MEMC proposes name change; unveils financing division and 2013 outlook

MEMC has today announced its intention to change the company name to SunEdison, Inc. Subject to shareholder approval, the new name will come into effect this May 30. The change is not said to precede a change in business strategy, but rather it "better reflect[s] the synergistic nature of the two businesses and help create and maintain one powerful, global brand name."

In related news, MEMC has unveiled a new SunEdsion division, SunEdison Capital. Carlos Domenech, former president of SunEdison, and executive VP of MEMC, has been appointed president.

The aim is to develop and expand SunEdison’s existing 2.6 GW solar project pipeline by aggregating capital for development, construction and financing. Activities will include developing both internal and external capital funds and facilities.

Already, SunEdison has reportedly invested in and helped to establish EverStream Energy Capital Management, "an independent private equity company focused on raising capital and investing in energy transactions." In addition to his role as president, Domenech will also act as managing partner of EverStream.

"One of the key drivers of growth and competitiveness in the solar industry will be the aggregation of significant amounts of capital to finance and acquire solar projects," explained Ahmad Chatila, president and CEO of MEMC. "Access to this capital, at low cost, will be a key differentiator of solar competitiveness and the drive to solar grid parity."

2013 outlook

Looking at its 2013 solar business expectations, MEMC forecasts solar energy system sales of 10 to 38 MW in Q1 2013, and 420 to 490 MW for the FY, up from 383 MW in 2012. In terms of solar energy systems retained on the balance sheet, it expects to see 0 to 2 MW in Q1 2013, and 50 to 100 MW for the FY, up from 47 MW in 2012.

Meanwhile, the average price of solar energy systems is predicted to fall from US$3.79 in 2012, to between $3.10 and $3.40 in 2013. In Q1, they are expected to be between $3.50 and $3.60. Prices will be "highly dependent" on project type and geographic mix, however.