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Author: DCWD40 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 2529  
Subject: Re: Buy SunPower Date: 1/11/2011 4:51 PM
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Last month, SunPower proclaimed that concentrated photovoltaic solar, which tracks the sun's path to harness the most sun energy in its products, could be a "game-changer" next year.

I agree that this is the technology that could change how this industry works. First Solar talks about low cost production. But, when you can track the sun, high efficiency becomes a much bigger factor in making a buying decision.

The other choice you considered, First Solar, has just made a purchase to enter the sun-tracking market. Last Friday they announced the purchase of RayTracker:

RayTracker, Inc. was founded to meet the need for robust, reliable, and cost-effective solar trackers, as well as for software and hardware to enable the lowest cost design, installation and operation of solar PV plants.

http://investor.firstsolar.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=201491&p=...

Here are some technical details on RayTracker's product:

http://investor.firstsolar.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=201491&p=...

The First Solar buy probably says they couldn't get this technology right in their labs. They saw RayTracker in the field and realized it was easier to buy the company, and have a competitive product today, than to keep spending money in-house.

FSLR has had an efficiency advantage in low light and sunrise/sunset situations. With SPWR being able to track the sun, its cell efficiency is maximized for these less than optimal situations. SPWR may now have the lowest cost of ownership. We shall see if that is true in the coming months as these products go head-to-head in the marketplace.

Alyce, I like your pick and think your risk assessment (government funding) is correct too.

Just one old guy's opinion...

W.D.
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