Sanyo plans to double solar panel production capacity at its factory in Shiga Prefecture amid surging demand created by the revival of government subsidies for homeowners, according to a news story in the Friday edition of the Nikkei picked up by the Dow Jones newswire.
The report says that the company intends to build and equip a new facility for about ¥4.2 billion, or $43 million. Construction on the factory will start in April 2010, with operations slated to begin by March 31, 2011.
The facility will be capable of assembling 100MW of PV modules when it starts running at full capacity around July 2011, lifting the overall annual output of the Shiga plant to 200MW–enough to supply modules for about 25,000 more homes a year, according to the report.
The expansion will boost Sanyo’s worldwide solar panel production capacity by about 30% to 450MW. The firm also assembles solar panels at its plant in Osaka as well as facilities outside Japan.
Sanyo announced in June that it will increase production at its Shimane solar cell plant–adding more capacity for its high-efficiency HIT PV cells–from 130MW to 220MW per year. The company is also building a new cell factory at its Osaka site. When the expansions are completed, Sanyo expects its total cell production capacity to reach 600MW per year by the end of fiscal 2011.