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China-based Hanergy Thin Film Power Group is to build a 10MW gallium arsenide (GaAs) thin-film solar cell R&D and manufacturing plant using recently acquired US start-up Alta Devices technology.

Hanergy TF said that Huangpi District People’s Government in Wuhan City had entered into an investment cooperation agreement to facilitate the new operation. 

Wuhan Huangpi District Government would be responsible for the construction of the production site, warehouse, factory facilities and power systems as well as supporting the company in obtaining financing for the plant from local financial institutions. 

The new facility in Huangpi Linkong Industrial Park, Whan City is expected to be completed in the next 10 months, while tool install is expected in 12 months. Equipment and manufacturing line testing ahead of initial ramp of production was expected to start within 18 months (October 2016). 

According to Hanergy TF the first phase of the plant would include a 3MW production line. 

Hanergy Holding Group, parent company of Hanergy TF has targeted Alta Devices high-efficiency GaAs cells to be used in mobile applications such as portable and wearable devices including vehicles, which currently remain highly niche and development stage markets. 

PV projects in Wuhan

However, Hanegry TF also noted that Wuhan Huangpi District Government was also planning to implement a range of PV projects using thin film technology across new residential buildings and agricultural greenhouses totalling around 600MW. 

The local government was said to have plans for 100,000 residential buildings to be deployed with thin film PV systems and 20,000 acres of agricultural greenhouses using thin film technology. BIPV demonstration projects of around 100 square metres for municipal buildings and public facilities would also be included in the plans.