LG has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the city of Gumi in South Korea, which will see the company’s solar cell manufacturing facilities in the city city exapnded to a 3GW capacity by 2020.

LG president and head of its Energy Business Center and B2B office Lee Sang-bong said: “As a result of this investment, LG’s solar power business will be in a much stronger position to be a dynamic engine for growth moving forward.

“LG has been actively involved in the solar energy business for two decades and we believe that mainstream consumers are more than ready to give solar more serious consideration.”

The multi-million dollar investment will add six more production lines to nearby facilities which currently produce solar PV panels through eight existing production lines.

The 2020 timeframe has been fragmented into two steps. The six addition production lines will be added to facilities in Gumi by 2018, raising total solar capacity from 1GW to 1.8GW.

The remaining two years will be dedicated to reaching the 3GW capacity which will generate enough energy to power 1 million households in the city for a year.

The electronics firm launched its solar business in 1995, and started commercial roll-out of solar PV in 2010.

LG expects the new investment to create around 870 additional jobs covering a range of segments including research and development and production.

Solar cities

The company joins both Apple and Google in announcing huge financial commitments to the production and research of solar panels across the globe.

Apple has previously announced its intentions to build more than 200MW of solar projects in China, aiming to produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 265,000 Chinese homes.

The tech giant has also confirmed that its entire Singapore operations, including a 2,500-person corporate campus and a forthcoming retail store, will be 100% powered by solar panels.

Last year Google announced that its latest renewable energy investment will be providing almost half of a $750m fund by SolarCity Corp to finance 25,000 residential solar projects.

Google has also expressed interest in purchasing a 12.5% stake in the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Northern Kenya – Africa’s largest wind farm.

The 310MW project marks Google’s 22nd investment in clean energy, representing $2bn and 2.5GW power. Google has not disclosed the value of the investment.

Matt Mace

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