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China's Trina Solar sets up shop in Chile to tap South America

Chinese solar panel maker Trina is opening an office in Santiago, Chile to meet growing demand from South American markets.

The office, Trina’s first in the region, will serve commercial, utility and off-grid customers throughout Latin America with a focus on Chile, Mexico, Brazil and neighbouring countries.

“Latin America has long been an emerging market for solar and we think there are countries in the region that are now primed to rapidly grow the solar market," says Mark Mendenhall, president of Trina Solar Americas.

Several large developments planned in Chile include Chinese group Sky Solar’s $900m framework deal to develop up to 300MW of PV generation with Chilean industrial group Sigdo Koppers.

Power group AES Gener unveiled plans in February to develop up to 220MW of PV capacity to supply the nation’s miners.

Trina says its local staff have experience in solar in Latin America dating back to the 1980s. The company declined to discuss its sales targets for the region.

Last month the company opened a sales office in Canada and also announced a manufacturing partnership with Ontario-based Silfab, allowing it to meet local-content requirements for the market there.

Trina reported a second-quarter loss –- its fourth consecutive quarterly deficit – of $92m and lowered its full-year module shipment guidance to 1.75-1.8GW, down from its previous guidance of 2-2.1GW.