SOURCE: Hoku Scientific, Inc.

Hoku Scientific, Inc.

January 27, 2010 16:10 ET

Hoku and Tianwei Announce Plans to Explore $50 Million Investment in Hawaii Solar Projects

HONOLULU, HI and CHENGDU, CHINA--(Marketwire - January 27, 2010) - Hoku Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOKU), a diversified, clean energy company with headquarters in Honolulu, and Tianwei New Energy Holdings Co., Ltd., a leading provider of silicon wafers, photovoltaic (PV) cells, modules and systems, today announced the signing of a letter of intent to explore the establishment and capitalization of an investment fund to provide dedicated financing for photovoltaic (PV) power systems to be installed and operated in the State of Hawaii by Hoku Solar, Hoku's PV integration subsidiary. The letter of intent is non-binding, and intended as a framework for further discussions and negotiations.

Under the terms of the letter of intent, the two companies will begin the process of structuring a solar project financing fund that could be as large as $50 million, which would provide funding for the installation and operation of large commercial, industrial, and utility-scale PV projects via power purchase agreements (PPA).

"We are extremely pleased to continue strengthening our relationship with Tianwei, and look forward to pursuing this opportunity," said Dustin Shindo, chairman and chief executive officer of Hoku. "With Hawaii's Feed-in Tariff expected to go into effect this year, we believe that a dedicated pool of project capital would provide real competitive advantage in Hawaii's rapidly evolving PV market."

"Hawaii has a compelling, but unique PV market," said Adam Zheng, president of Yuanhong Venture Capital in Chengdu, China, and a director of Hoku Scientific. "While Chinese investors are actively looking for a way to put capital to work in the expanding U.S. solar market, they recognize that it remains heavily fragmented by state-specific incentive programs and utility-driven interconnection requirements. This type of fund would offer a way to leverage Hoku Solar's specific expertise in a key, emerging U.S. market."

"We recognize Hoku's PV integration expertise, brand strength and market presence in the U.S., and Tianwei sees long-term business advantages to deploying investment capital into the growing Hawaii PV market," said Mr. Qiang Ding, Chairman of Tianwei Group.

Mr. Shindo continued, "With Tianwei as our largest shareholder, this represents a first step forward in our pursuit of mutually-beneficial business opportunities that leverage our respective strengths."

About Hoku Scientific, Inc.

Hoku Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOKU) is a diversified, clean energy technologies company with three business units: Hoku Materials, Hoku Solar and Hoku Fuel Cells. Hoku Materials plans to manufacture, market, and sell polysilicon for the solar market from its plant currently under construction in Pocatello, Idaho. Hoku Solar is a provider of turnkey photovoltaic systems in Hawaii. Hoku Fuel Cells has developed proprietary fuel cell membranes and membrane electrode assemblies for stationary and automotive proton exchange membrane fuel cells. For more information visit www.hokucorp.com.

Hoku®, Hoku Scientific® and Hoku Solar® are registered trademarks, and Hoku Fuel Cells™ is a trademark of Hoku Scientific, Inc. Hoku Materials™ is the trademark of Hoku Materials, Inc., all rights reserved. All other trademarks, trade names and service marks appearing in this press release are the property of their respective holders.

About Tianwei New Energy Holdings Co., Ltd. and Baoding Tianwei Group Co., Ltd.

Tianwei New Energy Holdings Co., Ltd. is based in Chengdu, China, and has total combined assets of approximately 2.7 billion Yuan (US$ 400 million). The Company is a subsidiary of Baoding Tianwei Group Co., Ltd ("Tianwei Group"), a leading Chinese manufacturer of power transmission equipment and green energy products. As of December 31, 2008, Tianwei Group had 8,000 employees, total combined assets of approximately 18.5 billion Yuan (US$ 2.7 billion), annual revenue in 2008 of approximately 11.2 billion Yuan (US$ 1.6 billion), and net profits of 1.22 billion Yuan (US$ 179 million).

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve many risks and uncertainties. These statements relate to Hoku Scientific's (including Hoku Solar's) ability to deploy capital from an eventual PPA fund to complete PV projects in Hawaii; Hoku Scientific's (including Hoku Solar's) future financial performance; Hoku Scientific's (including Hoku Solar's) business strategy and plans; and objectives of management for future operations. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as "anticipate," "believe," "can," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "will," "would" and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Hoku Scientific's actual results, performance, time frames or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, time frames or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Given these risks, uncertainties and other factors, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. In evaluating these statements, you should specifically consider the risks described in Hoku Scientific's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as applicable. Except as required by law, Hoku Scientific does not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

Contact Information

  • Contacts for Hoku Scientific:
    Hoku Scientific
    Tel: 808-682-7800
    Email: Email Contact

    Contacts for Tianwei:
    Mr. Lijun Qin
    Tianwei New Energy Holdings Co., Ltd.
    Tel: +86-028-6705-0188
    Email: Email Contact