Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Solyndra’s backlog passes US$2 billion as new sales agreement signed (GS)

From PV-tech:
Cylindrical, CIGS-based thin film PV specialist, Solyndra, Inc. has passed the US$2 billion in sales backlog with the signing of a new long-term sales agreement with German systems integrator Umwelt-Sonne-Energie GmbH, worth US$238 million through 2013. Unlike other thin film producers, Solyndra is specifically targeting only rooftop installations, due to its unique solar system technology that is claimed to generate more electricity on an annual basis, compared to other technologies from typical low-slope commercial rooftops. In October, 2008 Solyndra’s backlog stood at US$1.2 billion and has since secured over US$800 million in long-term contracts....
Some prior Solyndra posts:

January 16, 2009
First Solar Snags Rival Solyndra’s Top Scientist (FSLR)
Back in October* I was a bit surprised by the news that Goldman Sachs was downgrading the solar industry at the same time they were attempting to do a private placement for Solyndra.

The analyst focused on First Solar, which came as a bit of a shock as GS had been FSLR's investment banker and was a major shareholder (at one point three million shares at $317, a cool billion dollars [plus proceeds of the sale of another million shares on the run up]).
Goldman sold their FSLR position before the analyst downgrade....

October 8, 2008
Was Solyndra the Reason Goldman Sachs Threw First Solar Under the Bus? (FSLR; GS; SPWRA)
Goldman Sachs' downgrade of Sunpower and more particularly First Solar, with which Goldman was underwriter, major shareholder and best buds, got the investoblogs humming yesterday.
GS owned 4,300,000 shares of FSLR as recently as August, 2007. The Walmart heirs were original funders of FSLR (and the largest holders). One of the things brought up on the blogs is a passage from a Fortune article we linked to in July...

...Among the investors in Solyndra is Madrone Capital Partners, which manages money for the Waltons. Gregory Penner was recently elected to Walmart's board. Here's a snip from the company's press release:
Penner, 38, has been a General Partner at Madrone Capital Partners since 2005. He served as Wal-Mart’s senior vice president and chief financial officer in Japan from 2002 to 2005. Prior to working for Wal-Mart, Penner was a general partner at Peninsula Capital, an early-stage venture capital fund, and a financial analyst for Goldman, Sachs & Co. He is a member of the board of directors of Baidu.com, 99Bill Corporation, Cuill, Inc. and Global Hyatt Corporation. Penner is married to Carrie Walton Penner, daughter of Wal-Mart Chairman Rob Walton.
Goldman Sachs was recently raising money for Solyndra. From Greenlight, August 12:
...Under the deal, Goldman Sachs, the lead bank on the deal, is trying to sell $120 million of convertible securities to existing investors and $230 million to newcomers. The convertible securities could be converted to Solyndra shares in the event of an IPO....MORE
Solyndra's CIGS approach has some advantages over FSLR's CdTe. On the other hand it could just be the Walton's and Goldman doing the cheap stock thing all over again.
It will be interesting to see how much FSLR stock the two entities have sold. I'll be coming back to this. For sure.