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Abu Dhabi taps Applied to build thin film solar lines

Posted: 04 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:photovoltaic manufacturing? Abu Dhabi solar power? thin film fab?

As part of its Masdar Initiative, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. has expanded its investment in solar energy with the purchase of three SunFab thin film lines from Applied Materials for solar module production.

With an optional tandem junction upgrade, the SunFab lines are expected to annually produce modules with a targeted capacity of up to 210MW, or enough energy to power approximately 70,000 homes.

"The Masdar Initiative is focused on ensuring that renewable energies play a key role in the energy portfolio that the world needs now and into the future. We are doing this by applying scale, capital and commitment to the most promising technologies to accelerate the rapid adoption of renewable energy," said Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar.

The Applied SunFab Line is an integrated production line for manufacturing thin film silicon solar modules using ultra-large 5.7m? glass panels. Suited for utility-scale applications, the 2.2m x 2.6m panels can reduce installation cost by over 17 percent compared to smaller scale thin film panels.

One of the SunFab lines to be supplied by Applied will be located in Erfurt, Germany, and is expected to start up in 2H 09. The other two lines will be located in Abu Dhabi and United Arab Emirates, and are expected to start up in early 2010. These lines will help supply solar power to Masdar City, the world's first zero carbon, zero waste city, designed to be fully powered by renewable energy, and also will help support the broader global need for clean sources of energy.

"Abu Dhabi Future Energy is leveraging its substantial resources and expertise in global energy markets to bring the first major photovoltaic manufacturing capability to the Middle East," said Mark Pinto, senior VP and general manager of Applied's energy and environmental solutions group.

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