BTU International establishes dedicated PV equipment unit led by industry veterans


BTU International, a maker of thermal processing equipment, has set up a dedicated business unit dubbed the ‘Alternative Energy Group’ to handle business expansion within the photovoltaic industry. As part of the move, the company is to establish two international research and process application laboratories—one in Billerica, Massachusetts and one in Shanghai, China.

“The increasing use of solar power as a clean, renewable energy source provides an excellent opportunity for us to grow our solar equipment business,” said BTU Chairman and CEO Paul J. van der Wansem. “We are strengthening our organization in a variety of ways beginning with the formation of a new Business Group for Alternative Energy under the leadership of two new executives with excellent experience and managerial talent.”

John J. McCaffrey, Jr. has joined BTU as Vice President of Alternative Energy, in charge of engineering and product development, while Douglas A. Lawson has joined the company and will be responsible for business development.

McCaffrey has worked at Evergreen Solar when it was a startup in 1999, where he designed, built, and operated their U.S. pilot and initial manufacturing facilities, achieving required margin and revenue targets. He next worked with Q-Cells to design the initial 30 megawatt EverQ factory in Germany, after which he moved to Daystar Technologies, a CIGS thin film solar company, setting up their pilot line for foil, and led the initial design for their 25 megawatt glass manufacturing facility in California.

Lawson was previously employed at PRI Automation and is a graduate of the University of Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts, with a degree in chemical engineering, and was awarded a Master’s degree in both manufacturing engineering and business administration from Boston University.

“We aim to double our solar business in 2008 as compared to 2007, and are pursuing a strategy that will allow us to double again for 2009,” noted van der Wansem. 

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