Sharp to add building, maintenance services to solar segment - report
Sep 30, 2011 - Japanese electronics major Sharp Corp (TYO:6753) will start providing building, maintenance and other services to large-scale solar projects in Japan as it seeks to expand its solar power business, daily Nikkei reported.
The company will rely on a team of 120 employees to cater for solar projects from site selection through maintenance. It will also raise by over 20% the number of sales representatives for its solar operations.
In fiscal 2010/11 ended March, Sharp booked sales of JPY 260 billion (USD 3.4bn/EUR 2.5bn) from its solar power business, which is focused on the production of solar cells. However, growing competition and the appreciation of the yen have forced the company to diversify its operations. As part of its new strategy, Sharp is mulling over becoming an independent electricity producer, Nikkei said.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) projects have become rather attractive in Japan following the March 11 disaster. Several domestic companies, including mobile operator Softbank Corp (TYO:9984), Tokio Marine Asset Management and Mitsui & Co (TYO:8031) have unveiled plans to build large-scale solar projects. A bill that calls for utilities to purchase all renewable energy produced by third parties at fixed rates was recently given the green light by Japan's upper house of parliament.