One Sunny IPO

GT Solar plans an offering.

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GT Solar, a supplier of equipment used to make photovoltaic wafers and other components of solar power systems, is set to go public at an offering price of $16.50.

The offering could be worth $500 million at a time when the market for initial public offerings, solar or otherwise, remains in a deep slump. The only other solar IPO this year, installer Real Goods Solar, slumped from a debut price of $10 to around $6.

MarketWatch quotes Rob Lutts of Cabot Money Management:

"They were able to bring this to market very successfully because they have a huge backlog of $1.3 billion, and the customer base in very strong," Lutts said. "This is true of many companies in this space. There's more orders than product around. This company is in that same category."

GT's offering could be a tonic for holders of silicon-wafer maker MEMC, whose shares slumped more than 20 percent this morning after it missed second-quarter earnings forecasts and cut full-year earnings expectations.

Check out U.S. News 's green investing guide for a look at the volatile future for solar and a rundown of the companies reshaping the energy sector today.