GCL new energy aims to finish at least 300MW solar farms in U.S.

GCL New Energy Holdings Ltd., a Chinese operator of solar farms, expects to bring at least 300 megawatts of projects online in the U.S. in 2017.

“We already started developing the projects and are seeking to connect 300 to 500 megawatts of capacity to grids this year,” Vice President Hans Ren said in an interview in Shanghai on Monday.

The move is part of a bid by the developer to diversify as it rolled out a new strategy to focus equally on domestic and overseas businesses. As of the 12 months ended in December 2015, China accounted for about 70 percent of GCL New Energy’s revenue, with virtually no contribution from the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The bid is also in line with China’s push for solar manufacturers and power developers to build more projects outside the country as a way to mitigate tension amid a growing number of trade disputes.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month began a review that likely precedes dismantling the Clean Power Plan, a rule to cut long-term power-sector carbon pollution.

“U.S. policies will have some impact but it’s not material,” said Ren. The company last month arranged $59.8 million in loans for an 84.5-megawatt portfolio of solar projects in North Carolina

Besides the U.S., the company is also evaluating opportunities in Japan, Australia and the Middle East, he said.

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