Japanese Plant To Make Akeena Solar Panels

Akeena Solar says Japanese electronics and solar-panel manufacturer Kyocera will start manufacturing its Andalay solar panels this year.

LOS GATOS, Calif. (AP) —Akeena Solar Inc. said Thursday that Kyocera Corp., a Japanese electronics and solar-panel manufacturer, will start manufacturing its Andalay solar panels this year.

Under an agreement, Kyocera will make panels with 1.6 megawatts worth of annual generating capacity for Akeena during the year. Akeena named Kyocera as its ''preferred supplier'' for commercial business.

Akeena, which installs and develops solar-power products, did not release financial terms of the agreement. Its Andalay panels, launched last year, have built-in racking, wiring and grounding parts. They are sleek, black and attach to a roof with ''minimum penetration,'' Akeena said.

Akeena and Kyocera have worked together since 2001. Kyocera aims to expand its manufacturing capabilities to produce more solar systems. It plans to be able to produce systems with 500 megawatts worth of annual generating capacity by 2011.

A one-megawatt plant running continuously at full capacity can power 778 households each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Solar technology has lower capacity since its power generation is constrained by availability of the sun.

Separately, Akeena reported a wider loss for its fourth quarter than a year ago, missing Wall Street forecasts.

Akeena shares fell 56 cents, or 8.4 percent, to close at $6.15 Thursday.

U.S.-traded shares of Kyocera rose 39 cents, to $84.53.
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