Schott Expanding Thin-Film PV Capacity in Germany

March 28, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

SCHOTT will be investing 60 million Euros (approximately 72 million dollars) to enable its subsidiary, SCHOTT Solar, Inc. to build a manufacturing facility for thin-film solar electricity modules in Jena, Germany. The facility's manufacturing capacity will exceed 30 megawatts (MW) per year. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2007.

"The establishment of this solar factory represents yet another milestone in our efforts to expand our solar activities. This investment means we will be expanding our thin film technology to the industrial series production level," explains Dr. Udo Ungeheuer, Chairman of the Board of Management of Schott.

The new production facility will manufacture thin film solar electricity modules based on amorphous silicon. This process calls for silicon to be vapor deposited onto glass. One advantage that thin film silicon technology offers compared to crystalline silicon technology is that much less silicon is required.

For the most part, ASI® thin film modules (ASI is a Schott trade name for amorphous silicon) are integrated into glazing applications such as windows, roofs and facades. Used in this manner, they allow for interesting architectural approaches in conjunction with environmentally friendly generation of energy. In addition, smaller thin film modules are used to supply power in consumer electronic products, such as solar powered watches, backyard lights and electrical appliances.

Schott has consolidated its PV solar electricity activities inside its subsidiary, Schott Solar Inc. With the establishment of the new solar production facility, Schott will have invested more than half a billion Euros in Jena since German Unification. In addition, Schott 's new solar manufacturing facility will create 160 new jobs in Jena.