SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) shares and other solar stocks rose today as Wall Street embraced a variety of news within the industry. Shares of SolarCity climbed as much as 6% today, while Trina Solar Limited (ADR) (NYSE:TSL) rose as much as 3%. First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) rose nearly 6%, while SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) rose as much as 4%. Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:YGE) also rose by about 6%.
SolarCity, First Solar see unusual options activity
According to FX News Call, both SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) and First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) saw some interesting options activity on Friday. The site reported that investors bought nearly 16,000 put options on SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) on Friday. That represents about a 100% increase in the average daily volume.
Investors also reportedly bought nearly 12,000 put options on First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) on Friday, which is a 118% increase compared to the usual daily put option volume of 5,488.
Trina Solar, SunPower make announcements
Trina Solar Limited (ADR) (NYSE:TSL) also announced that it had acquired a 51% stake in Hubei Hongyuan, a solar cell maker, from Shenzhen S.C., a solar equipment vendor. The company did not disclose the value of that deal.
Meanwhile SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) reported that it had a three-year agreement to offer its high efficiency solar power systems in communities owned by Meritage Homes all over the U.S.
What’s driving solar stocks?
Aside from these news bits, there are other developments within the solar industry which may be getting investors excited about companies like SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) and First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR). Last week, the Ivanpah solar facility, which is the largest solar project of its kind, had its grand opening. Also Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has again reminded investors that it will continue to invest in sustainable energy projects like Ivanpah.
In addition, SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) revealed some major cost cutting successes, indicating that it slashed manufacturing costs by 20% over the course of last year. Those cost cuts were especially beneficial for the company because its margins go from slightly in the negative up to almost 20%.
Clean Technica suggests that the cost of producing solar panels will continue to fall, thus benefiting the entire solar industry. The site reported today that manufacturing costs for solar panels have fallen by about 70% to 80% since 2007. It notes that companies are producing modules which are more powerful and use less silicon and metal.