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Mitsubishi beefs up PV cell production with new facility

Posted: 03 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PV cell plant? photovoltaic market? solar power?

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. plans to build a new photovoltaic (PV) cell production facility, the PV Cell Plant #2, at its Nakatsugawa Works Iida Factory in Nagano Prefecture. The company will expand annual production capacity of PV cells in response to a sharp increase in demand for solar power generation systems.

The company also intends to accelerate its capital investment plan by one year, with a total of 50 billion yen ($462.7 million) to quadruple its annual PV production capacity from 150MW to 600MW by fiscal 2012 (Apr. 1, 2011-Mar. 31, 2012). The company's previous plan announced Mar. 19 was to increase its capacity to 500MW by fiscal 2013.

Mitsubishi forecasts a global PV market size of 1,950MW in fiscal 2009 (Apr. 1, 2007-Mar. 31, 2008), growing to 4,430MW in fiscal 2012 (Apr. 1, 2011-Mar. 31, 2012), and further growth in demand is expected.

As one of the goals of "Environmental Vision 2021," a long-term environmental management vision of the Mitsubishi Electric Group announced on Oct. 22, 2007, the company plans to reduce CO2 emissions by further promoting PV installation and by developing technologies to increase module efficiency.

Specifically, Mitsubishi intends to improve output of solar power generation systems by combining its multicrystal silicon cell technologies (which have achieved the world's highest photoelectric conversion efficiency rate of 18.6 percent) with its PV inverters, which boast the industry's highest energy conversion efficiency rate of 97.5 percent. The company plans to promote these PV systems worldwide, thus contributing to preserving the environment and achieving a sustainable society.

Mitsubishi is also continuing its R&D on thin-film PV cells, and intends to watch the market closely to decide whether to enter this field.

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