SunBorne Energy, a Gurgaon-based specialist in utility-scale solar solutions, and Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd, a China-based leading producer of solar panels, have entered into a framework agreement. Under the agreement, Suntech will supply SunBorne Energy with 100MW of solar modules over the next two years. Suntech will provide 280Wp polycrystalline silicon modules for projects that will be designed, installed and commissioned by SunBorne Energy. The agreement includes an initial order for 10MW of solar panels for a project in the state of Gujarat.

“We chose Suntech because of its clear technology leadership and long-term commitment to India. We are proud to support the Gujarat government in its endeavour to bring clean power to India and attain energy security. This partnership reiterates our action plan of providing cost-effective, utility-scale solar solutions and targeting grid parity by 2017,” said James Abraham, managing director & CEO of SunBorne Energy.

“We are excited to partner with SunBorne Energy to drive solar industry growth in India,” said Dr Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s chairman and CEO. “Currently, one in three people in India lacks reliable access to electricity, and the rapid deployment of solar energy has the potential to help close this gap. This project will provide clean and affordable power to thousands of people in India.”

SunBorne Energy LLC was set up in 2008 by a team of professionals, with the backing of General Catalyst Partners and Khosla Ventures, to develop and operate solar power projects in India, mainly using solar thermal or CSP technology. Within CSP technologies, SunBorne plans to use parabolic trough technology for its initial greenfield projects targeted in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, which are conceived to be developed under state or central government schemes, as applicable.

In 2010, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, invested up to $10 million in the solar power producer. SunBorne is developing utility scale solution plants in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, with other states in the pipeline. It aims to deploy 20 per cent of the Solar Mission target in the next decade.

Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd produces industry-leading solar products for residential, commercial, industrial and utility applications. With regional headquarters in China, Switzerland, and the USA, and gigawatt-scale manufacturing worldwide, Suntech has delivered more than 15,000,000 photovoltaic panels to over a thousand customers in more than 80 countries.

The solar industry in India has been growing rapidly, backed by government support at the central and the state level. India has a target to reach a cumulative installation of 2GW of off-grid and 20GW of on-grid PV installations by 2022 that will help meet the country’s burgeoning energy demands.

Solar technology is particularly well-suited to address booming energy consumption across India, as total primary energy demand is expected to increase by 3.1 per cent annually, from 2008 to 2035, according to the IEA’s 2010 World Energy Outlook. Solar technology also helps address peak power shortages, which can be particularly severe during the summer months. The power production of solar panels roughly coincides with peak demand hours, as electricity is consumed during daylight for commercial and industrial activities.

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