Sharp Denies US Manufacturing Plans Report

Officials for Sharp Solar, told SolarAccess.com Thursday that a major wire service’s published reports of plans to manufacture modules in Memphis, Tennessee are incorrect.

Mahwah, New Jersey – August 9, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] “From the moment that we launched our solar business in the United States, the topic of manufacturing product in the US came up,” said Sharp spokesperson Dave Fogelson. “We have been exploring that topic but at this point no decisions have been made.” Sharp announced plans in May to begin marketing its solar products in North America as part of planned production expansion in Japan to 200 MW of solar cells. Based in Huntington Beach, California, the Solar Division will market Sharp¹s solar cells, modules and systems available in North America, Canada and Latin America. Fogelson, who said the company currently manufactures microwave ovens, copier toner and televisions at an existing facility in Memphis, said the location would be a logical place for the company to consider in the future if a decision is made to bring solar production to the US. “Sharp has been in Memphis since 1975 and it stands to reason that we would explore the possibility of manufacturing in the context of an existing facility,” Fogelson said. In July, SolarAccess.com reported that Sharp Corporation had finished building a third solar cell manufacturing line for multi-crystal silicon solar cells at the company’s Shinjo No. 3 Plant in Nara Prefecture, Japan. The plant is fully operational, producing 148 MW of PV cells annually. Increased production to 200 MW is planned before the end of 2002. For now, though, Sharp Solar products will continue be manufactured in Japan and shipped worldwide. “We have acknowledged that manufacturing in the US is under consideration,” Fogelson said. “But as to the scope, when and where that would happen – no decisions have been made.”
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