Bright future for PV collaboration

By Wan Xu and Ken Wills (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-05-12 11:13
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BEIJING - First Solar Inc and China Power International New Energy Holding Ltd (CPINE), a wholly owned subsidiary of China Power New Energy Development Co Ltd (CPNE), have agreed to collaborate on solar photovoltaic projects in China, the United States and other international markets, the companies said in a statement on Tuesday.

First Solar and CPINE will initially explore collaboration on solar photovoltaic projects in China. They will also identify investment opportunities for CPINE in the United States and other markets, the companies said.

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"This cooperation leverages our advantages in the domestic solar-power industry, and helps First Solar further expand its business presence in China. In addition, we are happy to explore other cooperation opportunities in different areas and through different methods with First Solar, working together to further expand in the global market," Li Xiaolin, chairwoman of China Power International, CPNE and CPINE, said in the statement.

CPINE is a subsidy of China Power International Holding Ltd, the main listed arm of China Power Investment Corp, one of the country's five major State-owned power producers.

"This agreement can serve as a model for US-China collaboration on renewable energy," said TK Kallenbach, president of First Solar's Components Business Group.

First Solar and CPINE are still in discussions to finalize solar projects for cooperation in China and overseas, with no timeline set as yet, according to First Solar's China representative, Kevin Berkemeyer, at a news briefing in Beijing.

First Solar is currently developing another giant solar project with China Guangdong Nuclear Solar Energy Co in Ordos in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region. It plans to install 30 megawatts of solar-power generation capacity in the first phase, and will eventually expand to 2 gigawatts capacity by 2020.

The partnership with CPINE is First Solar's next step in diversifying relationships within China and providing a broader set of opportunities, Kallenbach said.