schrieb am 17.09.09 08:13:35
GE boosts solar power production
By Justin Baer and Francesco Guerrera in New York
Published: September 14 2009 23:42 | Last updated: September 14
General Electric aims to ramp up production of solar power panels
by early next year in a crucial step in the company’s bid to
transform its initial investments in the renewable energy field
into a multibillion-dollar business.
GE has started to build pilot production lines at its facility in
Colorado, said John Krenicki, a vice-chairman and chief executive
of GE Energy Infrastructure, which includes the renewable energy
“We’ll have more clarity around our bet in solar at the end of the
year, or the beginning of next,” Mr Krenicki told the Financial
GE, which also outlined on Monday its expansion into offshore wind
power, made its initial solar foray in 2004 with hopes that its
heft and manufacturing acumen could lower production costs enough
to make the sun’s rays another affordable source of alternative
However, unlike the conglomerate’s wind power operations, the
development of GE’s solar business has been muted, with annual
sales at less than $200m.
In spite of the slow start, Mr Krenicki maintains that the division
will eventually become a meaningful part of what has become the
conglomerate’s fastest-growing operating unit. For GE, that means
graduating into a “big, multibillion-dollar business”. “It has to
be,” he said. “Otherwise we shouldn’t do it.”
GE entered the solar business through the purchase of Astropower.
Three years later it acquired a minority stake in PrimeStar Solar,
another group that is seeking ways to use thin layers of silicon to
produce panels that convert light into energy more cheaply than
It remains on the lookout for other acquisitions that could
accelerate the solar business’s development, Mr Krenicki said.
In the first six months of 2009, GE’s energy-infrastructure unit
reported an operating profit of $3.1bn, up 16 per cent from a year
ago, on sales of $17.8bn.
Jeff Immelt, GE’s chief executive, told the FT that energy was
“clearly one of the big industrial businesses filled with what I
would call seismic change, whether it’s clean energy or scarcity of
Steve Winoker, an analyst with Sanford C Bernstein, predicted the
solar business would begin to make a “material” contribution to the
group in the next two years.The solar industry could also benefit
from legislative efforts in Washington to curb the nation’s carbon
emissions, he said.
However, he added: “The jury is still out for solar, for GE and a
lot of other large companies that are all racing to develop
something that is economically viable.”
schrieb am 30.10.09 01:20:09
Antwort auf Beitrag Nr.:
37.996.752 von R-BgO am 17.09.09
nicht nur, die haben auch eine Windsparte,
welche sicherlich in USA bevorzugt wird.
und wozu gehört Westinghouse?
schrieb am 06.11.09 16:51:22
GE To Close Its Solar-Panel Manufacturing Plant In
NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- General Electric Co. (GE) plans to shut down
its only solar-panel manufacturing facility, as it found that
prices for panels fell below production costs, Clean Technology
Insight has learned.
"On October 23 we announced the restructuring of our solar business
to employees and our intent to close the Newark [Del.] facility,"
said Milissa Rocker, spokeswoman for the company, in an
GE's production facility is a victim of a rapidly evolving solar
market, where older U.S. plants are shutting down, reducing
production, or outsourcing abroad, even as some foreign
manufacturers, like those from China, plan to open new
manufacturing in the U.S.
The decision to shut down production was "mainly due to the
challenges in the solar industry, including overcapacity levels
that are twice demand and industry pricing that's below the cost of
producing the panels," said Rocker.
GE plans to stop manufacturing crystalline silicon panels on Jan.
1, 2010. It will close the plant by the end of June of next year,
The plant currently employs 82 people. All will be laid off,
receiving severance and benefits packages, she said.
GE is also "exploring other alternatives" for the plant, she
The plant has capacity to produce 34 megawatts of panels annually,
according to a document aimed at potential investors that was seen
by Clean Technology Insight. Rocker declined to discuss capacity.
According to the document, the facility could be expanded to 68
It could generate annual revenue of about $75 million at 50
megawatts of capacity, assuming $1.50 per watt module pricing, the
document says. "Overall profitability is highly dependent on input
material costs," the document says.
The document says that GE wants to sell 100% of the facility for
cash by the end of the year.
Still, Rocker said that "GE continues to believe in the long-term
success of solar--we are shifting from crystalline silicon toward
the development of new products, that is thin-film technology and
The company is a majority holder in PrimeStar Solar Inc., which is
still developing its thin-film, non-crystalline silicon, technology
and not manufacturing products yet.
GE is also "starting to sell" inverters to the solar business, that
it modified from those that the company makes for the wind
industry, said Rocker. Inverters are components in a solar
installation that convert the direct current generated by a solar
system into alternate current consumed by a home's appliances.
The Delaware factory that GE is shutting down is one that the
conglomerate acquired in 2004 out of bankruptcy from AstroPower
The price for crystalline silicon panels dropped about 30% over the
past 12 months, as financing for solar installations evaporated
around the globe. As prices fell, that meant that producers with
higher costs of production also saw their margins shrink.
BP Solar International Inc., part of BP PLC (BP), announced in
April that it would close panel production in Frederick, Md., and
in Madrid, eliminating 620 positions. It also is drawing more on
outsourced manufacturing through Chinese suppliers.
Evergreen Solar Inc., meanwhile, said on Wednesday that it will
move solar- panel assembly from its Devens, Mass., factory, to
China next year. Energy Conversion Devices Inc., a maker thin-film
solar panels, has also slowed production in Michigan even as it
plans to start production in China.
Schott Solar Inc. shut down production at its 15-megawatt
solar-panel production facility in Billerica, Mass., in July.
"Some of those assets that were owned by global multinationals are
now on the auction block," said Craig Cornelius, managing director
at Hudson Clean Energy Partners, a private equity firm focused on
clean-technology investments. " Truthfully, they are not very
"The property and equipment was put in there a number of years
ago," Cornelius said. "The pace of innovation and manufacturing
tool development has been so fast, that even if you were to buy
those manufacturing facilities for a penny and write down the
amortization and depreciation to zero," you'd still wind up with
high processing costs on the old equipment, he said.
Instead, an investor would be better off acquiring a more recently
built facility abroad or constructing a new facility in the U.S.,
Those trying to sell these older solar manufacturing plants "will
have a hard time getting interest," Cornelius said. He previously
led the $1.5 billion Solar Energy Technologies Program at the U.S.
Department of Energy.
"The combination of older equipment, higher labor costs, tax rates
and the cost of utilities just makes [such production facilities]
non-economic," Cornelius said.
GE's production equipment has an average age of five years, and its
oldest equipment at the Delaware facility is seven years old,
according to the document.
BP hasn't yet found a buyer for its Frederick, Md., building.
"Regarding the building, we continue exploring options there," Tom
Mueller, the company's spokesman, wrote in an email. "We haven't
been able to find a buyer at this point, but continue exploring
The GE facility compares negatively to the BP one, according to one
investor who backs solar companies. "It was built longer ago than
the BP facility and has a much smaller footprint. It's way too
small as to the scale that you need to be operating such
facilities," the person said.
GE's withdrawal from the crystalline solar business raises the
question of whether a small and variable solar business is
compatible with a large conglomerate. GE isn't the first large
company to buy into solar production and decide to exit. Royal
Dutch Shell (RDSA) had manufacturing in Camarillo, Calif., that it
sold to SolarWorld AG in 2006.
"A big order for us was $10 million--that's not a big order for
GE," said Allen M. Barnett, founder of AstroPower, the company that
was folded into GE. Barnett is now leading a solar-research program
at the University of Delaware. He added that while a small company
focused on its main product has the time and interest to dedicate
itself to the product, that doesn't necessarily happen when a big
company takes over and may consider that product marginal.
At the same time, even as some of the legacy plants in the U.S. are
closing, foreign manufacturers, as well as some start-up solar
companies, are opening production.
Suntech Power Holdings Co. and Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co.,
two Chinese panel manufacturers, are planning to open production in
the U.S. Sharp Solar opened production in Tennessee in 2003.
SolarWorld AG is building a large plant in Oregon.
For foreign companies, one reason to move production of modules to
the U.S. is to assuage any discomfort with products made abroad.
There's also some concern that Buy-American regulations may become
more stringent when it comes to projects that use U.S. government
money. At the same time, the cost of transporting large solar
modules by ship is high, and as the U.S. market grows, it may be
economical to locate panel production close to demand.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly known
as the stimulus package, created a $2.3 billion program that gives
manufacturers of renewable-energy components tax breaks. Several
companies, including SolarWorld and Yingli, filed applications.
Keeping manufacturing jobs in the U.S. has been high on the agenda
of local and federal governments.
But for the solar industry, that may not be the smartest move, as
far as job creation goes.
If one looks at the entire labor chain of getting electricity to
flow from a solar system, the majority of jobs are in installing
the system, not in manufacturing the various components.
"If midstream can be performed abroad, at a lower cost, maybe we
should let that happen," said Cornelius, of Hudson Clean Energy
Partners. "If you're looking at it from a job-creation standpoint,
the best thing we can have in the U.S. is very low-priced equipment
that allows for a large number of installations."
(Dow Jones Clean Technology Insight covers news about public and
private clean-technology and alternative-energy companies.)
-By Yuliya Chernova, Dow Jones Clean Technology Insight;
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
schrieb am 09.04.10 09:19:10
Fotowatio ist eine GE-Tochter:
Posted on 8. April 2010
Fotowatio Completes €45M Solar Funding
Almeria, Spain [RenewableEnergyWorld.com]
Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV0 has secured funding to develop
an 11-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the
municipality of La Rioja, Spain, the company's first photovoltaic
project in Andalusia.
This 11-MW solar power plant is expected to generate 16 million
kilowatt-hours (kWh) of emissions-free electricity annually.
The financing was secured through a €45 million funding agreement
with the German bank Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW).
FRV will own and operate the solar power plant and has contracted
Würth Solar, a German PV module manufacturer and project developer,
to construct, operate and maintain it. This 11-MW solar power plant
is expected to generate 16 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of
emissions-free electricity annually.
“With the development and financing of this 11 MW solar project,
FRV consolidates its position in Andalusia, one of the regions with
the highest insolation levels in Europe. We also expand our network
of engineering procurement contractors (EPCs) and financial
providers working with Würth and Landesbank Baden Württemberg,”
said Rafael Benjumea, CEO of FRV.
schrieb am 03.08.10 18:46:16
neueste Nachricht auf der GE-Seite ist vom 9.12.2009...
schrieb am 12.10.10 23:22:07
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
GE Teams With Showa Shell Unit In Solar Power
NEW YORK (Nikkei)--General Electric Co. said Tuesday that it has
agreed with a subsidiary of major Japanese energy company Showa
Shell Sekiyu KK (5002) to tie up in the solar power system
The agreement is expected to lead to GE acquiring solar cells from
Solar Frontier KK, a wholly owned Showa Shell unit, and jointly
commercializing low-cost, high-efficiency solar power systems. The
two firms aim to pitch their products mainly to major solar power
projects in the U.S., Europe and emerging countries.
Showa Shell operates a solar facility at the site of a former
Unlike conventional solar cells based on silicon, Solar Frontier's
copper-indium-selenium solar cells are immune to surging silicon
prices. The company is due to lift its output capacity to roughly 1
million kilowatts a year from the current 80,000kw by launching a
new plant in Miyazaki Prefecture in the middle of next year. With
70% of the new plant's output slated for export, Solar Frontier has
been looking to bolster overseas sales.
GE has been expanding its solar power system business, along with
its wind and other renewable energy operations.
(The Nikkei Oct. 13 morning edition)
schrieb am 10.01.11 20:28:04
SunPower, Fotowatio sign big solar deals
San Francisco Business Times
Date: Monday, January 10, 2011, 10:09am PST - Last Modified:
Monday, January 10, 2011, 10:31am PST
Southern California Edison announced a solar buying spree and Bay
Area companies are the big winners. SunPower has signed contracts
to build three projects totaling 711 megawatts and sell the power
produced to the Southern California utility.
The projects are some of the country’s largest solar panel projects
and will go online between 2014 and 2016.
San Jose-based SunPower has a large office in Pt. Richmond, where
its project development arm is based.
Its three projects will be located in Rosamond and Los Banos.
San Francisco-based Fotowatio Renewable Ventures also landed four
contracts with Southern California Edison to supply power from 120
megawatts worth of solar projects — or enough to power 78,000 homes
— in Los Angeles and Kern counties. All are scheduled for
completion in 2013.
Southern California Edison is the largest investor-owned public
utility in Southern California.
According to state law, the three investor-owned utilities,
Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and San
Diego Gas & Electric, were required to get 20 percent of the
power they supply from renewable sources by the end of last year.
None of the three met that requirement. Southern California Edison
says it’s delivering about 17 percent of its power from renewable
Former state Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive
order, requiring utilities to get 33 percent of their power from
renewable sources by 2020.
Read more: SunPower, Fotowatio sign big solar deals | San Francisco