Solar, Storage, Utility Scale

Kyocera To Manufacture Solar Modules in the US

More big names are moving solar manufacturing to the United States. This week, Kyocera Solar said that it plans to start manufacturing solar modules in San Diego, California, to serve the U.S. market. The U.S. module manufacturing will be another step for the company on the road to its goal of manufacturing 1,000 megawatts of solar cells per year by March 2013.

“The U.S. is experiencing extraordinary growth in its adoption of solar electricity,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar Inc. “Kyocera’s San Diego plant will provide high-quality, high-efficiency solar modules to serve this expanding market. With a 35-year commitment to providing clean energy through solar modules, Kyocera is adding capacity globally to meet worldwide demand.”

The new solar module manufacturing will begin in San Diego at Kyocera’s Balboa Avenue facility during the first half of 2010, with an initial production target of 30 megawatts per year.

Solar energy has become one of Kyocera’s fastest-growing businesses globally, with the company expecting to double its production of solar cells in the two fiscal years from 2009 to 2011. In addition to the operations coming to San Diego, Kyocera currently has solar module manufacturing facilities in Japan, China, the Czech Republic and Mexico.

“Today’s announcement is further proof that California’s nation-leading green policies play a vital role in our state’s economic success,” said California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Even in this recession, green jobs in California have grown, and Kyocera’s decision to locate its solar manufacturing operations in San Diego will create even more jobs at a time when they are needed most.”

Earlier this week, Kyocera announced that it was increased its manufacturing capacity in Japan. The plant, located in Yasu Cityemploys an enhanced manufacturing line, which increases productivity by 20% compared with the company’s exisiting Yohkaichi Plant and manufactures Kyocera’s newly enhanced cell with an average energy conversion efficiency of 16.9%. These cells are used in the company’s 215-watt solar module — one of solar energy industry’s top power output levels.

In December, Kyocera announced that it has supplied roughly 190,000 solar modules, equivalent to approximately 40 megawatts (MW), for two newly completed large-scale solar power plants in Spain.