Originally published on Sustainnovate.
By Henry Lindon
The South Korean company LG, perhaps best known for its consumer electronics and electric vehicle (EV) batteries, has announced that it’ll be investing $435 million in new funding into its solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing business.
The company is reportedly aiming to increase production capacity to 3 gigawatts (GW) — up from the 1 GW where it rests now — within 4 years. A memorandum of understanding with the Korean city of Gumi was recently signed — with 6 new production lines now being slated for creation at the company’s manufacturing facilities in the city.
The timeline for the expansion will see capacity increased to 1.8 GW by 2018, and 3 GW by 2020, according to the company.
The president and head of the Energy Business Centre at LG, Lee Sang-Bong commented on the plans, noting that they would put the company in a much stronger position, and be “a dynamic engine for growth.”
“LG has been actively involved in the solar energy business for two decades and we believe that mainstream consumers are more than ready to give solar more serious consideration,” he continued.
Renew Economy provides a bit more info:
In response to the news, US solar industry insider Jim Jenal — founder & CEO of Run on Sun — said such a significant increase in production by a company like LG offered the hope of lower prices for premium modules over time, “making top-of-the-line solar affordable for ‘mainstream consumers’.”
For LG’s operations in Australia, the news is a welcome sign of the company’s commitment to solar over the long term, according to LG Australia’s Russ Prendergast: “The LG Solar business in Australia has been building steadily over the past few years, and this has been well supported by LG globally with its 20-years plus experience in the solar market. What this announcement means to the Australian market is that LG is clearly communicating its firm commitment to the solar industry… as well as its intention to provide a greater supply of high-quality and high-efficiency solar panels to suit an ever growing Australian market for commercial and residential solar requirements. Our customers can be well assured that we are here for the long-term.”