First Solar announced last month that it would enter into a joint venture with a local solar power projects developer in Philippines, OrionGroup.
First Solar signed an agreement with OrionGroup to set up a joint venture company, FSO Energy Solutions, which will set up large-scale solar power projects to cater to the power demand of commercial and industrial entities in Philippines. No capacity addition targets have been announced so far, however, FSO Energy will sign long-term power purchase agreements with the end-users to sell electricity.
The strategy fits well in the increasingly common trend of industrial users switching to captive power generation from the traditional supply contracts with utilities. With the rising costs of fossil fuels and the falling cost of solar power generation, more and more end-users are switching to solar power.
Jack Curtis, First Solar’s Regional Manager for Asia-Pacific said that the deal is aimed at providing end-consumers with an “alternate energy source that is reliable, less volatile in price, and lower in cost.” OrionGroup has been active in the commercial and industrial users segment, providing flexible financing solutions to the customers for adoption of captive solar power generation systems.
First Solar has been looking to expand into developing markets where the traditional cost of power generation has been on the rise and industrial users are looking for alternatives.
First Solar is planning to expand into India through a similar business model. The company is already among the largest international suppliers of solar power modules. The company is eyeing off-grid, rooftop, and captive solar power projects in India.
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