After a horror month of plummeting share prices and deep job cuts, UB-based global solar giant SunEdison has chosen this week to launch onto the Australian market, with an exclusive offer of a low-cost, high efficiency polycrystalline solar panel.
SunEdison, whose stock has tumbled from a 52-week high of $33.45 down to $11.50 over the last few months, says it expects the 265W panel to play a significant role in Australia’s solar revolution.
The SE-P265NPB has a model efficiency of 16.2 per cent and, according to SunEdison, offers a better return on investment for Australian consumers based on the higher volume of watts per module.
It is also considered to be a “greener” panel, in terms of embodied energy, due to the fact that its cells are fired in furnaces at triple the density of other systems.
“This module boasts all the hallmarks of quality Australian installers have come to expect; including a very low temperature coefficient, 35mm silver frame and MC4 connectors,” said SunEdison Australia managing director, Jeremy Rich.
“For end-users, they’ll have the peace of mind of not only having a robust panel that will help maximise the potential of their valuable rooftop or ground—mount real estate but also the solid backing of the world’s leading renewable energy developer,” he said.
It’s an interesting move by the solar giant, at an interesting time. As already noted, SunEdison’s market capitalisation has fallen from $9 billion in July, to $2.6 billion today.
And the stock price of its YieldCo, TerraForm Power, has also fallen from $42.15 to $21.61 over the summer.
As Greentech Media reported in a story published on RE yesterday, a company-wide memo released on September 30 has since revealed that SunEdison plans to lay off around 10 per cent of its 7,300 employees – some at very short notice.
When asked about the job cuts, the company gave this response:
“We are proposing to take several actions around the world to optimize our business, align with current and expected market opportunities and position ourselves for long-term growth.
“In October we plan to provide investors with a more comprehensive view of our business structure and go-forward strategic growth plan in a conference call,” wrote spokesman Gordon Handelsman in an email.
And in the September memo, SunEdison CEO Ahmad Chatilia said it was time to take the next step in optimizing the business.
“Over the next six months, we are going to optimize our platform to take advantage of efficiencies, enhance cost savings, increase gross margins, and target investment areas with the greatest opportunity,” he wrote in the memo.