Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development Co., a subsidiary of Zhonghuan Semiconductor has signed equity transfer agreement and joint venture contract with Apple. They will build two solar power projects totaling 40MW in ABA Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectures, Sichuan Province of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). SunPower and three other Chinese companies will participate in it as well.
The 40MW PV plant uses low-concentration PV cells. The low-concentration cell is considered as the third-generation cell within future PV development trend. It can absorb wider light spectrum and have higher conversion efficiency compare to traditional silicon or thin-film cells. As industry localization begins to take place, costs will be lowered and grid parity may be achieved at last. Meanwhile, the development of low-concentration PV plants will also be faster than traditional PV plants.
“Apple is one of the largest energy consumer. We hope that all the power we use can come from renewable energy, so we want to produce clean energy ourselves to satisfy our needs for energy. This is something we are hoping to achieve. One year ago, 75% of Apple’s facilities were powered by renewable energy and now it has increased to 87%. Yet, our goal is to achieve 100%. In order to reach the goal, China is the key. This will be Apple’s first PV project outside of the US. Once the project is completed, there will be 80 million kWh of clean energy produced, which can power 61,000 homes in China,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s environmental chief.
Currently, Apple has 334 suppliers in China. “These suppliers don’t belong to us, but as long as they are manufacturing for Apple, we have to solve the pollution problems with them, a shared responsibility for climate change. Therefore, this PV project helps us to learn and we are willing to share the information with Chinese suppliers,” added Lisa.
“The local governments are very happy to get the PV project because this can not only protect the environment, but also benefit both the society and ecology. We hope that the use of renewable energy can be promoted to other provinces as well,” said the secretary of ABA Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectures.