SolarWorld adding 500MW of monocrystalline ingot production

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SolarWorld is planning to add a total of 500MW of monocrystalline ingot production at the former Bosch solar manufacturing facilities in Arnstadt, Germany, and upgrade all 700MW of solar cell production at the site to next-generation PERC (passivated emitter rear cell) technology.

The introduction of monocrystalline ingot production at the Arnstadt facility was said to create an additional 60 jobs to the 830 already employed at the facility, which was said to be running at full capacity. 

Ingot production is expected to begin ramping in the second quarter of 2015. SolarWorld’s production site in Freiberg, which houses wafer slicing equipment, will convert the ingots into wafers.

SolarWorld has been involved in R&D programmes for several years and received funding from German agencies to significantly reduce the cost of the Czochralski method of single crystal monocrystalline ingot production. Development work included larger ingots and a multi-pulling process which enables the production of two ingots in a single process cycle, boosting productivity and lowering costs. 

“Solar technology is about quality and maximum power efficiency,” said Frank Asbeck, SolarWorld’s chairman and chief executive officer. “In both areas, we will further expand our leadership position. We thus consistently focus on our production in Germany and the United States. With new crystal production in Arnstadt, we will extend the vertical range of our value chain. Only sites operating under maximum quality, environmental and social standards, with qualified personnel and at advanced levels of automation can achieve top quality. That's what our customers expect from us.”

SolarWorld said that its module manufacturing capacity stood at 1.6GW. 

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