Strong demand for solar cell modules in Japan is forcing Sanyo to squeeze more capacity from its PV production plants Nishikinohama and Shiga. A further 5MW per annum is expected from its plant in Nishikinohama due to productivity improvements from existing lines, taking capacity to 40MW. The main increase comes from its plant in Shiga, which will reach a capacity of 250MW by March, 2011. The Shiga plant is currently undergoing a 100MW expansion, doubling capacity but a further 50MW is now planned by adding more lines at the facility in the same timeframe.
Overall, Sanyo is planning on almost doubling its HIT solar cell production capacity to 600 MW, by March 2011. Current capacity stands at 340MW, according to the company.
Sanyo said that the Japanese market is expanding rapidly due to installation subsidies from the national and prefectural governments, as well as the national government’s new surplus electricity purchasing program for solar power.