Shell to exit solar PV, sell share of CIS venture Avancis to Saint-Gobain

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Shell plans to focus on biofuels and exit the solar photovoltaics business, selling its 50% share of thin-film PV company Avancis to joint-venture partner, Saint-Gobain.The German firm produces copper-indium-selenide (CIS) modules at its 20MW plant, which came online last year.

Saint-Gobain said that it will “accelerate the industrial development of Avancis.” Two additional production lines are being ramped up at the manufacturing site in Torgau, Saxony.

Avancis’ began as part of Shell Solar’s operations in Camarillo, CA, and was the first production-scale CIS factory, before the energy company divested that site as part of its 2006 sale to SolarWorld, although the crystalline-silicon firm did not acquire the thin-film assets as part of the deal. The CIS concern was spun off and the joint venture was created.

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