A contract has been signed for a US$60 million turnkey solar cell factory to be built for SolarWorld AG subsidiary, Deutsche Solar GmbH of Freiberg.MUNICH, Germany, DE, 2001-11-09 [SolarAccess.com] The facility will begin production by the end of 2002 at a Freiberg site in Saxony, and reduce company’s dependence on volatile prices from the international solar cell market. The contract was signed at the international ‘Photovoltaic Solar Energy’ trade fair in Munich. Peter Woditsch, general manager of Deutsche Solar GmbH, says the positive cost is due to the high level of automated production. “We will supply up to 50 MW in polycrystalline silicon solar cells by 2004,” he explains. “Furthermore, our production facilities will also be able to produce monocrystalline solar cells at the highest possible levels of efficiency.” “The first 25 MW will offer over 14 percent efficiency, an outstanding level for polycrystalline silicon at the current state of technology,” he says. “We will nevertheless continue to improve the cell technology and expect an efficiency level of over 15 percent for the second 25 MW.” The quality control system to be integrated into the production line will allow greater solar cell yield. The loss of silicon wafers during the process of producing solar cells will be reduced in comparison to conventional processes. Production of solar cells is only part of Deutsche Solar’s plans for expansion. The company’s wafer production will be expanded from the current 55 MW to 200 MW by 2004. It will also secure raw materials necessary for production of solar wafers through its solar materials business division, which will involve construction of a facility for the extraction of solar-grade silicon from lower grade silicon that previously has been inadequate for solar cells. The company will also build a facility to recycle used solar cells and modules. The company says its strategy will combine all steps in the solar energy value chain within one company while, at the same time, expanding international business activities. It says an investment of Euro 200 million by 2004 will allow the SolarWorld Group to become a global leader in solar energy.