BP Solar to Expand Its Solar Cell Plants in Spain and India

BP Solar has begun constructing two solar photovoltaic (PV) solar cell manufacturing plants, one at its European headquarters in Tres Cantos, Madrid, and the second at its joint venture facility, Tata BP Solar, in Bangalore, India.

For phase 1 of the Madrid expansion, which is ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified, BP Solar is aiming to expand its annual cell capacity from 55 megawatts (MW) to around 300 MW. The Bangalore expansion could add another 300 MW to BP Solar’s total capacity. The new cell lines use state-of-the-art screen-printing technology, much of it proprietary to BP Solar. By fully automating wafer handling, the lines will be able to handle the very thinnest of wafers available and ensure the highest possible quality. Construction of the new Madrid manufacturing facility is already underway, with the first line expected to be fully operational before the summer. Construction has also begun on lines two and three. In addition to the new manufacturing lines, the Tres Cantos site will be remodeled to include a new PV systems prototype area, a visitor-training center, and product testing and development facilities. “The new cell technologies we are using, our intellectual property in casting with Mono2 and the contracts we have signed to secure preferential access to metallurgical grade silicon are all important steps towards our goal of offering customers PV-generated electricity on a par with the cost of conventional grid-supplied electricity,” said Lee Edwards, BP Solar’s CEO.

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