First Solar, Inc. and BELECTRIC Holding, GmbH announced a new joint venture, GmbH & Co. KG – which will be based in Germany, that will focus on developing solar energy projects in North Africa, Europe and United States.

The announcement marks another milestone in the companies’ longstanding partnership that spans over a decade. The two companies recently marked the inauguration of the 128MWp Templin solar power plant in Germany, the largest deployment of First Solar modules in Europe. An estimated 80 percent of the 1,400 MWp of solar electricity generation capacity installed by BELECTRIC, is powered by First Solar modules, according to a statement by the companies.

“With its industry-leading capabilities, this joint venture will ensure that our individual project obligations are delivered to the highest standards,” said Jim Hughes, First Solar’s chief executive officer. “First Solar and BELECTRIC share a long history of excellence and we are confident about the future of this initiative, which is based on a firm foundation of mutual trust, expertise and a track record that is unrivalled in the solar energy industry.”

According to the new deal outlines, the latest JV will be tasked with developing selected photovoltaic power projects independently acquired or developed by either of the two companies in Europe, North Africa, as well as projects of fewer than 20 megawatts (MW), in the. U.S.

First Solar will supply its advanced thin-film modules, selected components such as the First Solar Tracker and value-added services; while BELECTRIC will provide its advanced balance of systems and a range of service capabilities. Both companies’ engineering, procurement and construction contributions will vary by project and geography.

The companies said the JV’s emphasis on the sub-20MW segment in the United States will include BELECTRIC’s existing 280MWp pipeline, along with other opportunities.

The non-exclusive agreement will also allow both companies to independently and competitively pursue development prospects and corresponding EPC work.
“We are happy to celebrate this important new milestone in our long-term partnership with First Solar,” said Bernhard Beck, Chief Executive Officer of BELECTRIC Holding. “

By joining forces to create a world-class project delivery platform, the companies hope to strengthen both companies’ relationships with key stakeholders including project developers and investors at a time when prices of electricity from solar power plants can already compete with the prices for conventionally generated electricity in a growing number of regions.