Hanwha Group has launched a research institute on solar power in the U.S. to develop related technologies and boost its charge into the fledgling industry, the Korean corporation said Friday.
Hanwha Solar America in Silicon Valley in California will carry out research programs on photovoltaic cells and other next-generation technologies, the group said.
The conglomerate runs two similar institutes in Korea and China.
Hanwha SolarOne president Kim Hee-cheul (second from right), Hanwha International president Lee Sang-mook (left), Hanwha Solar America president Chris Eberspacher (second from left) and other officials cut the tape at a ceremony for the launch of the conglomerate’s solar energy think tank on Thursday in Santa Clara in the U.S. (Hanwha Group)
“Our ongoing investment in solar energy depicts the group’s firm belief and confidence in renewable resources as a future growth engine,” Kim Hee-cheol of Hanwha SolarOne, the group’s solar power unit, said in a statement.
The establishment of the think tank is the group’s latest effort to ramp up its solar energy operation with a focus on the North American market.
Its affiliate Hanwha Chemical Corp. is building a polysilicon plant in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province. It also churns out photovoltaic cells in Ulsan with a combined capacity of 30 million watts each year.
In August 2010, the company took over Shanghai-based Solarfun Power Holdings, the world’s fourth-largest producer of solar cell modules, for 430 billion won ($377 million). Solarfun was renamed Hanwha SolarOne, manufacturing silicon ingots, wafers and solar cells and modules in China.
The chemical firm also acquired stakes in U.S. solar product makers Crystal Solar Inc. and 1366 Technologies and solar leasing company OneRoof Energy between 2010 and 2011.
By Shin Hyon-hee (firstname.lastname@example.org)