Sat, Nov 11, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Companies sign MOU to explore solar cell options

SOLID GROWTH The global shipments of solar photovoltaic cells and modules have been growing at an average annual rate of more than 35 percent for the past few years

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

Delta Electronics Inc (台達電子), its subsidiary DelSolar Co (旺能光電) and Geneva-based STMicroelec-tronics NV have signed a Mem-orandum of Understanding (MOU) in the field of photovoltaic power generation, Delta said in a filing to the stock exchange yesterday.

Under the terms of the MOU signed in Paris on Thursday, the three companies would explore ways to form a strategic partnership to increase solar cell production and develop photovoltaic inverters and power supply applications, the statement said.

Taipei-based Delta, the world's largest provider of switching power supplies, intends to become a major player in the fast growing solar energy system market by investing in DelSolar, a solar cell manufacturer. Delta also focuses on photovoltaic inverter design and production.

DelSolar produces both single and poly crystalline silicon solar cells with a production capacity of 25 megawatts (MW) last year. The capacity is expected to expand to 50MW this year, and further jump to 100 MW next year, according to the company's Web site.

STMicroelectronics is the No. 1 supplier of semiconductor solutions for power conversion applications in the world.

"We believe that the combination of expertise offered by Delta, DelSolar and STMicroelectronics, which spans the full chain from the raw silicon to the inverters and power supplies that deliver electrical energy to users, will enable the development of more efficient technologies and products, thereby accelerating the wider use of solar energy," said Liang Rong-chang (梁榮昌), senior technology advisor of Delta Group and CEO of DelSolar, in the statement.

Last year, the cumulative installed capacity of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems around the world passed 5,000 MW, Carmelo Papa, corporate vice president and general manager at STMicroelectronics' microcontroller, said in the statement.

Global shipments of PV cells and modules have been growing at an average annual rate of more than 35 percent for the past few years, Papa said, adding that emerging photovoltaic markets such as China will become substantial beyond 2010.

Shares of Delta declined NT$0.1 to close at NT$91.1 (US$2.78) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

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