Wacker Schott Solar has commissioned a new plant, which will be used to produce solar-grade polysilicon crystals. Construction took nine months at the site in Jena, Germany, and production tools are being installed in stages on the 13,500-m2 factory floor. Overall capacity is expected to reach 275 MW by the end of 2009. The roof of the new structure also features a 300-KW solar power system.
The company, a joint venture between Schott Solar and Wacker Chemie, says that it intends to gradually expand its manufacturing capacity to 1 GW by 2012. Planned investments of more than €300 million in the Jena facility are likely to create at least 700 new jobs.
The new plant will employ ingot crystallization technology that melts hyperpure silicon in crucibles and casts multicrystalline silicon ingots using directional solidification.
Patrick Markschläger and Axel Schmidt, Wacker Schott Solar’s two managing directors, said they were pleased with the new plant’s rapid completion: “We built the factory in record time and are now starting to install its equipment. It’s particularly worth noting that production continued without interruption throughout the construction period.”
The roof of the new building also features what is being called the largest PV array in Thuringia. The 300-KW system’s modules were made and supplied by Schott Solar, and the installation is operated by PV Meins.