- Industry Roundup
- Fab & Facilities
- Cell Processing
- Thin Film
- PV Modules
- Power Generation
Having previously announced a major reorganization of its entire operations, centrotherm photovoltaics, the second largest equipment supplier to the PV industry, has employed an outside consultancy to prepare discussions with its banks to secure further funding. The move was sparked by short-term liquidity issues after merchandise credit insurance companies, used for products and merchandise being delivered to the company, declined further coverage and guarantees.
TÜV Rheinland has inaugurated its new PV and energy storage testing facility in Japan, the company has announced. The €5 million Kansai Technology Assessment Center (KTAC) is located in Osaka on 2,500m² of office and floor space and will focus on the assessment and testing of rechargeable energy storage systems.
A report released by Reuters has noted that before it closes its German plants at the end of this year, First Solar will be ramping up production in order to meet what it calls an “unexpected surge in demand.” The news comes just a few months after the company announced that it would shut down production of its Oder plant in Q4 2012 as it moves its focus away from Europe.
Aiming to ensure the company can lay claim to being the largest CdTe producer in Europe by the end of the year, Calyxo has announced plans to invest in a second CdTe production line at its Bitterfeld-Wolfen plant in Germany. The company will add a second line, with a capacity of 60MW, to the already installed 25MW line at the manufacturing plant.
aleo solar’s management board has decided to close down its facility in the Spanish village of Santa Maria de Palautordera, the company has announced. The Spanish facility has a capacity of 20MW and 92 employees, who will be directly affected by the closure, which is scheduled for the end of this year the latest.
As PV module manufacturers continue to tackle overcapacity and contain losses due to ASP erosion by limiting capital expenditures, PV equipment supplier, Komax Solar, a division of Komax Group, said it would cut approximately 70 jobs from its current level of 285. Other cost-cutting measures are already underway.
With polysilion spot prices heading for the low US$20/kg territory and well below small polysilicon producers’ production cost levels, Motech Industries has decided to exit the polysilicon sector with the shutdown and sale of assets of its subsidiary, AE Polysilicon Corporation (AEP). Motech invested in AEP in 2006 as it started the development of high purity granular polysilicon, intended to provide lower cost polysilicon compared to conventional Siemens processes.
Ensuring sufficient future supply of its ‘Tedlar’ polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) film for PV module assembly requirements has been completed, according to DuPont. The US$295 million investment in new capacity has more than doubled production, the company said. DuPont has recently secured long-term agreements with Tier 1 PV module manufacturers such as Suntech, Yingli Green, Trina Solar and China Sunergy.
Swiss-based VHF-Technologies, better known under its product branding as Flexcell has stopped production of its flexible thin-film products and reduced its headcount to around 50. The move is designed to preserve cash, after being thrown a financial lifeline by Capricorn Capital to the tune of CHF8.5 million (US$8.9 million).
Swiss silicon thin-film firm, Pramac has been forced to file for insolvency after shareholders rejected management proposals over restructuring the company after posting losses (net) of over €94 million in 2011. The diversified firm had been a customer of Oerlikon Solar since 2008. Pramac had a 30MW end-to-end turnkey line using Oerlikon’s ‘Micromorph’ technology.
The former BP Solar module assembly plant, originally closed in 2009 but resurrected by Silex Systems to provide modules in the Australian market has also closed the facility. The company said that it couldn’t operate the facility on a profitable basis as market demand in Australia had waned.
Indium has acquired a new manufacturing facility, located in Rome, NY, USA. The plant is currently being outfitted to expand production capacities of the company’s range of compounds, including indium-, gallium-, germanium-, and tin-based materials.
A new 44MWp module assembly plant in the De Vernejoul industrial park in Porcelette, Eastern France will assemble SunPower’s Maxeon solar cells into modules to meet demand in France, Italy, Germany and Belgium. Total and SunPower said that its 3,300-square-metre plant is equipped to produce approximately 150,000 high efficiency (20% conversion efficiency) modules per year. This is the first such plant SunPower will operate in Europe, having the majority of its production in the Asia-Pacific region.
Hoku Corporation released a statement advising of the current state of the company, which included a confirmation that it had stopped all construction activity for its Hoku Materials polysilicon production site, which is not yet in commercial operation. As of March 31, the company estimates that it had nearly US$7.7 million in cash and US$278.8 million in liabilities, including US$74.4 million in accounts payable at Hoku Materials.
eSolar and Sanmina-SCI advised that they had entered a partnership that will combine the companies’ proficiency in solar thermal energy solutions, local content-optimized component design and manufacturing for utility-scale power plants. Sanmina-SCI noted that it plans to work with eSolar to enhance the company’s solar collector system product offering, which is currently being used in operating CSP facilities.