Clean Power

Published on July 14th, 2014 | by James Ayre


Smartenergy Renewables Finishes Facility Upgrade, Production Ramped Up

July 14th, 2014 by  

Smartenergy Renewables recently completed the overhaul, conversion, and facility upgrade of its now fully-automated solar panel manufacturing plant in Luckenwalde, according to a release from the company.

The completely overhauled facility — set up to assemble crystalline solar panels in an automated line, and possessing a maximum capacity of 120 MW — is located just outside of Berlin, Germany.

Image Credit: SmartEnergy Renewables

Image Credit: SmartEnergy Renewables

The company just acquired the facility last year, in July 2013, from the US-based company Nanosolar Inc — with work having begun on the conversion and overhaul later in the year. Before the overhaul began, Smartenergy Renewables manufactured and marketed a couple of megawatts worth of solar panels based on thin-film solar cells from Nanosolar Inc because of customer demand.

“We have a highly competitive cost position due to the high degree of automation at this facility. The impressive product advantages of our ‘Made in Germany’ solar panels are due to our manufacturing team’s enormous experience with glass/glass technology, a premium alternative to conventional modules that the market is rapidly picking up on,” states Horst H Mahmoudi, Chairman and CEO of Smartenergy Renewables AG.

“With the completion of the first 1.9 MW project, we have demonstrated our ability to execute and we thank all involved parties that helped make this happen.”

SmartEnergy provides more information on future plans:

Going forward, Smartenergy Renewables will intensify its cooperation with project developers and financing partners in order to solidify the solar project business. To that end, the company has further strengthened its management team with three senior appointments. Dr Stefan Parhofer, formerly CEO of Gehrlicher Solar USA, is in charge as Chief Project Officer to build up the international project business. Dr Erik Oldekop, formerly in charge of renewable energy investments at aeris CAPITAL AG, was appointed to the Board of Directors to focus on the financing business.

Finally, with Werner Matuschek the company has hired a seasoned manufacturing executive with long experience in the solar industry, to manage the company’s panel operations.

While on the subject of the renewable energy industry in Germany, it’s worth calling attention to the fact that the German state of Schleswig-Holstein will likely achieve “100% renewable energy” by the end of this year. What that means is that — if achieved — the state will be able to produce enough electricity to account for the state’s energy use.

Of course that’s not the same thing as literally being powered by renewable energy and nothing else, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction, and rather impressive. Currently, the state’s renewable energy capacity is composed mostly of wind energy. With the goal being to continue growing this capacity until state can provide 300% of its energy needs via renewable energy.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • JamesWimberley

    It’s incredibly difficult for any European manufacturers to compete with the Far Eastern producers, including Malaysia and Taiwan as well as China. 120 MW a year is a tenth of the capacity of the new fabs of first-tier Chinese producers. The “Made in Germany” premium is a diminishing asset, as the leading Chinese firms are known to make decent, reliable products, with long warranties that practically eliminate the risk to purchasers. Smartenergy are swimming against a strong tide.

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