MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., a maker of silicon wafers and developer of solar power plants, rose 15 percent after more than doubling its project pipeline.

MEMC jumped $1.79, or 15 percent, to $13.42 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. That’s the biggest gain since Nov. 24, 2008, and the highest closing price in more than three months.

The St. Peters, Missouri company said its SunEdison unit, which develops solar power plants for utilities and industrial customers, has agreements in place to install more than 1,400 megawatts of solar panels, according to a statement released after the close of trading yesterday. A year ago its pipeline held less than 700 megawatts of projects.

SunEdison, which MEMC bought for $200 million in November 2009, said it installed about 167 megawatts last year as it began to expand into Italy, India and Korea.

“We view this as very important for the stock given negative sentiment around the acquisition,” John Hardy, an analyst at Gleacher & Co. in New York, said today in a note to clients. He has a “buy” rating on the shares and owns none.

source: bloomberg