Masdar Breaks Ground on Thin-film Solar PV Factory in Germany

Less than three months after announcing a strategic investment into thin-film solar photovoltaics (PV), Masdar, the Abu Dhabi renewable energy company, this week broke ground on its first solar PV production plant in Ichtershausen, Germany. The US $230 million German plant marks the first phase of Masdar’s US $2 billion investment in thin-film PV manufacturing, one of the largest investments ever made in solar.

To be opened in Q3 2009, the plant has a targeted annual production capacity of 70 megawatts (MW), and will create more than 180 jobs. The German plant will act as a blueprint for technology and knowledge transfer to a 140 MW plant in Abu Dhabi, which will begin initial production by Q3 2010, Masdar said. Output from both facilities has already been committed to major PV system installers in Europe, and for Masdar’s own energy generation needs.

“Abu Dhabi’s geography and our vision to become a world leader in renewable energy, makes thin-film PV a natural area of focus for Masdar,” said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar. “Germany, with its technology, highly-skilled workforce, attractive investment climate, and direct access to the European market, make it an ideal partner for Masdar.”

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