Sharp Is the Latest to Foray Into Solar Development

by: SustainableBusiness

Sharp Corporation (OTCPK:SHCAY) has signed an agreement with Thailand's Natural Energy Development Co., Ltd (NED) to establish a 73-megawatts (MW) solar power plant and supply thin-film solar cell modules for the system.

This is one of the first large-scale solar plants to be developed by Sharp. It indicates the company is following a downstream business model first employed by solar manufacturer FirstSolar (Nasdaq: FSLR), and recently adopted by other major solar firms like SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWRA) and Q-Cells (QCE.DE) that are looking to create demand for their products.

Construction is scheduled to start in Thailand this month with operations beginning by the end of 2011.

The thin-film solar cell modules to be used in the power generation plant will be supplied partially from Sharp’s solar cell plant at Green Front Sakai in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan, which started operation in March 2010.

NED is an independent power producer (IPP) in Thailand, 33.3% of the company is owned by DGA, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation (8058.T). ITD/ITE, one of the largest construction companies in Thailand, is also participating in the project.

The government of Thailand targets an increase in the amount of renewable energy, up to 20% of the total electricity demand, by 2022.

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