semiconductor development foundry SVTC Technologies has announced big
plans for developing a strong R&D presence in the rapidly expanding
photovoltaics industry. Its aim is to compete with the Fraunhofer
Institute in Germany and proprietary centers in Japan. In doing so,
SVTC believes it can become the main center for PV technology
development in North America.
SVTC Solar, the name of its new division, has leased more than 85,000 sq. ft. in San Jose of which 30,000 sq. ft. will be class 10,000 cleanroom, while another 20,000 sq. ft. has been deemed suitable for lab space, according to the company.
SVTC Solar expects the facility to house development partners as well as a targeted number of PV players. Initially, the aim is to attract 10 companies and expand that number to as many as 25 and 30 large and small companies engaged in silicon and gallium arsenide-based PV development over the next three years.
“With SVTC Solar, we intend to provide the photovoltaic industry with the same kind of development alternative and business model that SVTC offers the semiconductor industry – where SVTC successfully enables cost-effective commercialization of new technologies,” said Dave Bergeron, SVTC’s CEO. “The solar industry urgently needs a new support infrastructure to match the explosion in development efforts by new and existing solar manufacturers. Together with a number of high-profile partners, SVTC Solar will provide the most complete set of capabilities available in the U.S. and will compete with Fraunhofer in Germany and proprietary centers in Japan.”
Heading up SVTC Solar is Kurt Laetz, formerly of XsunX.
“I believe SVTC Solar will be a crucial catalyst for the solar industry, and I am very excited to be joining this venture at its inception,” said Laetz. “The photovoltaic community is hungry for the type of development services that SVTC delivers so effectively.”