SAN FRANCISCO - January 20, 2011
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) and Baoding Tianwei Group Co., Ltd. (Tianwei) said today they have signed a strategic cooperation agreement that could lead to the development and building of solar power products in the United States. Such an agreement is a common first step in a business relationship involving a Chinese company. Specific financial terms were not disclosed.
The agreement includes potential financial support for Hawaii-based Hoku Corp. (Nasdaq: HOKU), a subsidiary of Tianwei. Hoku’s subsidiary, Hoku Materials, Inc., is building a polysilicon manufacturing facility in Pocatello, Idaho. The manufacturing plant is expected to eventually create 500 jobs in the United States and provide environmentally friendly products worldwide. In addition, Hoku Solar, a subsidiary of Hoku, is developing photovoltaic projects in the U.S.
A signing ceremony, held in conjunction with the visit to the United States by Chinese President Hu Jintao, was held Jan. 18 in North Carolina and was attended by representatives of both companies, along with Wang Chao, vice minister, China Ministry of Commerce; North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue; U.S. Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina; U.S. Rep. David Price of North Carolina; and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez.
“Tianwei has been a leader in renewable energy, including solar and wind, for many years now,” said Ding Qiang, vice chairman and president of Tianwei. “We are excited by the potential opportunities in the United States. We are especially pleased to have Wells Fargo as our partner. Together, we will continue to bring more clean energy to life and create more jobs in the U.S.”
“Wells Fargo is better positioned than ever to support the financing needs of overseas-based multinationals operating in the U.S.,” said Sanjiv Sanghvi, head of Wells Fargo Global Banking. “We are excited to have Tianwei as a partner and hope to be able to help the company develop its U.S. businesses.”
“The U.S. renewable energy market is growing quickly and its long-term value proposition continues to improve,” said Puon Penn, head of Wells Fargo’s National Cleantech Group. “Wells Fargo continues to expand its commitment to the sector by providing relationship-oriented banking services and credit for many of the most-accomplished and innovative solar companies in the world.”
To date, Wells Fargo has invested more than $480 million in solar projects and has become a leader in providing capital and support to renewable energy companies. Since making its first project investment in 2006, Wells Fargo has deployed more than $2.8 billion in project capital, including approximately $2.1 billion of tax equity, into more than 250 renewable energy projects in the U.S. The projects account for over 4,200 megawatts of new clean energy capacity across 25 states. Combined, these projects generate approximately 12 terawatt hours of electricity per year, which is enough clean, renewable energy to provide power to about 1 million American homes.
“These efforts help to diversify our country’s energy supply, create new jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and transition to a cleaner, greener economy.” said Penn.
Wells Fargo’s Global Banking provides middle market and large U.S. and foreign-owned companies with cross-border financing, working capital, risk and treasury management, and trade financing services. The Global Banking division maintains 14 offices throughout the U.S. and overseas offices in London, Hong Kong, and Dublin.
Wells Fargo’s National Cleantech Group provides commercial banking products and services to a variety of clean technology companies and green businesses nationwide. It offers customized services for businesses that manufacture, market, or develop clean technology products and services such as solar and wind power, energy and water efficiency, electric and low-emission vehicles, environmental remediation, and smart grid applications. More information is available at www.wellsfargo.com/inatl.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With approximately 280,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 19 on Fortune’s 2009 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.
Baoding Tianwei Group Co., Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of China South Industries Group which ranked the 275th on Fortune Global 500 in 2010. Established in 1958, Tianwei is a leading manufacturer in the power transmission and distribution industry and the renewable energy industry. Its products include the most advanced 1000kv, 800kv, 750kv, 500kv, 330kv, 220kv, and 110kv offerings to a wide customer base in more than 30 countries, including the United States.
Tianwei renewable energy focuses on photovoltaic (PV) and wind power. It becomes a new pillar for Tianwei‘s business. Tianwei Group is fully vertically integrated from polysilicon to PV systems, and becomes one of the top ten PV module providers for the European market. Tianwei has also built a strong wind power sector, including wind turbine, blade, control system, tower, and wind farm development.