Global Solar Energy Opens Landmark Manufacturing Plant

March 10, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Global Solar Energy, a manufacturer of thin-film solar cells for glass modules or flexible material products, announced the official opening of its new manufacturing plant. The plant’s phase one, full-production capacity of 40MW in annual U.S. production is claimed to set new industry records for CIGS production capacity and to enable Global Solar to meet heavy demands for solar adoption worldwide. Global Solar is simultaneously breaking ground on what it claims will be one of the world’s largest CIGS solar fields, at 750kW, and commissioning its 35MW plant in Berlin, Germany to open in fall 2008.

"The solar energy market is rapidly growing as a premier choice of alternate energy. CIGS photovoltaic technology provides the market with a new renewable energy option offering the greatest potential for driving down the installed cost of energy," said Mike Gering, CEO of Global Solar. "Through this large-scale expansion, Global Solar is continuing to lead the industry and convert solar energy potential into reality. Equipped with our years of actual production experience developing repeatable, reliable processes, we are prepared to help drive the solar market into the next level of product innovation and adoption."

Global Solar expands from its former 33,000 sq. ft. factory to the new 100,000 sq. ft. facility in Tucson, Arizona and 32,000 sq. ft. factory in Berlin, Germany and increases the company’s capacity from 4.2 to 75MW. With plans to put an additional 100MW into production at the end of 2009, Global Solar states that it is poised to bring its total global capacity to 175MW in 2010. The company will also generate production power on-site through its upcoming 750kW, utility-scale CIGS power field. Global Solar states that this growth will enable it to continue to deliver CIGS solar cells for use in traditional glass module manufacturing as well as develop new business channels for its CIGS material for integration into products targeted at the emerging Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) market.

The company states that CIGS technology creates more electricity from the same amount of sunlight than other thin-film photovoltaic (PV) technologies, and that it offers the highest potential efficiency and lowest costs. As a result of its three years of full-scale production, Global Solar claims that it is also the only company achieving 10% average solar cell efficiency for CIGS technology on a flexible substrate over numerous production runs.