Joint Venture to Power World’s Largest Solar Plant

A $65 million solar electric power park will be built in Spain, and will cover an area equal to 57 soccer fields.

NEWARK, Delaware, US, 2001-04-30 <> AstraSolar, a Spanish joint venture of the U.S. manufacturer, AstroPower Inc., will supply 13 megawatts of APex(TM) solar cells for the facility in Murcia. When commissioned in two years, the power plant will be four times larger than any PV power plant currently in operation. The consortium selected to construct and operate the project includes the Spanish utility Iberdrola and Atersa, co-owner of AstraSolar. A group of private investors are also participants. The consortium will capitalize on various incentives offered by the region of Murcia, the Spanish Government and the European Union. “This project demonstrates the leadership position of the Spanish industry within the rapidly growing European market for solar electric power,” says Fernando Monera, president of Atersa. The company is a major solar power company in Spain and a key customer of AstroPower. It was founded in 1979, and has offices in Madrid, Cordoba and Valencia. The solar power plant will generate up to 4 percent of the peak load for the Murcia region, which has one of the best solar resources in Spain. “We take great pride in our partnership with Atersa,” says AstroPower president and CEO Allen Barnett. “We are very pleased that our AstraSolar joint venture has been chosen to supply the core component of this ground- breaking project.” The AstraSolar solar manufacturing facility is based in Valencia and has been producing solar cells since March 2000. For the Murcia project, it will supply large-area Apex solar cells based on AstroPower’s patented Silicon-Film(TM) technology. AstroPower is based in Delaware and claims to be the world’s largest independent manufacturer of solar electric cells, modules, panels and systems for off-grid and on-grid applications.

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