S.A.G. Solarstrom posts small Q3 profit

As the German photovoltaic market boomed in the middle part of 2012, the balance sheets of some German project developers have seen a small uptick. S.A.G. Solarstrom appears to be one such player, today reporting solid sales for Q3 and an EBIT profit.

S.A.G. Solarstrom has announced cumulative sales in 2012 of €108.7 million, with an EBIT profit of €0.3 million. A release announcing the result has indicated that the company expects to realize an installation volume of over 100 MW for the year and to post a positive operating result.

The middle part of 2012 has seen a major boost in installed capacity in the key photovoltaic market of Germany, which presumably has influenced the positive result for S.A.G. Solarstrom. Almost one gigawatt of installed capacity was added in Germany in September, and 1.85 between July and September.

This burst of activity is in advance of changes to Germany’s EEG, the legislation underpinning its FITs. Most importantly for the large photovoltaic developers, under these changes, solar installations bigger than 10 MW will no longer qualify for FITs.

Goetz Fischbeck, the founder and CEO of Smart Solar Consulting told pv magazine that while this result was strong for German project developers and installers, it is an anomaly brought about by the EEG changes, and not an indication of what to expect in future months. "September was the last chance for all the solar companies to get systems larger than 10 MW into the EEG system," said Fischbeck. "And indeed due to that cut off date, this month’s figure is not representative of what we should expect to see in the months going forward."

In reporting its quarterly result, S.A.G. Solarstrom chose to highlight the continuing internationalization of its business. "The recently announced projects without state guaranteed feed-in tariffs in Badajoz, Spain, with 440 MWp and the pilot project in Paiguano, Chile, with 2 MWp indicate that we are continuing to implement our internationalization strategy," said Karl Kuhlmann, the company’s CEO.

In a sign of the challenge presenting integrators and project developers, S.A.G. Solarstrom achieved similar sales volumes as in 2011, however sales prices are considerably lower than in 2011. The company reports that while in 2011 €3,000/kWp was the price for turnkey systems in 2011 this has been halved in 2012.