Oerlikon Solar, the world's leading supplier of thin film silicon photovoltaic (PV) production equipment, today announced that Gadir Solar is using its amorphous thin film silicon PV technology at the solar fabrication plant located in the bay of Cadiz, Spain.
Gadir Solar's plant, one of the largest in Europe, began operation in October 2009. The company is ramping up in record time its annual production capacity of 40 MW, which is capable of producing about half a million PV panels per year. The amount of annually produced amorphous silicon PV panels will generate enough power for approximately 8,000 homes.
"We chose Oerlikon Solar because of its well-established track record of ramping up new thin film solar factories on time and on budget as well as its strong commitment to improving on the scalability and cost benefits for the technology. We were, and continue to be, extremely impressed with their ability to meet our requirements and in Oerlikon Solar's clear upgrade path to ensure our competitiveness in the market," said David Naranjo Villalonga, CEO of Cadmos / Gadir Solar. "We are committed to providing the most efficient solar solutions for the Mediterranean region. Introducing amorphous panels to our production plant means we can offer the highest standards of quality and reliability."
Driving down cost
Technology innovation is driving down the cost and improving the performance of solar technologies. Solar PV is becoming a mass production technology, and like flat-screen TVs, continued innovation and cost reductions is likely to occur over the next 5 to ten years. Oerlikon Solar customers are looking beyond the short-term supply market conditions, and are targeting the market for 2012 and beyond, when their micromorph factories will be in full production at production costs that enable grid-parity level PPA prices.
"This opens another important market for our leading thin film solar PV technology," said Jürg Henz, CEO of Oerlikon Solar. "European countries such as Germany, Italy and Spain could claim about 801% of PV market share this year and we see tremendous opportunity in offering companies like Gadir Solar industrial proven mass production solutions for the thin film PV industry - the fastest-growing segment of PV."
Fastest time to market
Oerlikon Solar leads the thin film solar equipment sector with 12 factories in production in 7 countries around the globe and the fastest time to market. The company has dramatically increased the efficiency level of thin film silicon and has developed end-to-end manufacturing solutions to facilitate customers' entry into thin film silicon PV module manufacturing. Oerlikon Solar provides its customers with unparalleled experience in both installing and ramping up PV module factories, using its highly competitive amorphous silicon and high-efficiency micromorph tandem production equipment technologies. The company invests significant R&D resources using non-hazardous substances and materials to achieve further performance improvements and cost reductions and has a business model that will lessen perceived technology risk, compared with other start up thin film producers.
Thin film solar offers a cost-advantage over traditional crystalline silicon, and is making strong efficiency gains. Coated with thin film silicon, amorphous panels are a cost effective alternative to traditional PV technologies and are expected to outpace future cost reductions in existing technologies.
IEC/TÜV certified Swiss quality
Oerlikon Solar is the first thin film silicon technology provider to have IEC/TÜV Rheinland master certification for its entire family of thin film silicon solar technologies, including both amorphous and micromorph . The certification ensures that modules produced by Oerlikon Solar's customers are manufactured to the highest quality standards and can endure the most challenging real world environmental conditions. With more challenging credit markets, certification also makes Oerlikon Solar projects more predictable and bankable. Gadir Solar achieved IEC/TÜV Rheinland certification for the combination of durability and performance in December 2009.