Trina set to build giant 1GW solar farm in Western China

Jessica Shankleman

Solar panel manufacturer hoping to start work on 1GW project early this year

China's second largest solar panel manufacturer is poised to start building a 1GW solar farm that will boost green power supplies in the west of the country.

Trina Solar confirmed on Monday that it had signed a framework agreement with local authorities in Turpan Prefecture, Xinjiang region, to build the utility-scale solar farm and a module manufacturing plant.

The project will be built in tranches over the next four years, with the first two phases totalling 300MW due to start construction in early 2014 and be completed by the end of the year. However, construction is dependent on the projects getting the green light from the local government and grid connection approval.

Trina Solar shares jumped almost seven per cent on Monday in the wake of the announcement.

Trina chief executive Gao Jifan said the project would be the largest of its kind in Xinjiang.

"The solar plants will ensure a stable supply of clean energy and improve reliability of electricity supply to the surrounding regions," he said in a statement. "At the same time, the module production facility will also create jobs and stimulate the growth of the local economy. We look forward to working in close collaboration with the local authorities to satisfy the conditions needed for phase one to commence in the first quarter of 2014."

China's solar power market has boomed in recent years, with capacity nearly doubling in 2012 to 7GW, according to the International Energy Agency. The government plans to add 10GW of new solar capacity each year from 2013 to 2015 in a bid to reach 35GW by the middle of the century.

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