Company Consolidates Solar Assembly Facilities

New Jersey-based semiconductor company Emcore Corporation is expanding its offerings of solar products. The company announced plans to add a solar panel manufacturing facility as part of its Albuquerque, New Mexico solar cell fabrication operations.

This new operation will provide solar cell assemblies and solar panels for the satellite and terrestrial markets. Solar panel assembly for the company is currently located in California, and Emcore plans to close that plant by the first quarter of 2006. The company said that consolidating operations should save the company approximately $3 million in 2006, and help to give the company a competitive edge in the terrestrial and space power markets. “Emcore will now have the capability to provide satellite manufacturers a more cost-effective combination of world-renowned solar cell technology and solar panel heritage,” said Reuben F. Richards, Jr., president of Emcore. “Satellite manufacturers and solar array integrators will continue to be able to rely on a single supply source that meets all of their satellite power needs.” Emcore manufactures high efficiency radiation-hard solar cells with a beginning of life efficiency of 27.5 percent. Satellite success and corresponding revenues depend on power efficiency and the capacity to transmit data, according to the company. The manufacturing operation will also produce solar photovoltaic (PV) panels for grid-tied concentrator applications, which will enable the company to further broaden its photovoltaics product portfolio. Work has started to establish the necessary manufacturing process and space qualifications for solar cell assemblies and solar panels that are built at the Albuquerque location. The company already has secured a solar panel program for the new facility. “Our modern wafer fabrication line in Albuquerque employs state-of-the-art manufacturing methods, which will be applied directly to the solar cell assembly and panel manufacturing operations,” said David Danzilio, the vice president of Emcore’s PhotoVoltaics Division. “Both operations now will be within the same facility.”
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