Start-up Siva Power has touted a revised low-cost roadmap for CIGS thin-film modules that would generate US$0.28/Watt on a single 300MW fully-automated production line.
Siva Power, formerly Solexant, had reported a lab-based CIGS cell efficiency of 18.8%, verified by NREL in December, 2013 as well as recruit former head of Applied Materials PV operations and a former NREL director, Charlie Gay to its Technical Advisory Board.
Currently Siva Power is only in process of building a small mini-module pilot line, yet is claiming its modelled US$0.28/Watt cost is geographically agnostic, due to the use of commercially proven FPD (Flat Panel Display) equipment and technology.
The 300MW production line was also said to have been modelled as the best scale for module production.
“Silicon photovoltaic (PV) technology still relies on brute force replication of small production lines. The next wave of solar will require advanced manufacturing, high-speed automated production lines based on thin film PV,” said Brad Mattson, CEO of Siva Power. “Our technology roadmap results in a solar 'Factory of the Future' with gigawatt production capacity, competitive efficiency and the world's lowest cost.”
Whether Siva Power will itself migrate to volume production in the future is unclear, though the company could be following the route of Applied Materials, Oerlikon Solar as well as Stion in providing turnkey solutions or simply licensing IP to new entrants or existing PV manufacturers looking to develop a presence in the thin-film market.
The majority of the first wave of a-Si thin-film entrants and many in the CIGS segment in the last decade have failed.