Chinese-owned solar farms 'will benefit Cornwall'

Stephen Cai
Image caption Stephen Cai said there would be job opportunities for Cornish industry

The UK's first Chinese-owned solar farms, due to be built in Cornwall, will benefit the county's economy by using local industry, its owners said.

Nanjing-based company China Sunergy is planning two five megawatt farms - in Higher Tregarn at Mawnan Smith and Tregavethan in Truro.

Sunergy plans to have the farms working by April 2013 to secure UK subsidies.

Chief executive Stephen Cai said there would be "opportunities for local industry".

'Political stability'

The farms will have an estimated total building cost of between £15m and £30m.

The firm would receive annual subsidy payments of about £946,000 and sell the electricity for about £473,000.

Mr Cai said the company had chosen the UK because of its "legal system and political stability" and "charmed position as a global financial centre".

With regards to Cornwall, he said: "With this kind of of investment, we're bringing more job opportunities for local industry such as developers, construction companies and local maintenance service companies."

China Sunergy also said it was setting up a UK subsidiary which would be subject to UK tax.

Regen South West, an agency that promotes the renewable energy industry, said the move was broadly welcome.

Merlin Hyman, of Regen, said: "What is really important is that we match it with a strategy to make the most of the economic opportunities."

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