GE announced that its full-size cadmium telluride thin-film solar panel has been independently certified as the most efficient ever reported for the technology. The company intends to manufacture the panels at a new 400-MW US factory as part of a $600 million investment in solar technology and commercialization. The factory is expected to 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, Colo. and was measured by the National Renewable Energy Lab at 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. GE, which is based in Fairfield, Conn., reported that it has received more than 100 MW of new orders for thin-film solar products.