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MEMC Electronic Materials

MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR) designs silicon wafers.

MEMC claims to be the second largest producer of polysilicon in the US after Hemlock, a jv of Dow Chemical and Corning Glass Works via Dow-Corning. MEMC is a licensee of the Westinghouse Siemens process. The company originated as a division of Monsanto.

However, MEMC is not usually listed as a major supplier of polysilicon. Hence, they appear to specialize in the final processing of silicon wafers rather than conversion of metallurgical grade silicon to polysilicon.

A bit more about MEMCs processing technology was revealed in the obituary of Bob Walsh, the "Father of Polishing." [[1]] His process for smoothing the rough surface of wafer slices used a combination of chemical etching and mechanical polishing.

MEMC owns SunEdison that contracts to build solar farms. In 2013, MEMC announced that Foxconn will assemble its solar panels in Juarez, Mexico. This is the same Foxconn that assembles electronics products like iPhone in China.

SunEdison is reported to have 989 mw of solar farms installed, and 2.6 gw under development.

In 2013, MEMC changed its name to Sun Edison, ticker SUNE.

Sun Edison continues to remake itself as a solar power company. In 2014, a minority stake in its chip wafer unit was IPOed as SunEdison Semiconductor (NASD ticker SEMI). Also TerraForm Power Co. was IPOed as a yieldco for Sun Edison solar farms, traded on the Nasdaq under ticker TERP.

In 2015, Sun Edison announced the purchase of Vivint Solar Inc. The company, based in Lehi, Utah, went public last October. Vivint is the second-biggest installer of rooftop solar panels behind Elon Musk-backed Solar City Corp, with operations in seven states including California and New York. Sun Edison's TerraForm Power Inc. will buy Vivint's rooftop solar portfolio of 523 megawatts (MW), expected to be installed by year-end 2015.

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