Panasonic Corp. (6752), the Japanese electronics company, plans to form a U.S. unit to finance commercial solar projects in North America.
Panasonic Eco Solutions North America, a separate unit the Osaka-based company formed in April, will build and operate the projects and Coronal Management LLC will manage the funding company, Jamie Evans, Eco Solutions’s director of project finance, said in an interview yesterday.
The electronics company’s backing will give potential customers confidence in the solar venture’s ability to provide funding and operate power plants, he said.
“For customers and investors there is the comfort of working with a 94 year-old” company with a strong balance sheet, Evans said. “We can remove some of the complexity involved in working with smaller companies.”
The company expects to develop “several projects” a year, he said, without providing specific targets. It will give preference to using Panasonic solar panels and will use panels from other suppliers when it makes sense “from a size and cost perspective.”
Panasonic said in July that it’s cutting output of solar panels at its plant in Hungary before opening a new plant in Malaysia in December.
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