Fri, Oct 05, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Giga Solar sets sights on Southeast Asian markets

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Solar material maker Giga Solar Materials Corp (碩禾電子) yesterday said it is targeting securing several new solar farm projects in fast-growing Southeast Asian markets by the end of this year at the earliest, making significant progress in diversifying into the relatively lucrative solar power farm business.

Giga Solar started its new business in the local market. The company built and is operating a 1.2 megawatt solar power farm, the nation’s biggest privately owned solar plant, in Tainan and had the solar systems connected to the national grid in June.

The solar farm generates 160,000 units of electricity a month, equal to the monthly consumption of 400 households.

The company expects to make NT$12 million (US$409,527) to NT$15 million in revenue a year from the solar plant, company chairman Jerry Chen (陳繼仁) told a media briefing at the company’s booth during the annual photovoltaics show in Taipei.

Giga Solar spent about NT$80 million in establishing the solar farm, Chen said.

“We are preparing for bidding for new projects next year, including in overseas markets,” Chen said. “We are seeing building solar power plants as a core business for the group.”

Giga Solar, a subsidiary of disc storage company Gigastorage Corp (國碩), would leverage Giga-storage’s presence in Thailand to bid for solar farm projects there, Chen said.

“The Thai and Malaysian governments aggressively promote the use of “green” energy, such as solar power, he said.

Gigastorage has been operating an optical disc factory in Thailand for about six years.

Chen also urged the government to give more support to Taiwan’s solar industry. Raising the solar system installation quota should be the first step, he said.

“The 100 megawatt quota this year is not enough,” Chen said.

Green Energy Technology Inc (綠能科技), the nation’s biggest solar wafer maker, said it has formed a joint venture with a Thai solar engineering, procurement and construction company to build and operate a 1 gigawatt solar farm. The solar farm is expected to be completed early next year, Green Energy said.

Separately, Chinese solar wafer and module maker ReneSola Ltd (昱輝陽光) yesterday launched its Taiwanese office in Hsinchu in an effort to build closer ties with local partners. ReneSola is the second Chinese solar company to open a Taiwanese office after GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd (保利協鑫能源).

ReneSola planned to more than double its outsource of solar cell production to 400 megawatt next year from this year’s 150 megawatt, according to Stephen Huang (黃頌德), a president of the company’s Asia-Pacific, Middle East and African regions.

That is part of the Chinese solar wafer and module company’s efforts to allocate its solar cell manufacturing to areas outside China in order to get around heavy tariffs imposed by the US after anti-dumping probes.

The nation’s biggest solar cell maker Motech Industries Inc (茂迪) and Gintech Energy Corp (昱晶) make solar cells for ReneSola, Huang said.

Next year, ReneSola plans to add two or three more solar cell manufacturing partners, he said.

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