SANTA FE, New Mexico, January 14 /PRNewswire/ --
- Facility Will Initially Produce PV Modules and Receivers for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Plants
- Opening in 2009, Facility Will Initially Bring 350 Cleantech Jobs To Region
- Plans Call for Investment to Grow to US$500 Million and Workforce to Expand to 1,500
SCHOTT AG of Mainz and Governor Bill Richardson's (D - NM) office today announced that the company will construct a new solar energy technology production facility in the Mesa del Sol region of Albuquerque, NM, USA.
Initially, the production site will manufacture receivers for concentrated solar thermal power plants (CSP) and 64 Megawatts of photovoltaic (PV) modules. The facility is expected to begin production in 2009 and immediately create 350 jobs. The initial investment in New Mexico by SCHOTT Solar will be on the order of US$100 million.
Anticipating the need to increase production of its solar power technologies as the market for renewable energy in the US grows, the new site is designed to support expansion of both its PV and its solar receiver lines. Long term plans call for 1,500 employees representing a total investment of US$500 million.
"According to both industry analysts and our projections, the market for solar energy will double over the next five years," said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Udo Ungeheuer, Chairman of SCHOTT's Board of Management. "With this new plant, SCHOTT Solar, the State of New Mexico, the City of Albuquerque, and Bernalillo County are taking a lead in answering the growing demand for renewable energy in the United States."
A Worldwide Leader in PV Production
SCHOTT's expansion of its U.S. PV production capabilities will further strengthen its position as one of the world's leading manufacturers of solar PV modules, which directly convert solar radiation into clean electricity. The new site will complement SCHOTT Solar's existing Billerica, Massachusetts facility, which has a capacity of 15 MW and produces the SCHOTT ASE-300 Watt PV module, one of the largest standard-sized modules available on the market today.
In 2007 SCHOTT`s total PV production capacity worldwide was 130 MW. For 2010 SCHOTT Solar plans on a global yearly production capacity of crystalline solar cells and modules of about 450 MW each, and an additional capacity of 100 MW in ASI thin film technology.
Recently, SCHOTT Solar announced a new joint venture with WACKER Chemie to produce multicrystalline silicon ingots and wafers, the starting material for solar cells. This partnership provides SCHOTT Solar with a reliable supply of polysilicon, to support its planned growth. Solar wafers produced by the joint venture is set to expand in stages, reaching 1 Gigawatt by 2012.
SCHOTT Solar PV modules produced at the new facility will utilize the proprietary ISO Texture technology, which creates a new surface structure via a wet-chemical process that produces solar cells with greater efficiency.
Growing U.S. Market for Solar Thermal
SCHOTT is also a leading manufacturer of solar thermal receivers used in parabolic trough solar thermal power plants, with one solar receiver production facility currently online in Mitterteich, Germany, and another facility in Sevilla, Spain scheduled to go online in March, 2008. When the Albuquerque facility goes online, SCHOTT's worldwide receiver production capacity will reach more than 600 MW per year.
Concentrated solar power plants use parabolic mirrors to concentrate solar radiation onto solar receivers. This solar radiation increases the temperature of the heat transfer fluid flowing through the receivers to approximately 700degrees F. This heated fluid is then used to turn water into steam, which drives a turbine and generates electricity.
"The recent opening of the 64 MW Nevada Solar One solar thermal power plant demonstrates that large-scale solar thermal power is a renewable energy technology whose time has come." said Mark Finocchario, CEO of SCHOTT Solar Inc. "We expect that the reliability and cost-effectiveness of solar thermal parabolic trough power plants, along with the Southwestern United States' vast solar resources, will help make solar thermal power one of the United States' leading sources of renewable energy by 2025."
High resolution photographs of both photovoltaic and solar thermal installations, products, and manufacturing can be downloaded to accompany this release at http://www.schott-pictures.net. Video of CSP and PV technology can be accessed via http://www.schott-video.com
SCHOTT is an international technology group that sees its core purpose as the lasting improvement of living and working conditions. For this purpose special materials, components and systems are developed. The main areas of focus are the household appliances industry, optics and opto-electronics, pharmaceuticals and solar energy. The SCHOTT Group has a presence in proximity to its customers through its production and sales companies in all its major markets. It has approximately 16,800 employees producing worldwide sales of approximately 2,2 billion euros. The company's technological and economic expertise is closely linked with its social and ecological responsibility. SCHOTT AG is a company of the Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung (foundation).
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