Ceramic Industry

Kyocera Announces Construction of New Solar Cell Plant (posted 11/18/08)

November 18, 2008

Kyocera Corp. recently announced plans to build a new large-scale solar cell manufacturing facility in Yasu City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. Construction of the plant, which will be the Kyocera Group’s largest manufacturing facility in Japan, is planned to start in early 2009 and be completed by year’s end, with production scheduled to begin in the spring of 2010.

Combined with Kyocera’s existing Yohkaichi plant, the new facility will permit the company to more than double its annual production of solar cells, from this year’s projected output of 300 megawatts (MW) to 650 MW by March 2012. The new plant will manufacture Kyocera’s new back-contact cell, which yields 18.5% energy conversion efficiency. To meet rapidly rising global demand for solar energy products, Kyocera will continue its strategy as a fully integrated manufacturer of solar modules, managing the entire production process from procuring and casting raw silicon to producing solar cells and assembling ready-to-install solar modules.

“Kyocera’s 33 years of experience in developing solar energy technologies has allowed us to create high-quality products with industry-leading efficiency and reliability,” said Tatsumi Maeda, senior managing executive officer of Kyocera Corp. and general manager of its Corporate Solar Energy Group. “Kyocera will build on these strengths to further expand its solar business.”

Kyocera has established local production and supply networks for solar modules in Japan, Europe, North America and China in response to fast-growing demand. The company will enhance its manufacturing capabilities as production levels increase. Kyocera Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. produces solar modules for the U.S. market, where demand is increasing with the introduction of federal government incentives. Corresponding to the market’s needs, Kyocera Mexicana produces high-quality products, such as aesthetically enhanced “black-back-sheet” monochrome modules and high-output modules using 156 x 156 mm cells.

“The U.S. is experiencing rapid growth in demand for solar energy,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar, Inc., the operating headquarters of Kyocera’s solar energy business in the Americas and Australia. “More and more people are gaining energy independence and contributing to environmental preservation through the use of solar energy.”

For more information, visit http://global.kyocera.com/prdct/solar/.