Sharp to sell off Recurrent Energy?

According to the Japan Times, Sharp Corporation is planning to scale back its global solar operations, including selling off Recurrent Energy, of which it is a 100% stakeholder following its US$305 million acquisition of the company in November 2010. Reportedly, the only solar business it intends to hold onto is its cell production plant in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture.

Bloomberg has additionally reported today that Sharp presented a plan to its lenders on September 24 which, in addition to shedding Recurrent Energy, includes 10,000 job cuts, sales of television factories in Mexico, China and Malaysia, and sales of its Toshiba Corp. shares.

A spokesperson for Recurrent Energy told pv magazine that there has been no official announcement by Sharp on the matter. They additionally provided CEO Arno Harris’ perspective on the news.

"With almost 700 MW of contracted projects and a 2.5 GW project pipeline, Recurrent Energy’s business is strong, profitable and growing. We continue to meet and exceed our business goals as we build out our contracted project portfolio. To date we have secured almost $2B in project finance commitments from third parties and have ample capital to execute on all existing projects," said the CEO.

"Recurrent Energy has excellent and long-standing relationships with the major financial institutions engaged in the energy sector, and we have every confidence, based on our industry-leading position in North America and our strong profitability, that Recurrent Energy will retain the interest of financial sponsors, whether Sharp, a new sponsor, or a combination of the two."

He concluded, "The manufacturing side of the solar industry is experiencing some growing pains, but cost reductions continue to drive a robust market for leading developers like Recurrent Energy. Realignment is a natural part of industry maturity , which will ultimately unlock tremendous value, stimulate a new era of growth and make solar a pillar of mainstream energy markets."