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IPO

Short First Solar FSLR?

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Barrons has an article on solar plays, specifically it mentioned First Solar recent China project may not hold water. Interesting observation. I don’t know all the facts, but being curious, I listed some stuff here.

Reuters:
First Solar, Inc. To Team With Ordos City On Solar Power Plant In China Desert
Tuesday, 8 Sep 2009 12:23pm EDT
First Solar, Inc. announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Chinese government to build a 2 gigawatt solar power plant in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia, China. Pursuant to the MOU, signed in the presence of Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, the solar project in Ordos will be built over a multi-year period. Phase 1 will be a 30 megawatt demonstration project that will begin construction by June 1, 2010 and be completed as soon thereafter as practicable. Phases 2, 3 and 4 will be 100 megawatts, 870 megawatts, and 1,000 megawatts. Phases 2 and 3 will be completed in 2014 and Phase 4 will be completed by 2019. The project will operate under a feed-in-tariff which will guarantee the pricing of electricity produced by the power plant over a long-term period.

My comment: 30 megawatt for phase I.

baidu: first solar 内蒙古 (inner mongolia, where the plant will be built)
Here is a Chinese article from the results

google: first solar wu (Mr. Wu is the head of Chinese legislature branch, just like Speaker Pelosi in the US, if you will)
http://www.firstsolar.com/media

google: first solar inner mongolia
http://investor.firstsolar.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=201491&p=irol-newsArticle_pf&id=1328913
Signed in the presence of Mr. Wu, quote:
“We are very pleased to be partnering with one of the solar industry’s global technology leaders in a project of such significance to Ordos’s low carbon future,” said Cao Zhichen, vice mayor of Ordos Municipal Government. “Discussions with First Solar about building a factory in China demonstrate to investors in China that they can confidently invest in the most advanced technologies available.”

My comment: vice mayor???

Risk
The main risk is the governments around the world will continue to meddle the carbon emission (carbon cap), green technology (subsidy for solar and wind), picking winners and losers. German government is the largest solar sponsor. Brother Obama has to listen to his left/green agenda supporters. In China the support from government is more difficult to gauge (things not as transparent as the US).

WSJ also has a blog post on similar topic, posted by a fund manager (read and exercise your own discretion).

Reference: Wikipedia entry for First Solar.

Disclosure: no FSLR and any other solar positions. Most likely I will watch the fun on the sideline (unlike what I did with Shanda Games IPO).

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