REC To Build Solar Cell Plant In Singapore

December 02, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Renewable Energy Corp. (REC) has revealed that it will construct a $6.3 billion solar cell plant in Singapore by the first quarter of 2008. The company claims that the plant will eventually produce 1.5 gigawatts of solar generating capacity a year and will be the largest of its kind thus far.

REC hopes to cut the cost of making solar cells in half by 2010, making solar energy cost-competitive with electricity bought off the grid. The company thinks that such grid parity could be achieved by 2015 across most nations in sunnier climates, and by 2010 in countries where energy prices are high, such as Singapore.

The Singapore plant will use ‘fluid-bed reactor’ technology for producing silicon. Acquired and developed by REC, this process is said to reduce the energy used to make polysilicon, a raw material, by 70% and to bring material cost down by almost a third. The plant will also make thinner wafers and solar modules that the company claims extract more of the sun’s energy – in excess of 17% – than the current industry standard.