Bloomberg News

Lightway Trading Panels for Equity in U.S. Solar Projects

October 26, 2012

Lightway Green New Energy Co., a Chinese solar manufacturer, agreed to provide 62.8 megawatts of panels for U.S. power projects to ease an oversupply.

Lightway will deliver 11.9 megawatts in exchange for equity stakes in power projects and commitments to purchase another 50.9 megawatts of photovoltaic panels through next year, the company’s Lightway Solar America unit said today in a statement.

Accepting equity for panels instead of cash lets the company deliver its product now, William Sien, president of Lightway Solar America, said today in an interview. Customers will develop revenue-generating assets to help fund the subsequent purchases. Panel manufacturers are contending with a global glut and slowing demand that’s driven down prices 18 percent this year.

The arrangement increases access to project finance, one of the solar industry’s “main bottlenecks,” Sien said. He wouldn’t name the customers.

The company will supply panels to 11 projects in New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Arizona and California under these deals. Construction on 21 megawatts of solar systems will begin this year, ranging in size from 250 kilowatts to 4.8 megawatts, and 42 megawatts of capacity will be built next year, according to the statement.

The company began selling in the U.S. two years ago. It has 660 megawatts of annual production capacity for polysilicon ingots, wafers, solar cells and panels at its headquarters in Gaobeidian, China, and plans to expand to 1,500 megawatts by 2014.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ehren Goossens in New York at egoossens1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net


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