- Industry Roundup
- Fab & Facilities
- Cell Processing
- Thin Film
- PV Modules
- Power Generation
Tough times across Sharp Corporation’s electronics sectors filtered down into its solar manufacturing arm in its first quarter sales for the current financial year. Overall, Sharp posted quarterly losses of ¥138.4 billion (US$1.76 billion) on net sales of ¥458.6 billion. Sales within its solar cells segment were down 18.2%, compared to the same period in the previous year at ¥41.9 billion (US$534 million), generating an operating loss of ¥6.9 billion (US$57.5 million).
It appears the waivered salary of 2011 from Frank Asbeck, CEO for SolarWorld, was not wasted. The company has invested a total of US$27million to upgrade and replace several factory systems at its Hillsboro, Oregan, US plant. This particular facility was considered to be one of the ‘last plants standing’ in September 2011 because production lines were shuttered in Germany and throughout the US. The Hillsboro location also houses a demonstration park to debut technological advances, it hopes will boost the power output of its high-performance solar panels. The new initiatives push SolarWorld’s total capital investment in Hillsboro to more than US$600 million.
Dow Chemical Company’s plans for expansion, announced last year, have come to fruition with the production of its Enlight Polyolefin Encapsulant Films for use in PV solar panels in Thailand. Having commenced production in Ohio, US, in 2010, the company is also constructing a third manufacturing site for this film in Schkopau, Germany.
Sustained operational losses due to weak demand in core end-markets and continued aggressive price declines of conventional crystalline silicon modules has forced Schüco International to exit the thin-film PV market. The German-based PV manufacturer will close both its production facilities over the next few months as well as close its R&D facility by year-end with the loss of approximately 270 jobs.
A next-generation roll-to-roll CIGS thin-film firm, Solarion AG has started production at its first plant in a new industrial park in Zwenkau-Sued near Leipzig, Germany. Primarily planning to target the difficult BIPV and commercial rooftop markets, the company is claiming an initial 10% cell efficiency and a 20MW annual capacity.
SolarCity is continuing its upward spiral. At the beginning of this week, the company announced its partnership with Credit Suisse on a second round of investment. SolarCity has now opened an expanded operations centre in Beltsville, US. The company is ensuring new jobs in Maryland and to give the state’s homeowners, businesses and non-profit organizations better energy options that can cost less than their utility bills. Attendees at today’s grand opening included US senator Ben Cardin, as well as state senator Jim Rosapepe and state delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk.
Emcore and Camstar Systems announced that Emcore will be replacing various legacy manufacturing systems with the Camstar Enterprise platform. The changes will be incorporated into different systems, including the manufacturing execution (MES), quality management and statistical process control (SPC). The solution aims to simplify the system complexities essential to running Emcore’s wafer and cell processing and assembly, test and panel manufacturing.
Siliken has opened two new offices to support the Asian-Pacific region. The company’s Tokyo and Singapore units aim to not only help strengthen Siliken’s position in the Asian market, but to also help it expand further. The company chose to reinforce its presence in order to respond to the growing demand for PV solutions in the region.
This week, during the Solarbuzz China PV conference in Shanghai, Walt Cheng, DuPont’s managing director for greater China, was the featured speaker. During his talk he addressed various topics, but focused on the importance of innovation and the need for intellectual property protection in the continuously competitive PV market.
The Italian Institute for the Quality Mark (IMQ) has awarded ET Solar’s subsidiary, ET Solar Industry Limited, a factory inspection certificate. The organization offers factor inspection certificates and attestation services in the alternative energy sector.
ET Solar has obtained the factory inspection certificate issued by the Italian Institute for the Quality Mark (IMQ). IMQ offers factory inspection certification and attestation services in the alternative energy sector.
Claimed to be the first R&D facility in China focused on solar cell technology development, Chinese conglomerate, BYD has opened the BYD Ningbo PV R&D Centre in the Beilun Free Trade Zone. The new facility was said to be an important strategic initiative of the company and would also employ semiconductor production equipment to develop next generation solar cells.
Kyocera has opened a new warehouse for its solar products in the US, the company has announced. The warehouse is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and the company chose this location, in collaboration with logistics provider NFI, to support its distribution centres in Scottsdale and in San Diego, Arizona. The building that functions as Kyocera’s new warehouse has a 1.3MW PV rooftop array, equipped with 6,100 Kyocera PV modules, which was installed in 2010.
Indonesian State oil and gas company PT Pertamina has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with PT LEN to develop a local PV industry, the company has announced. The current Indonesian solar capacity is 17MW and PT Pertamina hopes to boost the solar industry by producing solar cells locally instead of having to import them. To date, only modules and PV systems are manufactured in Indonesia, cells have to be imported.
Heritage Global Partners and Schneider have entered a partnership for an asset auction, the companies have announced. The two companies have scheduled the auction for AE Polysilicon’s Pennsylvania manufacturing facility for Tuesday, July 31, 2010, beginning at 9am Eastern Time.