Solar

Kyocera Solar to Double Worldwide PV Output

In a plan to double its global solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing output, Kyocera Solar is planning broad manufacturing expansions – including new facilities in North America, Europe and Japan.

Kyoto, Japan – September 22, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Combined with the company’s established plants in Japan and China, the new operations will give Kyocera significant local production capabilities in the world’s top four solar PV markets. The expansion, which marks Kyocera’s 30th anniversary in the solar energy field, comes in response to strong global demand for solar electric generating systems. The first of the new production centers will open in Tijuana, Mexico on October 1, 2004, and should supply PV modules for the North American markets. A second facility planned to open in Kadan, Czech Republic, will supply PV modules to the booming German market and other EU countries beginning in April 2005. Kyocera will add a new production facility to its Yohkaichi plant in Japan’s Shiga prefecture as well. The company plans to double its output of solar cells, which are the basic building blocks of solar PV modules. In so doing, Kyocera will create a framework for manufacturing up to 20 MW of solar modules per month, or up to 240 MW per year, by August 2005. To achieve this goal, the company will take advantage of its fully integrated production system, which involves every step of the PV manufacturing process — from casting silicon materials and producing individual solar cells, to assembling finished PV modules and integrating them into solar electric generating systems. By strengthening its production framework as described above, Kyocera will aim to become world’s largest “fully-integrated” producer of PV modules. Short Profiles of the New Plants Follow: Tijuana, Mexico Kyocera Solar’s Mexico plant will assemble PV modules for the Americas, with particular focus on the California market. Production will begin on October 1, 2004, at one MW per month initially, rising to three MW per month by the end of 2005. Kycocera’s investment in the plant amounts to 200 million yen (approximately $1.8 million). Kyocera Solar will be subcontracting to Kyocera Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. Both companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Kyocera International, the North American headquarters and holding company for Kyocera Corporation. Kadan, Czech Republic Kyocera Solar’s Czech plant will assemble PV modules for the growing EU markets, particularly in Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic and Spain. A new, single-story building will be constructed by October 1, 2004. Production capacity will equal one MW per month starting April 1, 2005, and rise to between four and five MW per month by the end of 2005. Kyocera’s investment in the facility will be 700 million yen (approximately $6.4 million). It will be operated by Kyocera Solar Europe s.r.o., established jointly as a subsidiary of Kyocera Fineceramics GmbH, a sales company in Europe, and Kyocera Corporation. Yohkaichi, Shiga, Japan A new manufacturing facility will be constructed next to Kycocera Solar’s existing plant in Yohkaichi, Shiga, Japan. The plant will manufacture solar cells to be assembled into modules at the company’s four global production bases (Ise, Japan; Tianjin, China; Tijuana, Mexico; and Kadan, Czech Republic). Beginning August 1, 2005, the facility will produce 10 MW per month (creating, in combination with the existing plant, a total capacity of 20 megawatts per month). At 9.1 billion yen (approximately $83.5 million) the company’s investment is significantly higher than the module fabrication facilities in Mexico and the Czech Republic.