03/04/2009 11:23 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Can Oakland Startup Veranda Become the Apple of Solar?

With the $400 million purchase of OptiSolar's project portfolio, First Solar has, in effect, declared war on two other large solar energy companies who also are satisfied at being merely solar panel makers. [1] Can you hear the battle cry, SunPower and Suntech Power? First Solar already has staked a claim as the company that can make solar panels cheaper than anyone else. [1] The company, based in Tempe, Ariz., has become a Wall Street darling in recent years by delivering impressive financial returns. [1] First Solar announced Monday that it's snatching up 1.85 gigawatts worth of power projects under development - and enough land to build another 19 gigawatts in an all-stock offer to Hayward, Calif.-based OptiSolar. [1] A new, 30 percent federal tax credit, in place starting this year, also has enticed utilities to own and operate their own solar power plants. [1] Veranda Solar, a Portland, Ore.-based startup developing small, easy-to-install solar-power systems, says it wants to become the Apple of consumer solar products. [2] How so? Instead of focusing on a new solar chemistry or production technology, the company hopes to differentiate itself with its aesthetics, appeal and ease of use, CEO Capra J'neva says. [2]
  1. Armed for Battle: First Solar vs. SunPower vs. Suntech (Greentechmedia)
  2. Can Oakland Startup Veranda Become the Apple of Solar? (earth2tech)