Kior, Solar, and Storage

Kior, one of the farthest along cellulosic biofuels producers shipped its first drop in cellulosic biofuels from its pilot plant, but was way below its prior production targets.  And Biofuels Digest reports it is now considering a smaller scale expansion of its pilot before launching its long announced commercial plant in Natchez.  This sounds like more slide to the right and technical issues than the company would like to admit, especially given the sliding cash balances.

Rising RIN prices from the increases in the Renewable Fuels Standard can bail out a lot of cellulosic ills, but only if on can physically produce.


First Solar announced weaker revenues and earnings in 2Q vs both prior quarter and year, amid projects sliding to the right and revenue recognition changes.  Analysts have been voicing concern over whether the project pipeline is adequate to deliver growth, as competitors have caught up with First Solar’s vertical integration strategy.  Underneath that the production cost per watt continues to fall.

Canadian Solar announces strong growth, and continues to take market share and reaffirmed it’s prior estimates of c. 10% $/Wp unit cost reductions in 2013.

But overall, the story in solar in the US continues to be about increasingly project development and new financing vehicles.



FERC Order 784 saw it’s final rule in July, potentially a boon for batteries and other fast responding grid energy storage technologies.

“The final rule on this subject came out in late July as Order No. 784. It permits third parties to supply various ancillary services at negotiated rates to transmission utilities, without the third party having to prove it lacks market power for such services, if the third party passes existing market power screens for sales of energy and capacity, the rates are established in a competitive solicitation or they do not exceed the published
rates in the utility’s “OATT” or open-access transmission tariff for the services.”

“Order No. 784 also requires each transmission utility to add to its OATT schedule 3 a statement that it will take into account the speed and accuracy of regulation resources in its determination of reserve requirements for regulation and frequency response service, including as it reviews whether a self-supplying customer has made “alternative comparable arrangements” as required by the schedule” – Chadbourne & Park LLP.  Greentech Media had a great summary.





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