SoftBank, Sharp Consider Venture for Solar Engineering Services

(Bloomberg) — SoftBank Group Corp. is considering setting
up a venture with Sharp Corp. to provide engineering,
procurement and construction services for developers of solar
projects.

The partners also plan to offer operations and maintenance
services for solar stations, Kenichi Yuasa, a spokesman for SB
Energy Corp., the clean-energy projects unit wholly owned by
SoftBank, said by phone Thursday.

The venture, in which SB Energy will have a majority, plans
to start operations early next year, the Nikkei newspaper
reported earlier, without saying where it got the information.
SB Energy plans to announce a decision as early as December,
Yuasa said.

The venture expects to cut costs to set up solar-power
stations by working together and sourcing supplies and services
directly, he said.

Sharp has been reorganizing its solar business to focus on
its home market. The Osaka-based company has been developing
solar panels since 1959.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at
cwatanabe5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at
landberg@bloomberg.net
Iain Wilson, Indranil Ghosh

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