SAN JOSE, Calif., July 7, 2008 –
SVTC Technologies' solar business unit has launched the Silicon Valley Photovoltaic Development Center, which will provide the burgeoning solar industry with the infrastructure – including development equipment, support and engineering services – required to create and commercialize innovative solar energy products.
As part of San Jose’s Green Vision initiatives, it has identified the Edenvale Redevelopment Project Area as the ideal location for the Silicon Valley Photovoltaic Development Center and is expected to generate dozens of new jobs in the area.
To help the center to acquire needed industrial and manufacturing capital equipment, the San Jose Redevelopment Agency is investing $100,000. Additionally, the California Employment Training Panel Fund is investing $100,000 to facilitate training for employees of the Silicon ValleyPhotovoltaicDevelopmentCenter.
“SVTC Technologies has seen a surge in demand for a facility devoted exclusively to the solar industry, which is why we have established the Silicon Valley Photovoltaic Development Center,” said Kurt Laetz, SVTC Solar program manager. “We want to serve the solar manufacturers already here and attract new ones, helping to establish Silicon Valley as North America’s premier environment for solar innovation. By tapping into the enormous talent, creative energy and financial support focused in this region, we intend to do for solar energy what Silicon Valley has done for other high-tech industries.”
The new Silicon Valley Photovoltaic Development Center is an 87,000 square foot space that will provide shared access to PV equipment and services, spanning the development and manufacture of solar cells and solar panels, as well as reliability, testing and certification services.
Furthermore, the center will allow solar manufacturers to develop, test and certify their solar products and begin pilot production, while lowering customers’ development costs and accelerating time to market and time to revenue.
Agreements have been signed with leading photovoltaic industry suppliers to provide key services through the Silicon ValleyPhotovoltaicDevelopmentCenter, and the center has accepted its first solar manufacturing customers. Corporate investment so far is estimated at $20 to $30 million.
Equipment manufacturer Roth & Rau AG is providing a 5 megawatt capacity turnkey silicon wafer solar cell manufacturing line for the center that is ideally sized for pilot production. Based in Germany, where the solar industry is well established, Roth & Rau develops processing and automation equipment for solar cell production. It will use the Center as its North American demonstration showroom.
“It is a testament to the power of our mission, and to the respect that SVTC Technologies has gained worldwide, that companies of the caliber of Roth & Rau have chosen to join our Silicon ValleyPhotovoltaicDevelopmentCenter at its inception,” says Laetz. “Being able to offer an automated solar cell manufacturing line, as well as crucial certification services, will be extremely valuable for manufacturers of new solar products.”
JA Solar, a China-based manufacturer of high-performance silicon wafer solar cells, has signed a letter of intent to locate its North American research and development operations in the Silicon ValleyPhotovoltaicDevelopmentCenter.
JA Solar sells its products to solar module manufacturers globally who assemble and integrate the company’s solar cells into modules and systems that convert sunlight into electricity.
Other customers, who are in start-up mode and wish to remain confidential at this time, have also entered into agreements to use the center for their solar development efforts.
“Even before officially opening our doors for business, the Silicon ValleyPhotovoltaicDevelopmentCenter has signed up customers interested in accelerating their solar development processes and reaping the shared-access benefits of our center,” says Laetz.
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