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© andrei katyshev dreamstime.com Analysis | July 02, 2014

SolarCity Completes Supply Chain Strategy with Silevo Acquisition

SolarCity recently acquired Silevo, a maker of high-efficiency solar modules. SolarCity has also merged with Zep Solar to gain access to innovative module installment technology and will pair up with Paramount Solar and Common assets to expand energy storage and electric vehicles businesses, according to EnergyTrend, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based market intelligence firm TrendForce.
TrendForce research manager, Arthur Hsu, pointed out that in terms of rooftop and residential market development, SolarCity uses high-efficient modules to lower installation and maintenance operation costs. As module efficiency continues to improve, automated ratio will increase and raise production capacity and yields. At present, U.S. system installation costs are at about US$ 3/watt, which makes up about 20-25% of module costs. Therefore, for SolarCity such mergers excluding modules can decrease other costs and also enhance the system’s Return On Investments (ROI).

Another purpose of the merger is to maintain solar rooftop market competitiveness. Although, Silevo possesses the technology more time is needed before it is capable of mass produce this sector’s products.

In terms of polysilicon wafers, Chinese manufacturers prices have declined whereas other country makers prices are on the rise. This week’s polysilicon wafer prices dropped 0.1% to US$ 0.98/piece, whereas monocrystalline silicon wafer pricing fell 0.17% to US$ 1.194/piece. Solar cells were affected by uncertainties surrounding U.S. CVD and AD rulings against China, and Chinese manufacturers have since eased related order production. This has caused Taiwan manufacturers selling prices to go down, the price fell 0.82% this week to US$ 0.362/watt.

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