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Suntech breaks ground on Shanghai solar cell plant

Posted: 30 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:thin-film solar cells? solar cell plant? photovoltaic products?

Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd recently announced that it has begun construction on a thin film R&D and manufacturing facility in Caohejing Hi-tech Park in Shanghai, China. The first phase of the new plant is expected to begin operation in 2008 reaching 50MW of thin-film solar cell production capacity in 2009.

The company's thin-film module production will be based on technology that deposits amorphous and micro-crystalline silicon thin film on glass substrate. The product will use less than 2 percent of the silicon required to manufacture equivalent crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) products.

Suntech projects that the thin-film modules will have a solar conversion efficiency of 6-9 percent and an initial production cost of approximately $1.20 per watt, which is forecasted to continue to decline as both production scale and conversion efficiencies increase. The thin-film modules will be nearly 6m? in size, which would make the balance of system installation costs of the thin-film solution significantly lower than other PV solutions.

"After having acquired MSK, one of the industry leaders in the building integrated photovoltaic products (BIPV) space, we were very pleased to see that there is both a strong and long-term global sales market for these products, especially thin-film PV modules. We plan to combine our thin-film product with MSK's BIPV product, thereby capturing a greater portion of the PV value chain in a higher margin, higher ASP and higher value added product segment," said Zhengrong Shi Suntech's chairman and CEO.




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