Best Solar to invest $2.5 billion for 1GW thin-film capacity in 2010

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Exhibiting
for the first time at Intersolar last week was Best Solar Hi-Tech Co.,
Ltd., the thin-film PV manufacturing start-up, created by LDK Solar’s
founder and CEO Xiaofeng Peng. Brochures displayed by the company
detailed the plans to spend $2.5 billion over the next three years to
reach a capacity of over 1GW annually using Applied Materials’ ‘SunFab’
turnkey large 5.7m2 glass substrate (Si) thin-film
technology. This would seem to give confirmation to the fact that Best
Solar, a privately held company, was the un-named company that Applied
Materials referred to in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
filing in March, 2008 as having placed a $1.9 billion order for its
SunFab lines.

“By working closely with world leading Solar Equipment provider Applied Materials, the company is deploying the most advanced technology and equipments to thin film solar market,” was how the Best Solar brochure phrased the news.

Best Solar also stated that they were currently building one of the largest thin-film fabs in the world to date. An artist’s drawing of the manufacturing complex highlighted three side-by-side facilities each with a capacity of 350MW labeled Phase 1, 2 and 3. The facilities are being built in the Wuzhong Economic Development Park, Suzhou Jiangsu, China.

Using tandem junction technology with an expected conversion efficiency of 8.5 percent initially, Best Solar plans to reach 12 percent efficiency levels in 2011.

Initial production is planned for the end of 2008, and with the completion of certification in Europe and North America, shipments are expected in the first quarter of 2009.

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