SoftBank, Sharp Consider Venture for Solar Engineering Services

SoftBank Group Corp. is considering setting up a venture with Sharp Corp. to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for developers of solar projects.

The partners also plan to offer operations and maintenance services for solar stations, Kenichi Yuasa, a spokesman for SB Energy Corp., the clean-energy projects unit wholly owned by SoftBank, said by phone Thursday.

The venture, in which SB Energy will have a majority, plans to start operations early next year, the Nikkei newspaper reported earlier, without saying where it got the information. SB Energy plans to announce a decision as early as December, Yuasa said.

The venture expects to cut costs to set up solar-power stations by working together and sourcing supplies and services directly, he said.

Sharp has been reorganizing its solar business to focus on its home market. The Osaka-based company has been developing solar panels since 1959.

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