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Solar Is The Future

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted February 25, 2015

As predicted by my colleague, Briton Ryle, on Monday, the stock prices of First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) and SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) soared on the strength of their yield co collaboration.

In a single move during after-hours trading, SPWR rose from $27.80 to $32.42. The price is currently $32.86, an 18% increase.

Not to be outdone, FSLR jumped from $49.64 to $56.67 in the same time frame. Since then the stock has gone as high as $59.10 and is currently sitting at $58.60, a total gain of 18% as well.

With Their Powers Combined

As the two leading solar project developers in the United States, any sort of partnership between both companies, even a temporary one, would result in a powerhouse. Their yield co was created from assets currently included in separate portfolios of each company.

Both companies released earnings reports on Tuesday. SunPower said that it expects to install another 215 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) generation in 2015 as part of the 4,000 MW that it already anticipates to build in the future.

First Solar, which installed 10,000 MW of capacity just last month, plans to build 2,600 MW of solar PV generation down the road.

Expect that SPWR/FSLR’s yield co will at least match TerraForm Power, Inc. (NASDAQ: TERP)’s 3,300 MW of generation. TerraForm was created last year by SunEdison, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNE) which recently added 521 MW of wind and solar generation.

Solar Goes Mainstream

Earlier this month, Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) agreed to purchase $850 million worth of solar PV generation over the next two and a half decades.

With big players like AAPL and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) buying up solar like it’s on sale, the way that corporations go green is turning a corner.

AAPL’s deal includes 130 MW, enough to power about 60,000 homes, and is by far the largest commercial arrangement of its kind. By buying that much solar generation, Apple isn’t only investing in solar, it’s investing in itself.

Apple is a high-profile, highly successful company and people pay attention to what it does. Solar will rise just on the strength of companies following Apple’s example. It’s at the point where it plays a huge role in turning the tide of industry trends, not that it needs to with solar.

As the American solar industry becomes more and more mainstream, expect not only solar companies’ PV generation numbers to climb but their stock prices as well. And this is as close to the ground floor as you’re going to get.