Kyocera Corporation on November 14 announced plans to build a new large-scale solar cell manufacturing facility. The new plant, located in Yasu City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan, will be the Kyocera Group’s largest manufacturing facility in Japan.
Construction of the plant is planned to start in early 2009 and be completed by year’s end, with production scheduled to begin in the spring of 2010. Combined with Kyocera’s existing Yohkaichi plant, the new facility will permit the company to more than double its annual production of solar cells – from this year’s projected output of 300 megawatts (MW) to 650 MW by March 2012. The new plant will manufacture Kyocera’s new back-contact cell, which yields 18.5 percent energy conversion efficiency.
To meet rapidly rising global demand for solar energy products, Kyocera will continue its strategy as a fully integrated manufacturer of solar modules, managing the entire production process from procuring and casting raw silicon to producing solar cells and assembling ready-to-install solar modules.
“Kyocera’s 33 years of experience in developing solar energy technologies has allowed us to create high-quality products with industry-leading efficiency and reliability,” stated Tatsumi Maeda, senior managing executive officer of Kyocera Corporation and general manager of its Corporate Solar Energy Group. “Kyocera will build on these strengths to further expand its solar business.”
Kyocera has established local production and supply networks for solar modules in Japan, Europe, North America and China – the world’s four largest markets – in response to fast-growing demand. The company will enhance its manufacturing capabilities as production levels increase.
Kyocera Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. produces solar modules for the U.S. market, where demand is increasing with the introduction of federal government incentives. Corresponding to the market’s needs, Kyocera Mexicana produces high-quality products, such as aesthetically enhanced “black-back-sheet” monochrome modules, and high-output modules using 156mm x 156mm cells.
“The U.S. is experiencing rapid growth in demand for solar energy,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar Inc., the operating headquarters of Kyocera’s solar energy business in the Americas and Australia. “More and more people are gaining energy independence and contributing to environmental preservation through the use of solar energy.”