Chinese Oil Company Joins Isofoton to Build Solar Across Asia

China’s largest offshore oil company is taking a majority stake in a solar developer to build solar plants across Asia.

China National Offshore Oil Corp. is investing $300 million in Spain-based Isofoton SA for a 51% stake. They plan to build a 150 megawatt (MW) manufacturing plant in China and one later in the US, reports Bloomberg.

Isofoton has been shifting manufacturing to China since Spain began gutting its solar subsidies in 2009, hoping to supply China’s booming market.

The deal supplies the financing needed to develop 1,000 MW in Isofoton’s pipeline.

Founded in 1981, Isofoton has developed projects in 60 countries and is building a 100 MW solar panel factory in Ohio. It’s in the process of hiring 130 employees.

China added 2.2 gigawatts (GW) of solar last year and could more than double that this year, after raising its solar target to 15 GW by 2015.

The country just announced it will reduce subsidies for solar  projects it approved last year by 11% (to $1.30 per watt) and for 2012 because the cost of components is down 47%.

If prices continue declining, China will make more cuts, the government announced. They cuts aren’t large enough to affect profits.

At the same time, China plans to add subsidies for smart grid technology. 

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