys to play with - it will be very, very hard to compete when your cost of manufacturing is 2x that of the larger competitor.

    First Solar and SolarCity Announce 100MW Module Supply Agreement to Serve U.S. Residential Segment

    * Companies sign 5-year 100MW module supply agreement
    * First Solar invests $25 million in SolarCity

    TEMPE, Ariz. & FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq:FSLR) and SolarCity Corporation today announced a module supply agreement and investment that will make solar power an affordable option for more U.S. homeowners and businesses. The two companies have entered into a five-year agreement that calls for First Solar to supply 100 megawatts of its advanced thin film solar modules to SolarCity, marking First Solar’s entrance into the U.S. residential segment. Pursuant to the agreement, First Solar will begin delivering modules to SolarCity in the first quarter of 2009. First Solar will also make a $25 million equity investment in SolarCity; part of a $30 million round of financing that will fund SolarCity’s continued U.S. expansion.

    SolarCity, one of the nation’s leading residential solar installers, currently serves California, Arizona, and Oregon with plans to expand into additional states. SolarCity’s innovative SolarLease™ financing option allows homeowners to switch to solar power for less money than they currently pay for electricity from their power company, without the need for a large upfront investment.

    With years of high volume production and system performance monitoring, First Solar has demonstrated proven efficiencies leading to high energy yields, low production costs and predictable energy performance. First Solar’s industry-leading modules make it possible for SolarCity to serve residential and small commercial markets where solar was not previously an affordable option.

    “The combination of First Solar’s modules with SolarCity’s innovative approach to designing, financing and maintaining complete solar solutions enables homeowners and small business owners to lower their electricity costs while reducing air pollution and the effects of global warming,” said Mike Ahearn, First Solar’s chief executive officer.

    “Our relationship with First Solar will enable us to deliver affordable solar power to a wider market of residential and small commercial customers,” said Lyndon Rive, chief executive officer of SolarCity. “We believe that together, SolarCity and First Solar are uniquely capable of making solar power competitive with the cost of electricity generated from fossil fuels across the U.S.,—making solar a mainstream source of electricity in the next several years.”

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    • matthewsnow: You had me on ignore. How did that help you? I showed you the reality as described by the California Solar Initiative. What is your reality based on?

    • It will be interesting to see how aesthetics impacts residential decision making. From the investors day slides, the Unisolar residential materials will look like a roof. The First Solar panels look like a science project.

      I'm not guessing how it will play out, but I would think that would be factor in the decision making in some cases.

      • 2 Replies to matthewsnow1
      • matthewsnow: No need to be concerned about that. Here is the list of all the panel makers and their installations smaller than 5KW reserved and noncancelled in California since Jan 2007, in KWs:

        Shanghai Solar Energy S&T Co Ltd. 2
        Solartech Power Inc. 2
        Energy Photovoltaics 2
        ASE Americas 4
        Shell Solar 5
        Jiangsu Linyang Solarfun Co Ltd 7
        Siemens Solar 7
        MC Solar 11
        Kaneka Corporation 11
        Connect Renewable Energy 12
        GE Energy 17
        Atlantis Energy 18
        Baoding Yingli New Energy 20
        Webel-SL Energy Systems 20
        Matrix Solar/Photowatt 23
        Solar Power Inc 24
        Conergy AG 25
        United Solar 29
        United Solar Ovonic 43
        Schott 51
        Open Energy Corporation 63
        REC ScanModule AB 67
        Day4 Energy 84
        Ningbo Solar Electric Power Co Ltd 102
        Schuco USA LP 201
        Suntech Power, Inc. 325
        Andalay Solar, Inc. 963
        SolarWorld California, Inc. 1349
        Mitsubishi 1893
        Evergreen Solar 2096
        Sanyo 2222
        Kyocera 3052
        BP Solar 4485
        Sharp 5460
        Sunpower Corporation 6396

        What do you see? I see Unisolar having 0.2% share of the residential rooftop market. Meaning, 99.8% of the residential rooftop market is glass solar panels. Aesthetics, my ass. Time to put your Excel skills into some use, don't you think?

      • and sounds too. I am curious about how a rainstorm will sound on the panels. anyone know if it's loud like with skylights?