SunPower targets solar panel production at China

SunPower, a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of solar cells, has agreed to form a joint venture with partners Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor (TZS), Inner Mongolia Power Group (IMP) and Hohhot Jinqiao City Development Company (HJCD) in China.

The joint venture, based in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, PRC, will manufacture and deploy SunPower’s high efficiency, C7 concentrator solar systems in Inner Mongolia and other regions in China.

The SunPower C7 Tracker combines single-axis tracking technology with rows of parabolic mirrors, reflecting light onto 22.8 percent efficiency SunPower Maxeon cells. Mirrors are used to reduce the number of solar cells required to generate electricity.

“We believe that we can deploy significant volumes of C7 power plants to help serve China’s growing need for clean power. We also expect that this venture will facilitate the development of a low cost, high volume C7 supply chain and accelerate our C7 cost reduction roadmap,” said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, SunPower will invest $15m, of the total capitalization of the joint venture of $60m, for a 25% ownership stake. The joint venture is subject to the approval of the PRC government with initial C7 deployment expected to begin by the end of 2013.

According to Huadong You, chairman of TZ Group: “The partnership sets a role model for the industry and also embraces challenges for a sustainable future.”

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