Konarka Opens 1-GW Solar Thin-film Manufacturing Facility

Konarka Technologies, Inc. announced that it has opened a roll-to-roll flexible thin film solar manufacturing facility with a production capacity of 1 gigawatt (GW). The company said that the facility is part of its plan to prepare for the commercialization and mass production of its patent-protected thin film solar material, Power Plastic.

“This facility has state-of-the-art printing capabilities that are ready for full operation, with the future potential to produce over a gigawatt of flexible plastic solar modules per year,” said Howard Berke, executive chairman and co-founder of Konarka. “Our technical leadership and innovation in flexible thin film solar, along with this facility’s capabilities of producing in excess of 10 million square meters of material per year, will allow us to produce Power Plastic for indoor, portable, outdoor and building integrated applications.”
Located in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the 250,000 square foot building was previously the location for Polaroid Corporation’s printing technologies. With this U.S. based manufacturing location, Konarka further expands its presence in Massachusetts and accelerates its plans to develop and commercialize its polymer-based organic photovoltaic (OPV) technologies worldwide.

In addition to acquiring the fully automated roll-to-roll manufacturing line from Polaroid, the company has also hired the leading technology and process engineering teams from Polaroid, with plans to hire mroe than 100 additional employees as production increases toward capacity over the next two to three years.

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