SPI Solar ('SPI') (SOPW:OTCBB), a vertically-integrated photovoltaic solar developer, announced that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with WIRCON GmbH ("WIRCON"), a Germany-based diversified renewable energy company, to develop solar PV projects in the United Kingdom.
Within the framework of the agreement, SPI and WIRCON will establish a new joint venture company to develop solar energy projects in the UK, with an initial proposed target of approximately 55 megawatts (MW). Selected projects will be procured and developed with the intent for the joint venture company to own and operate certain assets and sell others to investors. This announcement underscores SPI's commitment to growing its presence in key global PV markets through strategic alliances with strong local partners.
'We are delighted to announce this strategic partnership between SPI and WIRCON for the UK solar market,' said Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman of SPI. 'WIRCON has amassed a wealth of solar project development experience in Europe over the years, and this agreement provides a foundation for SPI to grow our business in the critically important UK market. The UK will be one of our key geographic focus markets in the coming years, and this announcement marks a new milestone for SPI internationally.'
The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) in the UK has set a target that 30% of the country's electricity must come from renewable sources by 2020. The UK currently is estimated to have between 3.2 - 4 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity. Market-research firm Solarbuzz has projected that in 2014, the UK will eclipse Germany as the largest installer of solar panels in Europe.
Peter Vest, Managing Director of WIRCON, stated 'This partnership with SPI is a logical result of the combined strengths that each side brings to the table to take advantage of UK solar project opportunities. WIRCON's deep experience in solar energy project development is based on the over 8,000 projects of WIRSOL, an established business and brand name that we took over earlier this year. Our strong commitment to solar project development in Europe will be greatly enhanced by SPI's experience and resources as a publicly-listed company with a strong, global presence in the US and Asia. We look forward to further developing this collaborative relationship in the UK and potentially beyond.'
'Both WIRCON and SPI share common strategic, operational and financial objectives in the UK solar market,' said Dietmar Hopp, a shareholder of WIRCON. 'This joint venture agreement will allow us together to move faster in advancing our UK project development business.'
Mark Hogan, President of Wirsol Energy Ltd., a subsidiary of WIRCON, added, 'We are excited to commence this joint effort with the strong support of SPI on the procurement and development of solar project assets in the UK. We plan to capitalize on selected opportunities with attractive return potential in the UK market, particularly given the DECC's proposal to close the RO (Renewables Obligation) scheme to new solar PV capacity above 5 MW from 1st April 2015. We will also invest in sourcing and building a substantial and sustainable pipeline looking into 2015 and beyond.'
About Solar Power, Inc. (SOPW:OTCBB):
SPI Solar ('SPI') (Solar Power, Inc.) is a vertically-integrated photovoltaic solar developer offering its own brand of high-quality, low-cost distributed generation and utility-scale solar energy facility development services. From project development, to project financing and to post-construction asset management, SPI delivers turnkey world-class photovoltaic solar energy facilities and turnkey residential solar solutions to its business, government and utility customers.
About WIRCON GmbH:
WIRCON GmbH and its subsidiaries develop, build and service renewable energy projects in selected international markets under the WIRCON and WIRSOL brand names. For additional information visit: www.wircon.eu.
Safe Harbor Statement:
This release contains certain 'forward-looking statements' relating to the joint venture with WIRCON GmbH, SPI's ability to develop projects with WIRCON GmbH in the United Kingdom for ownership or sale, and the business of SPI Solar, its subsidiaries and the solar industry, which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as 'believes', 'expects' or similar expressions. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and the risks and other factors detailed in the company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities law.