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Abound Solar, a private solar company that had previously been known as AVA Solar, has begun the production of cadmium telluride solar panels at its first factory in Longmont, Colorado, hoping to be competitive with companies such as First Solar Inc. The plant expects to produce 200MW by the middle of next year and annually thereafter.
A cadmium telluride-based plant is different from the traditional use of the more expensive polysilicon as a raw material. The highly successful First Solar also uses low-cost cadmium telluride.
While the new plant in Longmont expects to employ around 300, the company boasts about being able to convert sheets of glass into solar panels in less than two hours without the use of manual labor. Abound, who plans to build a second plant in the near future, hopes Germany, the US and India will be the biggest customers.
First Solar recently reduced its manufacturing costs to US$0.98 per watt. Chief Executive Pascal Noronha (pictured) anticipates that Abound will be able to mirror that within the next three months by cutting costs as production rises.