The panels will be delivered to Toshiba during the 2011 Japanese fiscal year, ending March 31, 2012. The company will reportedly use them to support its residential solar offering in Japan, which was launched last year, when it signed another contract with SunPower for the delivery of 32 MW of PV panels.
"Since we launched our residential solar business in Japan early last year, we have recorded solid achievements by implementing comprehensive sales and marketing activities, including expansion of sales channels," says Takeshi Yokota, general manager of Photovoltaic Systems Division, Toshiba Corporation.
"Japan is the leader in Asia in the residential solar market (…)," adds SunPower CEO Tom Werner. Indeed, Japan represented the third biggest PV market worldwide in 2010. It is a top three player when it comes to installed capacity and solar cell production, and the Japanese Photovoltaic Energy Association tells pv magazine the countrys strengths lie in both its PV technology and renewed political support.
Additionally, Bank Sarasin predicts that around 800 MW of PV systems were installed last year, while 2011 could see between 1,000 and 1,100 MW added. Looking forward to the next five years, the bank forecasts an average growth rate of 30 percent a year.