T-Solar inaugurates Spain’s first thin film Solar plant
T-Solar has invested so far more than 80 million euros ($99.5 million) in this modern plant, that will employ 190 workers and will have a expected turnover in 2009 exceeding 100 million euros.
The factory, with an initial production capacity of 40 MW, produces thin-film amorphous Silicon (a-Si) photovoltaic modules. The production plant is based on the SunFab Thin Film line from Applied Materials (California). It will churn out 20 modules an hour in sizes from 1.1m x 1.3m to 2.2m x 2.6m (5.72 square meters or 61.6 square feet).
The nanomanufacturing technology used in the plant reduces the cost of utility-scale PV installations by more than 25%, through automation and improvements in cabling and installation. The panels need less silicon than standard ones. Plus, they are better suited to building integration because their sizes are adapted to current architectural standards.
T-Solar has pursued a strategy of vertical integration. In addition to investing in next-generation manufacturing, T-Solar installs and operates its own PV power generation plants. All the production from the plant will go to 16 solar projects that T-Solar is developing in different Spanish provinces. In a second phase to begin in a year and a half, new machinery will be added to the existing equipment to improve the performance of each panel. Another layer of crystalline material will be added to the panels, in order to achieve an annual production of 65 MW.
T-Solar has developed a total of 28 photovoltaic plants to-date, with an installed capacity of 143 MW. Next Wednesday, it will inaugurate a huge 34 MW solar farm in Arnedo (La Rioja, Spain).