Solar Frontier’s ‘Blueprint’ CIGS Module Factory Nearing Completion

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Development on Solar Frontier’s new ‘blueprint’ CIGS solar cell factory is moving along nicely, according to recent reports.

The facility — which is aiming for a cell efficiency of 15% on its production lines — is being constructed in the northeastern Tohoku region of Japan, and is expected to be completed by March 2015.

Image Credit: Solar Frontier
Image Credit: Solar Frontier

Once completed, the facility — which began construction in March — will possess a nameplate production capacity of 150 MW. The photo above shows an earthquake-resistant construction technique known as taishin being utilized — the technique is based around the use of reinforced concrete columns that are embedded deep into the ground,until they reach the bedrock.

Presuming that everything goes according to plan with the new facility, Solar Frontier is planning to use it as a “blueprint” of sorts for further factories.

The company’s chief technology officer, Satoru Kuriyagawa, elaborated on that recently in an interview with PV-Tech: “The upcoming Tohoku Plant is a blueprint for future production facilities,” confirmed Kuriyagwa. “Harnessing the latest technology from our world-record-setting Atsugi Research Center, we are targeting the production of CIS thin-film modules with conversion efficiency of over 15% at best-in-class production costs. The modularity of our new production lines will also enable us to deploy new factories faster and more efficiently in the future.”

Solar Frontier is currently in the process of expanding into the UK market, as well as a number of others. Amongst the plans for the UK is a recently announced 8.1 MW solar farm set to be developed in the west of England.


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James Ayre

James Ayre'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.

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