Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Trina Solar seeking U.S. project partners (TSL)

From Reuters:
Chinese solar company Trina Solar Ltd is seeking partnerships with project developers in the United States as it looks to expand its presence in that nation's growing renewable energy market.

Trina, which is also considering opening more offices and a manufacturing site in the United States, is one of a string of Chinese solar companies eager to break into the lucrative U.S. market for large-scale solar projects.

"Honestly we lag behind," Trina Chief Financial Officer Terry Wang said in an interview at the Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit in New York. "First Solar and SunPower got a good start because they are located in the U.S. We are not bidding (on projects) yet. We would like to do it."

Trina shares were up 1.1 percent at $29.08 in mid-afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, the company is looking for partnerships with U.S. project developers, but said "it takes time."

In Europe, Trina said it is considering getting into the project finance arena by building and then either holding or selling its own projects.

"We are looking aggressively, actively, although we don't have anything invested yet," Wang said. "We basically started with Europe, with a high return area, such as Italy."

Several solar companies have announced forays into project finance as the global credit crisis has dried up funding for renewable energy projects.

In the United States, the collapse of top solar financier Lehman Bros a year ago dried up demand for investments under which banks would fund solar power projects in exchange for renewable energy tax credits.

On Wednesday, however, Wang said Trina had been in recent talks with banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs Group Inc about tax equity financing....MORE

Video: "Sept 9 - Trina Solar CFO Terry Wang said he has lower inventories than some peers, and can compete on price if necessary to match a competitor."