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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Teams up with Solar Firm

Centrsolar will be exclusive European manufacturer of crystalline solar modules for TSMC and build a new production hall and warehouse.

Chip giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) announced on Jan. 11 that it had teamed up with Centrosolar to produce solar modules. Centrosolar is a supplier of photovoltaic systems for roofs and key components in Germany.

Under the agreement, Centrosolar will become the exclusive European manufacturer of crystalline solar modules for TSMC, with the first deliveries due in the third quarter of 2011.

Centrosolar will build a new production hall and warehouse near its plant in Wismar, Germany, as part of a project expected to generate hundreds of new jobs.

TSMC, the world's top contract microchip maker by revenue, has been branching out to the renewable energy industry in recent years by investing in local and foreign solar firms. Last year it invested $50 million in a 21% stake in California-based solar-panel maker Stion, after buying a 20% stake in Taiwan's largest solar cell producer Motech Industries the year before.

Taiwan has estimated its solar energy industry will be worth up to Tw$200 billion Taiwan dollars (US$$6.66 billion) by 2020.

The island's parliament has passed a major renewable energy bill aimed at adding between 6,500 and 10,000 megawatts of installed energy from renewable sources over the next 20 years.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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