Business / Technology

Apple to invest in 3 solar power plants in China

By Yang Ziman (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-20 07:52

Apple to invest in 3 solar power plants in China

A worker climbs outside an Apple store in Hong Kong, April 10, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

Apple Inc is investing in three upcoming photovoltaic power stations in Inner Mongolia autonomous region, official sources said on Thursday.

The United States tech giant will team up with a Chinese semiconductor company and another US photovoltaic company for the project, according to an announcement from the Tianjin-based Zhonghuan Semiconductor Corp, which is participating in the investment.

The three photovoltaic power stations in Wuchuan, Sunit and Saihan in Inner Mongolia will have capacity of 100 megawatts, 50 megawatts and 20 megawatts respectively, and are being set up with registered capital of 403 million yuan ($63 million), 181 million yuan and 75.3 million yuan.

Apple will account for 34.2 percent of the total investment in Wuchuan and for 40 percent in Sunit and Saihan. Zhonghuan Semiconductor is the major shareholder in all the three power stations.

This is not the first time that Apple has invested in the Chinese photovoltaic industry. Along with US solar manufacturer SunPower it has invested in two photovoltaic power stations with a total capacity of 40 mW in Sichuan province.

The National Energy Bureau has set a 23.1 million kilowatt output target for the photovoltaic industry by the end of this year.

The installed capacity of the photovoltaic industry in China by the end of the 13th Five Year Plan in 2020 is expected to be around 150 million kilowatts.

"The huge growth potential in the Chinese photovoltaic industry has prompted Apple to invest in the sector. The current projects are only the beginning of the company's endeavor in tapping the market," said Zhao Wenyu, head of the photovoltaic department at the China Renewable Energy Industry Association.

Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice-president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said that Apple's investment in China's photovoltaic industry is far smaller than what it has invested in the same industry in the United States. Apple's current engagement with China's clean energy industry has just started, she said.

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