India-based PV module manufacturer Vikram Solar has teamed with Fraunhofer ISE, Meyer Burger, and centrotherm to provide its previously announced plans to include solar cell production as part of overall module capacity expansions. 

Vikram Solar said it also had plans to support the establishment of a solar academy in India with support from Fraunhofer ISE. 

A MOU was signed with the companies during the Hannover Messe event, which includes Fraunhofer ISE assisting the company with the research and development of industrial scale crystalline silicon solar cell and module processing.

“Only photovoltaic manufacturers using excellent production technology will be successful in the very competitive PV market. Fraunhofer ISE is happy to support Vikram Solar to build up a production line for solar cells with the latest technology and therefore contribute to the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Indian Government”, Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, Head of Energy Policy of Fraunhofer ISE said.

Already a supplier to Vikram Solar, Meyer Burger is expected to provide selected solar cell and module manufacturing equipment, while collaborating on process improvements in solar cell and module manufacturing.  R&D on materials, processes, and device technologies are also included in the MOU. 

For its part, centrotherm will also provide solar cell equipment and manufacturing expertise to improve cell efficiency and productivity, according to Vikram Solar. 

“By collaborating with leading technology providers and leveraging proven expertise from some of the best brains in the industry, Vikram Solar aims to reinforce its positioning as a technologically advanced PV manufacturer. We believe that this will add tremendous value for our global customers, resulting in unmatched product quality at very competitive costs,” states Gyanesh Chaudhary, Managing Director & CEO of Vikram Solar.

According to PV Tech’s analysis, Vikram Solar current has a module nameplate capacity of approximately 150MW. The company was considering expanding module capacity by a further 200MW to reach a cumulative capacity of 350MW by the second quarter of 2015 and potentially under a second phase expansion by the fourth quarter of 2015 reach 600MW. 

Vikram Solar’s first solar cell production facility was previously stated to be planned for the first quarter of 2016, with a nameplate capacity of 250MW. 

The module manufacturer had previously announced the collaboration with Finish firm Cencorp in the potential to deploy to its Metal Wrap Through (MWT) solar cell and Conductive Back Sheet (CBS) based PV module technology.

However, Cencorp has recently said in financial filings that an expected signed equipment contract with a potential customer had been delayed. 

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