This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

How Thin Film Plans to Beat Chinese Solar

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The thin film solar market has been in the headlines of late with the departure of key First Solar (FSLR - Get Report) executive Bruce Sohn and the speculation [wholly unsubstantiated, and Sohn has a two-year no-compete agreement] that Sohn might join a First Solar competitor weighing on First Solar shares.

The big General Electric( GE - Get Report )push in the cadmium telluride market where First Solar is the dominant force also sparked debate about the future competition in the solar space.

The CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide) thin film market has suffered its share of growing pains. Solyndra has descended from being a "sure bet" IPO to being a "money sink" that has had to scale back its ambitions -- pulling its IPO, shutting down a plant and laying off workers -- and has become fodder for politicians who see a too cozy relationship between the Obama administration and some green energy venture capitalists. A few years ago, firms like Solyndra and Google (GOOG)-backed Nanosolar were talking big about beating the pants off of First Solar. It hasn't happened yet.

However, all the focus on taking down First Solar by the thin film upstarts misses the mark, according to MiaSolé CEO Joseph Laia. The MiaSolé CEO also says the growing pains in the thin film market are now in the past, at least for MiaSolé, and the company is about to transition out of the "science" phase and to a commercially scaled thin film core manufacturing process that challenges the largest solar module companies, including the dominant Chinese module makers Yingli Green Energy (YGE), Trina Solar (TSL - Get Report) and Suntech Power (STP).
TheStreet in iPad

To that end, MiaSolé announced this week a deal with Intel through which Intel (INTC - Get Report) will provide customized manufacturing services and systems, strategic consulting, operational knowledge and training to MiaSolé as the company ramps its manufacturing facilities in 2011 and 2012. The company plans to reach 150 megawatts of production by year-end.

It's also worth noting that Nanosolar announced on Thursday that it had signed contracts to supply up to 1 gigawatt of its thin-film photovoltaic panels to European solar power plant builders over the next three to six years, though solar company health is typically measured over a much shorter time line for shipments.

In a wide-ranging discussion with TheStreet, the MiaSolé CEO talked about the pitfalls of taking on First Solar, the future of the thin film market, and why the company is positioned to challenge the Chinese solar companies.

Here is the state of the thin film solar market from the perspective of the MiaSolé corner office.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
STP $0.53 0.00%
FSLR $56.10 0.00%
GE $30.36 0.00%
INTC $34.46 0.00%
TSL $9.70 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,090.11 +1.24 0.06%
NASDAQ 5,127.5250 +11.3820 0.22%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs