OSAKA — Sharp Corp. said Thursday it will start producing solar-power generation systems in the United States next spring, marking its first overseas production of the systems.

Production will be launched at the Sharp Manufacturing Co. of America in Memphis, Tenn., a manufacturing firm owned by Sharp’s U.S. sales subsidiary, Sharp Electronics Corp.

In producing the systems, SMCA will assemble solar panels using solar cells manufactured in Japan. SMCA will be capable of producing solar-power generation systems with a combined power capacity of 20,000 kw per year.

It will aim to produce systems with a combined power capacity of 12,000 kw in the 2003 business year, raising production in line with demand, the officials said.

While the U.S. has rejected the Kyoto Protocol, which seeks to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, demand for solar power has grown in the U.S. following the electricity crisis in California in 2000.

Sharp foresees strong growth potential in the U.S. market and has decided to start production at SMCA, whose location is convenient for shipping to both the East and West coasts, the officials said.

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