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Sharp Solar Thin Film in US 2009

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 7 months ago

Sharp Solar to Bring Thin-Film Solar to US Soon


US: October 15, 2008



SAN DIEGO - Sharp Corp, one of the world's biggest makers of silicon-based solar cells, said on Monday it would introduce next generation thin film solar cells in the US market in the near future.



The lower cost of thin film solar is seen by Sharp and its competitors as the best way to create utility-scale solar panel arrays because they can produce power cheaper than traditional photovoltaic panels.

Sharp is "already working with prospective US customers in preparation for these large-scale deployments," said the company, which announced its plans at the Solar Power International conference being held in San Diego this week.


"As the US solar market grows, deployments of multi-megawatt utility projects and large-scale commercial installations are on the rise," said Ron Kennedi, vice president of Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group.


Sharp is joining the race to build thin film solar cells in the United States, which has been led by First Solar Inc.


Kennedi said Sharp plans to increase thin film solar production by building next-generation solar manufacturing plants in Japan.


Sharp recently completed installing a new second-generation thin-film solar cell production line at its Katsuragi Plant in Katsuragi City, Nara Prefecture using glass substrates about 2.7 times the area of Sharp's first generation substrates, and will begin production in volume this October. The addition of this new line expands production capacity for thin-film solar cells at the Katsuragi Plant to 160 megawatts annually, Sharp said.


Sharp said by March 2010 its thin film and liquid crystal display (LCD) plant in Sakai City, Osaka, would be in operation.


It will be capable of making 480 megawatts a year for a total of 640-MW annual production in 2010.


Future expansion will bring the capacity at Sakai to 1 gigawatt after 2010.


Thin film modules are made using less than 1 percent of the silicon used in crystalline solar cells, allowing for simpler manufacturing and lower production costs, but they do not produce as much electricity per panel.


Kennedi said the more traditional crystalline photovoltaic panels are best for residential needs because they are more efficient and take up less space per kilowatt produced. (Reporting by Bernie Woodall)






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