Global construction and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar and solar photovoltaic (PV) system company First Solar have partnered to develop an integrated PV solar solution for microgrid applications in Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America.
Under the agreement, First Solar will design and manufacture a pre-engineered turnkey package for use in remote microgrid communities and mine sites.
The package will feature Caterpillar-branded solar panels manufactured by First Solar.
Caterpillar will sell and support the integrated solution along with its current offerings of generator sets and energy storage solutions.
Commenting on the partnership, Marc van Gerven,Vice President for Global Marketing at First Solar, said: “Microgrids provide value to prime power diesel and gas customers by integrating renewable energy, such as solar power, with generator sets. With these solutions, Caterpillar can help deliver reliable, cost-effective and sustainable energy for customers.
"By entering into this alliance with Caterpillar, we're establishing an important new precedent for the commercialisation and scaling of microgrid-based distributed generation solutions."
The integrated PV solution, including Caterpillar-branded solar panels, will be available for customers in the Americas in the second half of 2015, First Solar confirmed.