First Solar Lands This Huge Deal

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Solar Panel ReservoirFirst Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) has pushed as much as 8 percent higher in early-afternoon trading on October 16. The American solar module manufacturer has signed a memorandum of understanding with PT. Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Services to collaborate on and deliver 100 megawatts of utility-scale solar power plants in Indonesia.

“We are excited by the opportunity to collaborate with a world leader in solar energy for the development of utility-scale PV power plants in Indonesia. Solar PV electricity can help Indonesia meet its fast-growing power needs while reducing its dependence on fossil fuels,” said PJB Services president Bernadus Sudarmanta in a press release.

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“Indonesia has an increasingly urgent need for reliable, cost-effective energy resources. The agreement with PJB Services facilitates an ideal collaboration to provide Indonesia with the needed solution,” said First Solar Southeast Asia senior manager Won Park.

This collaboration is the most recent in a string that have added up to a pretty good couple of months for First Solar. Shares touched 52-week lows at the beginning of June, but have about doubled in value since then. Solar projects in New Mexico and India seem to have stabilized the company’s previously tenuous financial position. Shares have come up over 60 percent in the last three months.

Solar PanelsA glut of manufacturing capacity, primarily coming out of China, spelled trouble for American solar companies. Well-publicized companies like Solyndra have blamed China for flooding the market, driving other manufacturers out of business and harming the industry as a whole. SolarWorld, a German company with an arm in America, has successfully pushed for the U.S. Commerce Department to issue strong anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese solar imports. These tariffs play to the favor of First Solar and other American manufacturers like SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR).

Meanwhile, Chinese solar manufacturers are down on the news of tariffs and strengthening U.S. solar companies. Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE:STP) — targeted by a lawsuit from Solyndra — has dropped more than 15 percent in the last five trading days. The company faces a global market with too much supply and not enough demand, while at home, the Chinese government is trying to consolidate the industry.

LDK Solar (NYSE:LDK) claims that it will be able to repay 400 million yuan ($63.85 million) in short-term paper on time. If it had defaulted, it would become the first Chinese domestic bond to default. Shares of LDK Solar have also fallen over 15 percent in the last five trading days, dropping into penny-stock territory.

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