Cleantech, Solar Power, Introducing the C7 Tracker by SunPower
I have to admit it is sexy, combining solar cells with concentrated solar has never been done this way. SunPower claims that the C7 Tracker will generate solar electricity with a 20% lower levelized cost of energy than "competing technologies." This remains to substantiated by actual data, and what "competing technologies are we talking about" ? Cheaper then CSP ?
Total SA (NYSE ADR: TOT), owns 66% of the company. It does have shaky financials, however - it's carrying $820 million in debt, $20 million more than its market capitalization. The stock is down 43.41% this year, and its P/E is 3.0.*
However SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA) still rates BUY in my opinion, even more so considering the growth of solar utility market worldwide. 20% cost reduction is hard to beat, even by the Chinese, and we should see their technology implemented in utility scale projects very soon, providing they are cost competitive. Morocco as other countries is interested in developing its technology portfolio, adopting multiple technologies is the best way to acquire expertise in a given field, but once again this little wonder should not be priced way above CSP, our technology of choice so far.
My only advice would be to split the firm in two, so that the spin off can focus on commercializing this technology. Doing both technology and utility business doesn't make much sense to me, by nature quite different businesses.
Article below by Travis Hoium contributed to DailyFinance:
SunPower claims that the C7 Tracker will generate solar electricity with a 20% lower levelized cost of energy than "competing technologies." [Note: I have asked the company for data behind this claim but I have yet to hear back.]
If we assume that the 20% cost claim is true, then SunPower could take over the utility-scale solar business. First Solar (NAS: FSLR) has much higher balance of system costs and would need a vast improvement in efficiency to compete. Even if Chinese competitors like Trina Solar (NYS: TSL) , Yingli Green Energy (NYS: YGE) , and JA Solar (NAS: JASO) are able to leverage lower polysilicon prices to lower costs, a 20% reduction is a lot to ask for. And SunPower will be benefiting from the lower poly prices as well.
SunPower also has the knowhow and backing to leverage a cost advantage in utility-scale solar power. The company has a big utility power plant division that has built projects around the world and has the backing of Total (NYS: TOT) , which has given the company a $1 billion line of credit.
It's too early to tell if the C7 Tracker will be a revolution that changes the cost structure of solar and how we look at utility-scale solar, but it shows that companies are out there innovating. When combined with new AC panels, I think SunPower is still making all the right moves in solar.
Source : http://www.dailyfinance.com
* Financial Data : http://moneymorning.com/
Genesis Morocco : http://genesismorocco.blogspot.com