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Schott Solar Expands Global Capacity

Photonics.com
Feb 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Feb. 8, 2011 — Schott Solar will boost its global photovoltaic module production capacity to more than 800 MW in 2011, said the company. In order to improve economies of scale and better supply new growth markets, Schott will invest in the expansion of wafer capacity at its German manufacturing sites and expand its global module manufacturing network via a joint venture with Hareon Solar Technology Co. Ltd. in China.

“Asia will become one of the largest growth regions for photovoltaics. The Chinese government has recognized the strategic importance of renewable energy and is strongly committed to this future industry. For this reason, we are taking advantage of the good condition that the market is in right now to strategically expand our manufacturing in the region and internationalize our solar business even further,” said Udo Ungeheuer, chairman of the Board of Management of Schott AG. “Schott has been manufacturing in East Asia already for many years. This has enabled us to secure jobs and sites in Germany over the long term and remain competitive in international markets.”

“These investments strongly position Schott Solar globally and in the United States. The expansion enables Schott to better serve the rapidly growing US market and also meet growing demands in the international markets. We will continue to provide our US customers with high-quality, domestically produced solar panels and continue to support US jobs at our Albuquerque facility,” said Tom Hecht, president and chief sales officer of Schott Solar PV Inc.

The first phase of the joint venture will add an additional 300 MW of Schott Solar module manufacturing capacity to Schott’s existing 500 MW of capacity at its existing sites in the United States (Albuquerque, New Mexico) and in the Czech Republic.

Both parties are equally represented in the new joint venture. Schott is responsible for filling all of the critical management positions related to ensuring quality and reliability. This enables the company to achieve consistent high quality, irrespective of the manufacturing site. Schott will further support this goal with a special center on quality assurance located in China.

“Our plans for manufacturing call for us to manufacture solar modules solely for Schott Solar. Here, we will make our own decisions on the raw materials and components we purchase. Furthermore, the entire production and final inspection processes will be based on our standards for quality. Our employees on site will make sure that our quality process is enforced directly on the production line,” said Dr. Martin Heming, CEO of Schott Solar AG. “Our joint venture partner Hareon Solar is an established manufacturer with many years of experience in manufacturing PV components along the entire value creation chain. Production is characterized by a consistently higher level of automation and mechanization than is typically seen in PV manufacturing in China.”

In order to improve its global position, Schott will be doubling its wafer production capacity to 500 MW in2011 at their German facilities and will also be increasing the number of employees who work for the wafer division in Jena in the months to come. Currently, 125 million wafers come off the belts of the production lines for solar silicon wafers each year — four wafers every second.

Solar cells are manufactured at the site in Alzenau, Germany and Schott’s technical competence center for research and development is also based here. Schott manufactures modules in both the Czech Republic and the United States. With 90MW of module production capacity, its Albuquerque, NM based site is one of the largest solar production facilities in the United States.

For more information, visit:  www.schottsolar.com 



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