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GE to Build US Plant as Part of $600M Solar Investment

Photonics.com
May 2011
ARVADA, Colo., May 9, 2011 — GE announced that its full-size cadmium telluride thin-film solar panel has been independently certified as the most efficient ever publicly reported for the technology. The company said it intends to manufacture the panels at a new 400-MW US factory that will be larger than any existing solar panel factory in the country today, representing an expected $600 million investment. The company said the factory will produce enough panels to power 80,000 homes annually and will employ 400 people.

The panel was produced on the PrimeStar 30-MW manufacturing line in Arvada. It was measured by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) at a 12.8 percent aperture area efficiency. It surpasses all previously published records for CdTe thin film, which is the most affordable solar technology in the industry.

“It’s great to see technology that started at NREL ready to move into the market,” said Ryne Raffaelle, director of the National Center for Photovoltaics at NREL. NREL transitioned the technology to PrimeStar through a cooperative research and development agreement signed in 2007.

GE also announced more than 100 MW of new commercial agreements for solar thin-film products, including panels, inverters and total solar power plants. The company’s largest solar agreement to date is with NextEra Energy for 60 MW of thin-film solar panels. NextEra also produces 4.5 GW of renewable energy with GE’s wind turbines.

GE also has signed a 20-MW solar agreement with Invenergy for the supply of thin-film solar panels and GE Brilliance inverters. Invenergy, a Chicago-based clean-energy-generation company, will install the solar products at a site in Illinois. Invenergy recently executed a power purchase agreement for the project, which, upon completion, will be one of the largest solar installations in the state.

In addition, the recently proposed $3.2 billion acquisition of Converteam will add the company’s energy conversion technologies to GE’s solar offerings, as will the recently completed acquisition of PrimeStar Inc., a Colo.-based thin-film solar technology company.

For more information, visit: www.ge.com  


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