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20 April 2010

US solar startup secures backing from South Korean blue chips

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Matinee Energy signs deal with Hyundai and LG Electronics in support of $1bn solar plant project

US renewable energy startup Matinee Energy has emerged from stealth mode with the announcement of a new alliance with South Korean heavyweights Hyundai and LG Electronics, that will see the three firms work together to invest up to $1bn in new US solar energy power plants.

Matinee yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hyundai Heavy Industries and LG. As part of the deal, Hyundai and LG will become lead partners in the first 240MW phase of a planned series of solar projects across the southern states.

Matinee, which was formed in late 2006, also announced that it has secured the financial backing of JP Morgan Securities to help raise finance for the proposed projects.

Company chairman Michael Pannos said that the new partnerships meant that the firm had now finalised the "total financing solutions" for its proposed new developments and would now be able to "reach economies of scale in both solar and wind turbine energy projects".

The company remains highly secretive and few details are known about the precise nature of the partnership with Hyundai and LG, or the nature of the technology it plans to use in the new projects.

However, Matinee did confirm that it ultimately plans to build 900MW of utility-scale energy plants mainly in the south west of the US over the next few years, and is looking to sign partnerships with a number of additional companies.


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