Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Solar System Transforms Fallow Land Into Money Generating Asset

GILROY, CA,  --(eSolarEnergyNews)--  In February 2013, Vista Solar installed a 792kW solar system on a block of fallow, unusable land at Uesugi Farms. In the first year of operation, the solar system generated over $100,000 in savings and has offset the farm's electric bill by more than 90%.

The savings generated has freed up funds for several organizational investments. "Just in the first year alone, we've saved about $115,000," says Uesugi Farms owner and general manager Pete Aiello. "With the savings, we've been able to increase our cooling operation, purchase an ice injector, make a few additions to our packing facility, and purchase a couple pieces of equipment including a large forklift."

With a $0 down operating lease, the system at Uesugi Farms was cash-flow positive from day one, and is projected to generate more than $2.6 million in savings over the next 25 years.

"Vista Solar did an excellent job helping us turn a business liability into an asset," said Aiello. "Not only did they provide professionalism and expertise in designing and installing the system, but they excelled in all the aspects surrounding it, including obtaining the financing and educating our staff about solar."

With a low base flood elevation, the fallow parcel of farmland had been prone to flooding, making it nearly impossible to grow crops. Vista Solar designed and installed a system that transformed the unusable land into a solar power plant. Elevated six feet off the ground to avoid flood damage, the system, comprised of Canadian Solar panels and Refusol string inverters mounted on a Solar FlexRack substructure, is capable of producing more than 1.25 million kilowatt hours of solar energy annually, enough to power more than 100 homes.

"Forward-thinking businesses like Uesugi Farms are motivated by the significant savings that solar can provide for their bottom line, but at the end of the day, they often have several other mission-critical places where their capital is needed," said Vista Solar President Jaymes Callinan. "Being able to provide a way to start saving with solar right away while preserving precious capital and lines of credit is one of the things that makes this project and Vista Solar so unique."

SPI Solar to Develop 10 MW Solar Project in Shandong Province, China

ROSEVILLE, CA--(eSolarEnergyNews)--SPI Solar, a vertically-integrated photovoltaic solar developer, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Xinyu Xinwei New Energy Co., Ltd. (“Xinwei”), has received preliminary approval from the local government of LiaoCheng City to develop a PV project totaling approximately 10 megawatts (MW), in Shandong Province, China.

The project calls for the development of approximately 10 MW of distributed generation (“DG”) solar power for the Jia Ming Development Zone. Assuming final approval, construction of the project is scheduled to begin during the fourth quarter of 2014, with completion expected in 2015. This potentially marks SPI’s first DG project in China, as well as the company’s first solar PV project in Shandong Province.

The independent market research firm IHS noted that DG installations in China are expected to accelerate rapidly due to China’s National Energy Administration (“NEA”) policy initiatives as well as growing market demand forces. IHS reported that nearly 5 GW of DG installations are forecasted for completion in 2014.

“We are delighted to announce SPI’s first PV project development experience in Shandong Province,” said Min Xiahou, global Chief Executive Officer of SPI. “During 2014 we have seen dramatically increased commitment in China by both provincial and local governments toward developing renewable energy generation capacity, particularly with solar PV power generation. SPI will continue to expand its footprint across China’s PV markets.”

Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman of SPI, added “While distributed generation solar is still in the very ‘early innings’ of growth in China, we expect rapid adoption of DG in the coming years as both technology and financial solutions improve. SPI’s Yes!® Solar solutions for the residential market are well positioned to capitalize on this opportunity as the DG market in China matures.”

Leaf Solar Power Partners with LightStream to Bring Financing to U.S. Residential Customers

PALM BEACH, FL.--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Today, Leaf Solar Power LLC and LightStream announce a strategic relationship to provide homeowners up to $100,000 in financing for residential solar power projects.

The partnership supports the Leaf Solar Power Loan Program in the U.S., expanding the financing options available to people with good credit who are interested in owning high-efficiency Leaf Solar Power systems. Under the program borrowers may apply for an unsecured, fixed rate LightStream loan to install a Leaf Solar Power system.

“As a lending leader for residential solar power systems, LightStream supports consumers interested in Leaf Solar Power’s high performance solar systems,” said LightStream Todd Nelson, Business Development Officer. “We stand behind families and communities that choose to maximize their savings and minimize their carbon footprint. We back those efforts by offering streamlined financing that requires no appraisals and no fees. We have an entirely online process where people complete a simple form and may have their approval - and funds in their bank account - often as soon as the day they apply.”

LightStream is available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates for LightStream solar loans are currently as low as 4.99%APR with AutoPay.*

LightStream financing enables Leaf Solar Power to expand its residential loan program to allow more U.S. homeowners to own the most efficient and reliable solar technology available. According to LSP, in some cases loan payments may be equal or less than a homeowner’s current utility bill. Once the loan is paid off, the homeowner will own a system that can produce clean electricity for the life of the system. They may also benefit from increased home value as a result of the solar system on the roof.

In addition to owning the most efficient solar technology, Leaf Solar Power system owners also benefit from a 25-year product warranty. Leaf Solar Power loans may also allow homeowners to take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit now available for installing solar power systems, as well as additional incentives offered by many states and municipalities.

In several states, Leaf Solar Power also offers the Leaf Lease Program, featuring low monthly payments with zero down.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ascent Solar Announces Reverse Stock Split

THORNTON, CO.--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Ascent Solar, a developer and manufacturer of state-of-the-art, flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules integrated into the company’s EnerPlex™ series of consumer products, today announced that its board of directors has approved a one-for-ten reverse stock split of the Company’s common stock to become effective at 5 p.m., Eastern Time, Tuesday, August 26, 2014. The Company will file an amendment to its Certificate of Incorporation on that date as authorized by the stockholders at the Company’s annual meeting held on May 22, 2014. The Company’s common stock is expected to commence trading on a post-reverse stock split basis on Wednesday, August 27, 2014. The stock was down 8% on the news to close at  $.26 per share.

Ascent’s common stock will continue to trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “ASTI”. A new CUSIP number will be issued to Ascent’s common stock after the reverse stock split becomes effective. The reverse stock split is intended to increase the per share trading price of the Company’s common stock to satisfy the $1.00 minimum bid price requirement for continued listing on the NASDAQ Capital Market.

As a result of the reverse stock split, every 10 shares of the Company’s common stock issued and outstanding at the effective time will automatically be combined into one issued and outstanding share without any change in the par value of those shares. In lieu of issuing fractional shares, the Company will round fractions of shares up to the nearest whole share.

Once the reverse stock split becomes effective, stockholders holding shares through a brokerage account will have their shares automatically adjusted to reflect the 1-for-10 reverse stock split. Existing stockholders holding common stock certificates will receive a letter of transmittal from Ascent’s transfer agent, Computershare Investor Services, LLC, with specific instructions regarding the exchange of shares.

The Company expects to have approximately 11.7 million post-split shares outstanding as a result of the reverse stock split. The number of authorized shares of the Company’s common stock will remain at 250,000,000 shares.

The number of shares of the Company’s Series A and Series C Convertible Preferred Stock outstanding will not be affected by the reverse stock split. However, the number of shares of common stock into which each outstanding share of Series A and Series C Convertible Preferred Stock is convertible will be adjusted proportionately as a result of the reverse stock split. All outstanding RSUs, stock options and warrants to purchase shares of the Company’s common stock will be adjusted proportionately. The maximum number of shares available for grant under the Company’s stock option plan and restricted stock plan will be adjusted proportionately as a result of the reverse stock split.

SunWize Installs Independent Samoa's Largest Solar System

APIA, Independent Samoa,--(eSolarEnergyNews)--  SunWize Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of sustainable energy solutions, today announced that it completed the installation of a 546 kW solar electric system for the Independent State of Samoa. The project with Samoa's power utility, Electric Power Corporation (EPC), is the country's largest, reducing Samoa's reliance on imported fossil fuels.

"For too long we have had to rely on expensive diesel from other countries for our electricity needs," said Rapa J. Young, EPC's solar project team leader. "This system is moving us closer to independence using clean, reliable solar energy."

The complete solar electric system, financed by the Government of Japan through the Pacific Environment Community Fund, spans three separate sites on the two Independent Samoan islands of Savai'I and Upolu. The Salelologa community of Savai'I and the Tanugamanono community of Upolu house the ground-mount installations. A third site, Vaitele, Upolu, is home to an additional ground-mount installation and a solar canopy for equipment storage.

The project is SunWize's third system in the region, having successfully installed 1.8 MW at the airport in nearby American Samoa in 2012 and a smaller system at the VA Hospital in Pago Pago. Leveraging industry experience from these projects, SunWize deployed best practices for overcoming the logistical and construction challenges involved in installing solar on the South Pacific islands.

"Our previous projects in American Samoa and Pago Pago required a solar electric system that could withstand 124-mile per hour typhoon force winds and corrosive ocean air.  We applied similar design and engineering principals to the ground mount systems and the solar canopy while also ensuring seamless alignment with the existing electric grid.  We're thrilled to be providing Independent Samoa with a robust source of clean energy," said David Kaltsas, SunWize's President and Chief Operating Officer.

Using the American Samoa and Pago Pago projects as models, SunWize also implemented a control plan that will limit corrosion and extend the life of the system for 25 years.

The solar electric project created 10 jobs between August 2013 and February of this year and will create additional jobs for the ongoing operation of the system.