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Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation makes first investment in U.S. solar

Sumitomo Corporation of America, part of the Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corporation, made its first investment in a U.S. solar project, gaining 23 percent ownership of Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Project in California.

Sumitomo bought part of the shares of investor G.E. Energy Financial Services in the 550-megawatt project currently under construction east of Palm Springs.

The investment will expand Sumitomo’s renewable energy portfolio which already includes over 1,800 MW of projects in the United States.

The Desert Sunlight facility is the largest solar photovoltaic facility approved for U.S. public land by the Department of the Interior. Power generated will be enough for more than 165,000 homes, displacing 300,000 metric tons of emissions a year.

U.S. utility-scale project developer First Solar will build, operate and maintain the project which will use the company’s thin-film PV technology.

The project has secured power purchase agreements to supply Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric with 250 MW and 300 MW for the next two decades.

Sumitomo and G.E. Energy Financial Services are joined by NextEra Energy Resources in Desert Sunlight.

The Desert Sunlight project is Sumitomo’s first foray into solar in the U.S. and its fifth renewable energy investment in the U.S., with the other investments focusing on wind.

Sumitomo is an investor in the 845-MW Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in Oregon; the 131-MW Cimarron II and 168-MW Ironwood projects in Kansas; and the 129-MW Stanton wind project in Texas.

Sumitomo is currently growing their renewable energy business by developing, operating and owning clean energy power generating facilities around the world.

Globally, Sumitomo owns and operates two wind power facilities in Japan and a 50-MW wind facility in China, the largest wind energy market in the world. The company is also an investor in four solar power projects – a 31-MW project in southern France; a 14-MW project in Canary Island, Spain; a 10-MW project in southern Italy; and a 5-MW project in Germany. – EcoSeed Staff

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