By 2004 Sanyo Electric Co. will add an additional 30 MW of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules for the worldwide solar electric market.Tokyo, Japan – January 28 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The new factory to be built in Osaka, Kaizuka City is scheduled to begin production of HIT PV cells and HIT PV modules beginning January 2004. Sanyo’s new PV cell plant will increase production capacity by two times over current production levels enabling the company to better meet future market needs of the continually expanding PV market. The HIT PV cell, which stands for “Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin layer,” is composed of a single crystalline silicon wafer surrounded by thin amorphous-silicon layers. At mass production levels the HIT cell attains one of the world’s highest cell conversion efficiency rates at 18.5 percent, according to the company. In 1982 Sanyo was the world’s first to begin mass production of amorphous silicon PV cells. In 1997 Sanyo started the mass production of the highly efficient, high power output HIT PV cells. Sanyo currently produces PV cells at its Sumoto factory (Hyogo prefecture, Sumoto City) and Shimane Sanyo factory (Shimane prefecture, Kisuki-Town) with a combined annual HIT production output of 30 MW. PV module assembly will take place at the company’s Tokonabe factory (Hyogo prefecture, Kasai City). Sanyo’s annual PV energy production will double to 60 MW in January 2004, when the new plant goes into operation, with annual production scheduled to increase to 120 MW in the year 2005. Kaizuka City’s close proximity to the Kansai International Airport makes it ideal for efficient distribution and convenient for close partnership with development and sales bases, said the company. Building the new PV production plant in Osaka prefecture will also help contribute to the revitalization of the Kansai area economy.