Fri, Aug 30, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Gigasolar expands solar power business overseas

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Local solar material provider Gigasolar Materials Corp (碩禾) yesterday said it would invest ¥5 billion (US$51 million) in building a ground mount solar system in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, expanding its solar power plant business overseas.

The ground mount solar system will have 17 megawatts in annual capacity, which will generate 20 million units of electricity a year for 5,000 households, Gigasolar said in a statement.

The solar power system is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Gigasolar also signed an agreement with Japanese construction company Tsuboi Corp to jointly build the system via its Japanese subsidiary.

The Taiwanese solar conductive paste supplier operates several solar power plants in Taiwan with capacity totaling about 5 megawatts.

Gigasolar said it expected the Fukushima solar power system to make ¥800 million in revenue a year after completion as it has received the approval from Japan’s local government to sell the power to the government at ¥42 per unit, the statement said.

Market researcher NPD Solarbuzz said record photovoltaic (PV) demand from China and Japan would provide a turning point for the solar industry this year.

PV demand from China and Japan during the second half of this year is expected to reach 9 gigawatts, representing an annual 70 percent, NPD Solarbuzz said in a report last week.

Japan is the most active solar market this year, with total installations expected to grow 1.5 times this year from last year.

Gigasolar said it is in talks with local banks to help finance the construction.

The company has more than NT$1 billion (US$334 million) in cash. In the first six months, the company made a profit of NT$321 million, or NT$6.35 per share.

Gigasolar said it will continue to scout for potential markets to build solar power plants overseas and several projects are under review.

Gigasolar rallied 4.58 percent to NT$240 yesterday, outperforming the TAIEX’s 1.19 percent gain.

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