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Chinese Buyer Says Calif. Solar Firm MiaSole Will Expand

Jan 9, 2013
Source: 
(AP)

The Chinese company that bought MiaSole, a California producer of thin-film solar panels, says it can make the emerging technology successful where others have suffered huge losses.

Hanergy Group's strong finances will help MiaSole invest in research and ride out a downturn in the global solar market, while its links to customers in China and abroad will help build sales, chairman Li Hejun said Wednesday. Hanergy says it is China's biggest privately owned renewable energy company, with interests in hydro, wind and solar power.

"We firmly believe in the prospects of this company and this industry," Li said at a news conference.

MiaSole, in Santa Clara, California, was one of several well-funded U.S. startups that invested in thin film, which is more efficient than traditional silicon cells. But they struggled after a plunge in prices ofsilicon cells due to a glut of supply from China hurt sales of the new technology. Producers including Solyndra, Beacon Power and Abound Solar filed for bankruptcy.

Hanergy bought MiaSole late last year from venture capital firms that financed it. The sale formally closed Wednesday.