US PV manufacturer SunPower has entered into a definitive joint venture agreement with three of its partners based in Mongolia and China.

The agreement was signed with Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor (TZS), Inner Mongolia Power Group (IMP) and Hohhot Jinqiao City Development Company (HJCD).

Under the terms of the agreement, SunPower will invest US$15 million in the joint venture, claiming a 25% stake. The joint venture, which is worth US$60 million, will be involved in the manufacture and deployment of SunPower’s C7 Tracker concentrator PV systems in Inner Mongolia and other regions in China.

The SunPower C7 Tracker combines single-axis tracking technology with rows of parabolic mirrors. As part of the technology, sunlight is reflected onto SunPower Maxeon cells which have a 22.8% efficiency — the world’s most efficient commercially available solar cells, the company claims. 

Commenting on the joint venture, Tom Werner, SunPower’s President and CEO stated: "This agreement capitalises on the capability of SunPower's next generation C7 technology to deliver industry leading cost effective energy. Working together with our team of strong local partners who bring different strengths to this project, we believe that we can deploy significant volumes of C7 power plants to help serve China's growing need for clean power.  We also expect that this venture will facilitate the development of a low cost, high volume C7 supply chain and accelerate our C7 cost reduction roadmap."

Huadong You, Chairman of TZ Group added: "This joint venture collaboration embeds essential winning factors including our excellent natural resources, the best photovoltaic technologies and diligent, committed partners. Our four-party, three country landmark partnership sets a role model for the industry and also embraces challenges for a sustainable future.”

The joint venture is subject to the approval of the Chinese government while initial C7 deployment is expected to begin by the end of 2013.