Toshiba plans solar power push in U.S. and Europe: Nikkei

A man walks toward Toshiba Corp's headquarters in Tokyo January 29, 2010. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

BANGALORE (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp plans to construct solar power projects in Europe and the United States, hoping to generate 150 billion yen ($1.76 billion) in overseas sales from solar power operations in fiscal 2015, the Nikkei business daily reported.

Toshiba is initiating the push with the construction of a 10,000-kilowatt Bulgarian facility scheduled to come on stream next fiscal year, the paper said.

The firm is weighing forays into Italian and U.S. markets and aims to use the expertise in solar power plants to tap demand for smart-grid infrastructure, a market poised to grow worldwide, the Nikkei said.

The plant in Yambol, Bulgaria, is expected to cost about 4 billion yen to build and will have the capacity to power about 2,000 households, the business daily said.

Instead of owning the plant outright, Toshiba will sell it to local financial funds and other investors, the Nikkei said.

Toshiba plans to be build eight large solar power plants a year in Europe alone in 2015 and may consider local acquisitions of firms with construction knowledge, the daily said.

Toshiba is targeting a combined sales of 200 billion yen from domestic and overseas solar power operations in FY 2015, the Nikkei said.

($1=85.11 Yen)

Reporting by NR Sethuraman in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair