NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Solar companies suffered through a tough 2009, but finished the year strong -- and many solar players seem poised for better performance in 2010. But while wind as an alternative technology may receive less of solar's momentum-trading frenzy, some major wind-turbine deals were announced toward the end of 2009. The biggest recent news came courtesy of General Electric ( GE). Although GE might be under strain as a financial company, its wind-turbine affiliate had a watershed win last Thursday, pocketing a $1.4 billion contract to supply turbines for a wind farm in Oregon. That's a big deal even for a big company like GE. Likewise, A-Power Energy Generation Systems ( APWR) also recently netted a definitive agreement for a large wind-farm contract in Texas -- though it still needs many of the approvals that GE already lined up in Oregon. Still
, A-Power shares have attracted the market's attention ever since the deal was reached. Solar, on the other hand, has demonstrated its usual astronomical one-day pops and day-later plummets of late, some centered at the smaller end of the market, and in more specialized niches. Akeena Solar recently shot up 56% in one day after announcing it would be the first solar panel maker to have a do-it-yourself kit available at Lowe's ( LOW). Then there's LDK Solar ( LDK), which tanked on Thursday and Friday of last week after its poor balance sheet and need to pay off debt let to a secondary equity offering that the market responded to by dumping LDK shares. Then there's the biofuel arena, which is anyone's guess -- though the U.S. Department of Energy did just launch a huge funding program for the development of biofuels, in a move the government considers the most important step it has taken to developing a commercial biofuels market.