SolarReserve Partners With Shenhua on $2 Billion China Projects

  • Partering to build 1,000 megawatts of solar power facilites
  • China targets 10,000 megawatts of solar thermal power by 2020

SolarReserve LLC, a U.S. solar project developer, agreed to cooperate with the world’s largest coal supplier, Shenhua Group Corp., to build 1,000 megawatts of solar thermal projects in China for as much as 15 billion yuan ($2.31 billion).

China’s state-owned Shenhua will provide expertise in developing and operating power plants and SolarReserve will supply technology, the U.S. company said in a statement on its website Tuesday.

SolarReserve’s storage technology solves the intermittency issues facing renewable energy, making their operation capabilities comparable to fossil fuels and nuclear power, the company said.

China has called for power producers to tap renewable sources for at least 9 percent of output by 2020. The move is part of the nation’s target to build 10,000 megawatts of solar thermal projects over the next five years, Kevin Smith, chief executive officer of SolarReserve, said in the statement.

The technology to be utilized for the plants -- which could cost as much as 15 yuan per watt -- is more expensive than photovoltaic technology used in the majority of solar power projects in China, according to Wang Xiaoting, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

"It has won support from the government on emerging industries, but still needs an encouraging preferential power price to spur installations within the country," Wang said.

— With assistance by Feifei Shen

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