CIGS thin-film producer, TSMC Solar has obtained MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certification from TUV SUD BABT to sell its PV modules in the booming UK market.
The company has also obtained, “a positive bankability report” from DNV GL (Det Norske Veritas / Germanischer Lloyd), a recognized independent solar engineering services firm. The report was cited to have said that; "The TSMC Solar factory has the capability to produce modules of first rate quality, with a quality system in line with best industry practices and a commitment to continuous improvement of the product and quality levels."
TSMC Solar is a subsidiary of TSMC, the largest merchant foundry in the semiconductor industry, which reported revenue of US$19.88 billion in 2013.
The CIGS thin-film subsidiary also confirmed to PV Tech that the company was also expanding production from 40MW to 120MW in 2014. The company noted that equipment purchases have been made and tool install in expected to have been completed by the end of the third quarter of 2014. TSMC Solar expects to fully ramp the new capacity in the fourth quarter of this year.
Expanding into the UK market makes sense as it is one of the few European countries with a growing market and utility-scale market strong with near-term FiT security.
Although the dominant module of choice for project developers in the UK have been crystalline silicon modules, BELECTRIC primarily uses thin-film technologies and has deployed cadmium telluride (CdTe) modules from First Solar and CIS (copper indium selenium) modules from Solar Frontier in UK projects to date.
Also Hanergy Solar, another CIGS producer has already entered the UK market, selling its modules through Ikea.
Stephen McKenery, TSMC Solar Worldwide Sales Head said, "We are pleased to now be able to offer customers in all segments of the UK market our quality, high efficiency modules, which combine an attractive all-black appearance with energy yield exceeding that of polycrystalline silicon competitors.”
TSMC Solar said that both its ‘TS C2’ Series modules, which are rated at 145W to 165W and its ‘TS C1’ Series modules rated at 140W to 155W, were awarded the MCS certification. The company also has verified conversion efficiencies in development of 15.7%.