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Latin America set on solar energy growth

Nov. 1, 2011 at 6:52 AM   |   Comments

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BUENOS AIRES, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Growth in Latin America's solar energy sector is drawing international players to the region, with more businesses setting up area offices to capture larger slices of new business worth tens of millions of dollars.

Solar energy installations began as simple contraptions in Latin America but are increasingly led by technologically advanced providers deploying sophisticated equipment and expertise that makes foreign participation almost indispensable.

The U.S. Tegal Corp. announced that Sequel Power, its portfolio company dedicated to the development and operation of large-scale photovoltaic-based solar utility projects, opened offices in Buenos Aires, and Santiago, Chile.

"These projects require Sequel Power to have an ongoing presence in these important markets," Sequel Power President and Chief Executive Officer Ferdinand Seemann said.

"We are grateful for the warm reception we have received at our new locations and we are delighted to be a central part of the solar industry in South America."

Sequel Power is working on large-scale photovoltaic-based solar utilities projects in Argentina, Chile and Ecuador.

"South America is a tremendous growth region for utility-scale solar energy projects," Seemann said.

Tegal has headquarters in Petaluma, Calif. Sequel Power has more than a dozen active projects in six countries with major partners in various stages of developing solar utilities.

Another U.S. company, Onyx Service and Solutions, Inc., is also active in Latin America. Onyx President Malcolm Burleson said he secured two executed Letters of Intent in Peru for the distribution of solar panels and related products.

Onyx and its partners intend to distribute solar panels and related products to help fulfill the ever-expanding energy needs in Peru.

Onyx says it sees an extremely lucrative market for solar power projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Earlier Monday, JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd., a vertically integrated solar power product manufacturer in China, announced it has received Brazil's National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology certification for photovoltaic systems, a prerequisite for companies wanting to sell solar power products in Brazil.

JinkoSolar Chief Marketing Officer Arturo Herrero said the company expects "rapid growth in the Latin America market."

JinkoSolar is active in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Chile and is in talks in all those countries to set up new projects.

JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. has operations in Jiangxi province and Zhejiang province in China and sales and marketing offices in Shanghai; San Francisco; Munich, Germany; Bologna, Italy; Montpellier, France; and Zug, Switzerland.

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