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Chinese enter U.S. solar power market

A Solar Power solar
rooftop system installed
at the Staples Centre
and Nokia theatre in
Los Angeles
Roseville, California, USA — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 07 January 2011 – Solar Power Incorporated “’ which hasn’t fared well financially and needs capital to carry out its project pipeline “’ has found a benefactor in China-based LKD Solar, which is eager to enter the project development market in the United States.

LDK Solar is the latest convert to the list of solar equipment manufacturers acquiring assets in the United States, having announced an agreement to spend US$33 million for a 70% stake in Silicon Valley-based Solar Power “’ a leading developer of high quality photovoltaic solar power solutions. .

The deal will give Solar Power a much needed capital to continue building solar energy projects. The company hasn’t fared well financially over the past year. It will give LKD Solar access to the U.S. market, where Solar Power has installed megawatts of projects, including a 6-MW installation in Sacramento, California, which used the company’s own solar panels and 22 single-axis tracking systems.

LDK has undergone ambitious expansion plans in recent years, and not just to boost its core silicon and silicon wafer businesses. It also is now a cell and solar panel manufacturer. The company reported reaching production capacity of 11 000t for polysilicon, 2.6GW for wafers, 120MWfor cells and 760MW for solar panels last November.    

LDK’s agreement with Solar Power requires Solar Power to move its focus away from its other business of manufacturing solar panels and system components in Shenzhen, China and concentrate on project development in the United States. LDK will control the solar panel manufacturing operation, and even look for opportunities to set up manufacturing in North America.