Toshiba confirms SunEdison link

Japanese conglomerate Toshiba has confirmed that it plans to work with US developer SunEdison to build utility-scale solar power plants across Japan.

A Toshiba spokesperson told Recharge it will supply components including inverters and transformers for “several” utility-scale projects.

Japan’s The Nikkei earlier reported that the companies plan to build four or five PV plants with capacities of 100MW each.

California-based SunEdison, a subsidiary of US wafer-maker MEMC, will provide operation and maintenance services, the Toshiba spokesperson said, while declining to reveal the specific timing of the projects or capacity targets.

“The actual collaboration (between the) two companies is expected to differ (on a) project basis,” said the Toshiba official.

Toshiba is a relative latecomer to the PV sector by comparison with rival domestic electronics giants Sharp and Panasonic. It already has a deal with US module-maker SunPower in the residential sector.

The Toshiba-SunEdison link is the latest example of collaborations by companies eager to grab a share of the fast-growing Japanese solar sector.

In March, for example, Germany’s Belectric and Japanese module-maker Solar Frontier announced a joint venture that will target Japan, as well as other key emerging solar markets.