AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電), the nation’s No. 2 LCD panel maker, yesterday said it had clinched a 9 megawatt deal to supply solar modules and to build a solar plant to power the Pennsylvania School District, marking the company’s progress as it diversifies into the “green” energy industry.
“The US is a very important solar market. AUO’s high-efficiency and high-quality solar modules are not only widely acclaimed for their performance in the residential and commercial markets, but they have also successfully helped us bid for large utility and government projects,” AUO Solar Business vice president James Chen (陳建斌) said in a press release yesterday.
The solar power plant project, the largest of its kind in Pennsylvania, is expected to use 37,500 of AUO’s high-efficiency solar modules, according to the statement. Construction is expected to be completed in September.
When it begins operating, the plant, which occupies an area equivalent to 87 football fields, is expected to supply 10,880,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year to 5,000 students at five schools.
Demand for solar power installations in North America is expected to grow by more than 60 percent this year compared with last year, because of falling prices and new government subsidy policies, market researcher NPD Solarbuzz said in a report issued on Monday.
AUO shares inched up 0.6 percent to NT$16.8 yesterday, better than the benchmark TAIEX’s 0.25 percent gain.