The Bosch Group has inaugurated its new €530 million photovoltaics competence center in Arnstadt, Germany. The facility includes the company’s solar energy division headquarters as well as R&D, PV cell and module production, and a training center under one roof. Together with an adjacent ingot and wafer manufacturing plant, Bosch covers all the steps in the crystalline-silicon value chain at this location.
Construction on the 382,000m2 site took place over two years. The company said it expects to create about 1000 new jobs by 2012, with 600 of those positions coming online this year. The new research center will employ 120 associates, who will develop new products and ready them for series manufacturing, while the new training center will begin operations Sept. 1.
The administration building façade features 620 slats integrated with ~4m x 0.5m thin-film solar modules, while semitransparent PV panels line the top floor’s hallway ceiling. The overall installed power rating of the PV systems totals more than 1MW, which should provide enough electricity to meet the needs of the offices in the HQ complex.
The Arnstadt site is one of three locations where Bosch has made significant investments in its solar division, which is expected to top €1 billion in revenues this year.
The company is building another module production facility in France, set to go into production in 2012. It also said construction will begin on an integrated PV manufacturing facility in Malaysia by the end of 2011, with an estimated price tag of €520 million.