SPI Solar, Inc. (SOPW) Contracted for Solar Project at Volkswagen Test Center

Jan. 19, 2012 10:25 AM ETSPI
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Photovoltaic solar developer SPI Solar said early this morning that it has been contracted by BLT Enterprises to design and build a 400 kW DC distributed generation photovoltaic (PV) solar energy facility to help power operations at Volkswagen’s U.S. Test Center California. The new test center encompasses a Technical Center and an Emissions Laboratory located in Oxnard, CA. The project was jointly developed by Pacific Edison, LLC and SPI. SPI is designing the solar energy facility to be a mix of rooftop and carport structures to host the onsite solar array. Construction is expected to begin this quarter.

The 63,500 square-foot test center, slated to be one of the most advanced emissions testing and power train development facilities in the industry, is currently under construction by a BLT affiliate. Brands under the Volkswagen umbrella, including Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti, will use the new facility.

“As traditionally sourced energy costs rise, it is becoming increasingly more important to offset them with thoughtful and sustainable energy platforms that can be deployed onsite and reduce long-term operation costs,” said Rob Solomon, Chief Development and Legal Officer for BLT Enterprises.

This isn’t the first major project for SPI and BLT. At this time last year, the company completed a 398 kW system at BLT’s state-of-the-art waste recovery operation facility in Fremont, California.

Financing received a big helping hand from SOPW’s largest shareholder, NYSE-listed LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE:LDK).

SPI has been on a roll with securing new deals. Another new project was disclosed just two days ago for a 2-megawatt solar power plant in the north eastern region of Greece, the second project in that area for SPI in less than a year. Electricity generated from this project will be purchased by the Greek Public Power Corp. through a 20-year power purchase agreement. The company intends to sell the project during construction or shortly thereafter.

SPI has also been awarded a contract by Seashore Solar Development, LLC to design, engineer and construct an 11.3 megawatt fixed ground mount solar energy facility which will provide the southern New Jersey power grid with solar generated electricity.

The large contracts have been reflected in the SOPW share price. Since hitting lows of around 20 cents in mid-December 2011, the cost of a share of the company has spiked to as high as 70 cents earlier this month. Price per share has retraced from those highs and closed yesterday at 58 cents.

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