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Toshiba Corp. is considering procuring solar panels from Sharp Corp. and other manufacturers to make a full-scale foray into the photovoltaic power generation business to cover losses from its struggling semiconductor operations, sources said Friday.

Given expected growth in demand for solar power generation to combat global warming, Toshiba plans to offer solar power systems to large facilities, such as factories and buildings, by combining its technology with solar panels procured from other firms, the sources said.

While the electronics maker doesn’t make solar panels, it has strengths in technology related to electricity distribution and batteries.

The deal would also benefit Sharp, one of the world’s largest makers of solar panels, as it aims to nurture the business into one of its key profit sources. Its other operations, including liquid crystal display TVs and mobile phones, have taken a beating from the global economic slump, according to the sources.

Toshiba said in a statement Friday that it is looking at various companies to supply solar panels. In a separate statement, Sharp said the company is studying forging a strategic partnership on solar batteries with many firms.

Both companies denied they had made any decisions on the solar-power business.

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