TSMC and Centrosolar sign solar module deal

TAIPEI (BestGrowthStock) – Top contract chipmaker TSMC (2330.TW: ) and Germany’s Centrosolar Group AG (C3OG.DE: ) have signed a solar module manufacturing agreement as part of TSMC’s efforts to diversify into the fast growing solar market.

Under the agreement announced on Tuesday, Centrosolar will be the exclusive European maker of crystalline solar modules for TSMC (TSM.N: ), TSMC said in a statement. It declined to give financial terms.

Centrosolar will supply TSMC with an initial module capacity of 100 megawatts per year using solar cells provided by TSMC, and the first deliveries under the agreement are due in the third quarter of 2011.

TSMC and other technology firms in Taiwan are pushing into the global solar energy market as they leverage their expertise in chip and LCD manufacturing and eye new growth prospects beyond maturing chip and panel businesses.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Centrosolar and to offer a true premium module as our first product, and we look forward to closer collaboration in the future,” Chao Ying-chen, senior director in charge of TSMC’s solar PV business, said in the statement.

The two companies are discussing possible collaboration in product development and process engineering, TSMC said.

Before the announcement, TSMC shares closed up 0.4 percent on Tuesday, lagging the main TAIEX’s (.TWII: ) 1.29 percent gain.

About six months ago, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) said it will invest $50 million in a 21 percent stake in U.S.-based solar start-up Stion Corp.

Centrosolar is a major supplier of solar systems for roofs.