For some time now, Sharp Electronics has been producing solar panels through its Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group division. But now the corporation is looking to expand into the solar energy business too.
Last week, Sharp put out a press release announcing the acquisition of California-based Recurrent Energy. Recurrent has developed and marketed utility scale solar generation projects around the world. In addition to making new headway as a developer of photovoltaic (PV) projects, Sharp revealed that it won a contract to provide 45 megawatts (MW) of its thin film solar modules for the largest PV project in the world – Avenal.
The overall Avenal solar project is actually three projects combined: Avenal Park, Sun City and Sand Drag, to be constructed in Kings County, incent ral California. Construction is already underway, with the project to be operational by 2011.
Eric Hafter, senior VP for the Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group, noted that the project is one of the largest for which Sharp has supplied solar panels to date, and also marks an important step forward for solar energy business overall:
“Together with Eurus Energy America and NRG Solar, we are turning land that once used photosynthesis to convert the sun’s rays to produce food for our communities into a farm that uses photovoltaics to convert the sun’s rays into clean energy for the same communities.”
Sharp’s solar technology for the Avenal solar project is cutting edge. Its thin-film solar cells are able to capture a wider part of the light spectrum than ordinary PV panels. Not only will the solar panels be more efficient, but thin film technology uses less silicon, thereby reducing production costs, as well.