The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

UPDATE: CPV Pioneer SolFocus Up for Sale

Industry media is reporting that SolFocus has officially closed its doors. SolFocus representatives could not immediately be reached for comment. Renewable Energy World will continue to update this story as new information unfolds.

One of the leading concentrating photovoltaic companies in the world, SolFocus previously announced in November 2012 that it was restructuring the business in hopes of finding a buyer.  As part of the restructuring, the company let go 35 people and "the focus of our effort [now] is really around an acquisition," said Nancy Hartsoch, Senior VP of the company.

SolFocus produces concentrating photovoltaic cells and develops them into projects. In the past 24 months SolFocus has deployed over 15 megawatts of CPV systems in 13 countries globally. The company has achieved quarter-to-quarter growth over the past six quarters, said Hartsoch who has been with the company for six years. “From a traction standpoint, everything has been pretty strong, it’s just been challenging to get to that point of self-sustaining or profitability,” she said.

SolFocus is a privately held company that has grown through investments. Lead investors include New Enterprise Associates and NGEN Partners. The company has not received any significant funding from federal tax credits, grants or other taxpayer funds. To date total investment in the company has topped $200 million. Hartsoch said the company’s investors decided on Friday that the amount of money they were willing to put into the company had “dried up” and “we needed to find debt on the outside.”

The company has had projects banked by leading financial institutions, and will continue to support projects that have been deployed. “Any of our existing contracts, it’s basically business as usual,” said Hartsoch.

The CPV industry is expanding rapidly, according to a recent report from Lux Research, which is forecasting CPV segment growth of 31% through 2017, a rate that is 25 percent higher than the overall PV market.

But solar power is challenged by increasingly low prices right now with too much capacity on the market.  The drive to lower prices in order to gain marketshare, plus the oversupply has led to restructurings and bankruptcies of many manufacturers. “I can look at the charts and say ‘yes, we’re selling exactly where we needed to be selling, the only thing is the calendar’s moved in about 24 months.’”

Hartsoch believes that price wars like what is happening in the PV market are particularly challenging to new technology and she warns of the consequences for all renewable energy.  “To advance new technology when you’re building 10 to 100 megawatts and compete against people building gigawatts is always a challenge,” she said. “Plus when those gigawatts are being sold unprofitably then it’s a huge one [challenge],” she continued.

Hartsoch said that for the most part, the company is doing fine. “We don’t have product problems, we don’t have supply problems, everything we have out there is performing as predicted,” she said. “But the price at which we can sell it is not a point where the company can be profitable,” she explained.  But “it’s not that far off,” she added.

Hartsoch is troubled by the fact that many projects can still be constructed and deliver good investor returns even without PV prices being as low as they are. “We have a tremendous number of projects around the world, in our pipeline not executed projects, where the return is very healthy for the investors and that doesn’t require the price being at the bottom, “ she explained. “But if you get into oversupply and competition, it doesn’t mean you get to hold those prices.” 

Read more solar energy news here.

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

States Already Seek To Delay Clean Power Plan

Andrew Harris, Bloomberg Fifteen states led by coal-rich West Virginia asked a federal court to stall Obama administration rules intended to c...

Stolen Solar Panels and Sabotage A Challenge for Powering India With Renewable Energy

Anindya Upadhyay, Bloomberg Disappointment spread across Tarun Singh’s face when he saw that parts of his solar power microgrid in eastern India’...

Suntech Parent Company Buys Majority Share of US-based Suniva

Ehren Goossens Shunfeng International Clean Energy Ltd., the Hong Kong-based solar company controlled by billionaire Zheng Jianming,...

Sunrise in Pakistan as the Country Delves into Solar PV

Robert Harker Pakistan has joined the list of countries that are exploring solar power as a means to bridge critical energy generat...

PRESS RELEASES

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachian State University recently completed a proj...

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 Continues to (R)evolutionize at SPI

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) prepares to showcase its recently launched tracking syst...

Redesigned HydroWorld.com Video Gallery

Hydropower news and information, and interesting promotional announcements are now avai...

30 days to GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced that it is only 30 days to go to t...

FEATURED BLOGS

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

Activity supported with Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation funding BOONE—The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachia...

3 Reasons To Follow-Up

It’s very important to begin nurturing your relationship with a customer immediately after the project you sold...

Discounted Room Rates for Geothermal Event end Friday

Discounted room rates for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo end Friday Room rates for this prestigi...

Who are the Solar Early Adopters? - the “Tipping Point” is Looming

We all know why people go solar: investment purposes, immediate savings, environmental concerns, and grid independenc...

FINANCIAL NEWS

Jennifer Runyon is chief editor of RenewableEnergyWorld.com and Renewable Energy World magazine, coordinating, writing and/or editing columns, features, news stories and blogs for the publications. She also serves as conference chair of Renewable ...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Intersolar Europe 2016

Exhibition: June 22-24, 2016; Conference: June 21-22, 2016 Intersolar Eu...

Intersolar India 2015

Exhibition and Conference: November 18-20, 2015 Intersolar India 2015 I...

Intersolar North America 2016

Exhibition: July 12 - 14, 2016; Conference: July 11 - 13, 2016 Intersola...

COMPANY BLOGS

The Proof Is Not Always In The Pudding

One of the best ways to turn a skeptical prospect into a buyer is to giv...

Pushing Beyond The Cushion

Efficiency projects are all too often viewed as “optional” o...

Less Is More

When you’re giving a presentation, one of the easiest things to do...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS