SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Japan's Toshiba Corp. has entered into the solar photovoltaic systems business.
As part of the plan, Toshiba's Transmission Distribution & Industrial Systems Company has established the Photovoltaic Systems Division. The unit is a dedicated business management and promotion organization that ''will take the initiative in responding to a surge in demand for solar photovoltaic systems,'' according to Toshiba (Tokyo).
Solar photovoltaic systems are moving beyond residential applications to large, megawatt-scale projects for utility and industrial plants.
Toshiba said it will secure orders for large solar power generation systems. It's unclear if Toshiba will develop solar panels, however.
By 2015, the global solar photovoltaic systems market for utility and industrial plants is expected to reach 2.2 trillion yen ($24.4 billon), from that of 1.2 trillion yen ($13.3 billion) in fiscal year 2008, according to the company.
Toshiba will promote business expansion by utilizing existing global sales channels and expects to achieve an annual business scale of about 200 billion yen ($2.2 billion) by fiscal year 2015.
The company is a major player in the energy systems sector. In a bid to turn its nuclear-power business into a growth driver, Toshiba in 2006 agreed to acquire Westinghouse Electric Co. from British Nuclear Fuels plc (BNFL, London), buying shares from BNFL Group USA Inc. and Westinghouse Electric UK Ltd.
The acquisition added Westinghouse's pressurized-water reactor (PWR) technology to Toshiba's own boiling-water reactor capability, expanding the Japanese company's slate of nuclear-power infrastructure offerings. PWRs are the most commonly used reactor types worldwide.