SCHOTT Solar Module Facility to Exceed 30 MW

SCHOTT will invest 60 million Euros (~USD$ 72 million) to enable its subsidiary, SCHOTT Solar, Inc. to build a new manufacturing facility for thin-film solar electricity modules in Jena, Germany. Its manufacturing capacity is expected to exceed 30 megawatts (MW) per year, and it will create 160 jobs. Production is anticipated for the fall of 2007.

“The establishment of this solar factory represents yet another milestone in our efforts to expand our solar activities. This investment means we will be expanding our thin film technology to the industrial series production level,” explains Dr. Udo Ungeheuer, Chairman of the Board of Management of SCHOTT. SCHOTT consolidated its PV solar electricity activities inside its subsidiary, SCHOTT Solar Inc. The new production facility will manufacture thin film solar electricity modules based on amorphous silicon (ASI). This process calls for silicon to be vapor deposited onto glass. One advantage that thin film silicon technology offers is that much less silicon is required compared to crystalline silicon technology. In addition to requiring less silicon, the thin film solar modules can be easily integrated into buildings and other facilities because they let in light. SCHOTT’s ASI thin film modules have been successfully implemented at the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif., the Ballard Public Library in Seattle, Wash., and Coney Island’s Stillwell Avenue Station (210 kW) in New York City, NY. In other thin film technology manufacturing, this new facility is joining a SCHOTT Solar facility currently producing ASI thin film modules in lesser quantities in Putzbrunn, near Munich, Germany. With a total manufacturing capacity of more than 100 MW, SCHOTT Solar is said to be Europe’s largest fully integrated photovoltaic (PV) module supplier, capable of covering the entire value creation chain, including crystalline wafers, cells and modules. SCHOTT Solar operates fully integrated manufacturing facilities for producing PV solar electricity components based on crystalline silicon wafers, with a SmartSolarFab in Alzenau, Bavaria; manufacturing sites in the Czech Republic; and in the U.S., a solar module production facility in Billerica, Mass., with sales and marketing offices in Elmsford, NY, and Rocklin, Calif. In North America, SCHOTT’s holding companies SCHOTT Corporation and its subsidiary SCHOTT North America, Inc. employ about 2,500 people in 16 operations. SCHOTT has more than 17,000 employees producing worldwide sales of approximately $2 billion.
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