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Saudi Arabia eyes major solar power advancement

  |   Feb. 6, 2014 at 9:01 AM
BELMONT, Calif., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- SunEdison Inc. of California said it signed an agreement to help establish a solar power facility complex in Saudi Arabia.

SunEdison's deal with the Saudi government and the Saudi Arabian Investment Co. calls for the drafting of a feasibility study for a solar photovoltaic, or PV, manufacturing complex in the country.

The California company said the project is worth an estimated $6.4 billion and production of solar power components should begin in 2017.

The Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association said in a January statement the country is working to develop a "large-scale" solar power program to cope with increasing energy demands.

Ahmad Chatila, chief executive officer at SunEdison, said in a statement the country was on the way to becoming a world-class leader in solar energy technology.

"We anticipate substantial growth of solar PV within the kingdom and the region," he said in a statement Tuesday. "We will bring our downstream solar PV development expertise to the region, and will partner with the kingdom to build a large and dynamic solar energy industry."

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