Applied Materials Acquires Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates
Applied Materials Inc. and Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Inc. have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Applied will acquire Varian for $63 per share in cash for a total price of approximately $4.9 billion on a fully diluted basis.Varian is a supplier of ion implantation equipment for PV manufacturing and other markets. Following the close of the transaction, Varian will operate as a business unit of Applied's silicon systems group and continue to be based in Gloucester, Mass., according to Applied.
According to the companies, the acquisition will extend Applied's leadership in wafer fabrication equipment with the addition of the technology leader in ion implantation - a critical step in integrated circuit manufacturing. In addition, Varian's technology has strong potential to extend into adjacent markets, including solar PV.The merger received unanimous approval by the boards of directors of both companies. The closing of the acquisition is subject to customary conditions, including approval by Varian's shareholders and review by U.S. and international regulators.
Daqo New Energy Corp., a polysilicon manufacturer based in China, and JNE Consulting Ltd. have entered into a module production agreement between Daqo New Energy's wholly owned subsidiary Daqo New Energy Holdings (Canada) Ltd. and JNE affiliate JNE Solar Inc.Under the agreement, the companies will build and operate a solar module production facility in Hamilton, Ontario. In Phase I of the project, the joint venture company intends to build a production facility with a capacity of 25 MW of photovoltaic modules.Commercial production is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of this year. Total investment for Phase I will be about C$5 million and will be initially contributed 85/15 by Daqo and JNE, respectively.
TerraSmart, a Fort Myers, Fla.-headquartered designer and manufacturer of solar photovoltaic racking and foundation products, has launched a certified installer network program.According to TerraSmart, many solar integrators spend time learning in the field while their margins begin to shrink. The company developed its strategic installer network to service solar integrators nationwide.TerraSmart's certified network handles everything from the foundation to securing the panels to the rails. On average, certified installers are about three times quicker than an average solar integrator on ground-mount installations because they have installed over 80 MW of ground screws and racking, the company says.
DECK Monitoring has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to support NREL's PV Data Acquisition (PVDAQ) project, which aims to develop and communicate a broad picture of photovoltaic field performance across the U.S.Data contributed to the PVDAQ project will be analyzed for many performance factors, the results of which are provided to the public through NREL's online database. The PV performance data that DECK Monitoring already collects from sites across the country can now be transferred to NREL for this work, at the customer's discretion.DECK Monitoring says it is the first provider to offer this service, which is available at no additional charge. Operators of any photovoltaic project, including those funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, are encouraged to provide this data to NREL.
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