Friday, October 01, 2010

First Solar Still Dominates U.S. Utility-Scale Space

A key provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA 2009), which subsidized up to 30 percent of construction costs for PV plants (through Investment Tax and Production Credits), will no longer be available for pipeline projects that don’t start construction by year-end 2010. Consequently, First Solar’s (FSLR-$145.29) Topaz and Desert Sunlight won’t be eligible for these tax incentives, as both initiatives are still hung up in Dante-like circles of regulatory hell.

First Solar spokesperson Alan Bernheimer confirmed in an e-mail response “groundbreaking isn’t likely for either Sunlight or Topaz before 2010 year-end.” However, Bernheimer insisted both irradiation projects may still qualify for Treasury grants (instead of ITC) — if “certain expenditures are made before the year-end deadline.”

Absent stimulus extensions, First Solar will likely need to scale-back its solar park construction schedule, likely leading to inventory write-downs next year as module selling prices continue to decline. Still the Tempe-based PV module maker remains well-positioned to capitalize on an eventual grow out for domestic utility-scale developers. >READ MORE …..

Editor David J Phillips does not hold a financial interest in any stocks mentioned in this article. The 10Q Detective has a Full Disclosure Policy.

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