Spanish solar companies looking to the USA for expansion plans
Taking the opposite route of many American companies investing in Spain, such as SolFocus or SunPower, some Spanish firms are being attracted by the opportunities in the US market.
Spanish firm Siliken is setting up a solar-panel manufacturing plant in Otay Mesa (San Diego) and a solar-installation business in Carlsbad. By year’s end, the plant will be capable of making enough solar panels to produce up to 15 megawatts. The company presented its manufacturing and direct sales activities in the North American market and its new panels last week at the Intersolar show in San Francisco.
This step into the California market is part of the company’s international and vertical integration strategy. The aim is to consolidate its presence in California, marketing turnkey projects for end clients, in order to take on new renewable energy projects in other states.
Siliken came to San Diego because of the region’s talent pool and geography, said Francisco Mollá, the firm’s U.S. division coordinator.
Also present at Intersolar was Albiasa Solar, a company with technology and experience in both the photovoltaic and thermosolar segments. Albiasa is also opening offices in the US, specifically in San Francisco.
In Spain, they are deploying their patented parabolic troughs, tested at the Almeria Solar Platform, at a 50 MW plant in the province of Caceres. These systems offer different advantages aimed at reducing costs, like using less pieces and material than standard collectors and a design that shortens production time and simplifies assembly.
A third Spanish company present in California (Redwood City) is Zytech Solar.
Zytech is a company with a wide range of products, from regular pv to concentrating pv, low and high, and solar thermal systems (parabolic troughs). It is also one of the winners of the 2007 Going Green competition organized by Always On.
Finally, another deal is in the making that could bring yet one more company, this time to Florida. Seminole Electric Cooperative Inc. and Renovalia USA Inc. are in negotiations that could lead to a solar thermal power plant in Florida.
The deal was announced by Gov. Charlie Crist, who wrapped up his 10-day trade and business development mission in Europe with a visit to Renovalia’s solar energy facility in Ciudad Real, Spain. Renovalia is involved in the development and engineering of renewable energy projects (a total of 247 MW in installed power). It also invests in technologies to achieve better efficiency – in solar trackers and concentration pv systems.