Opening of the world's largest (1 GW) thin film solar plant

October 07 2008 / by Garry Golden
Category: Energy   Year: 2010   Rating: 5 Hot

The world of thin film (polymer-based organic) photovoltaics continues to evolve as start ups ramp up early branding efforts around product releases and higher volume production plans.

Now Konarka Technologies has announced the opening of a 250,000 sq ft ‘roll to roll’ 1 Gigawatt capacity thin film solar plant in a former Polaroid site in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

“This facility has state-of-the-art printing capabilities that are ready for full operation, with the future potential to produce over a gigawatt of flexible plastic solar modules per year,” commented Howard Berke, executive chairman and co-founder of Konarka. “Our technical leadership and innovation in flexible thin film solar, along with this facility’s capabilities of producing in excess of 10 million square meters of material per year, will allow us to produce Power Plastic for indoor, portable, outdoor and building integrated applications.”

Konarka has long been considered a leading start up in the solar field, but this Gigawatt production capacity helps to cement its position among a growing base of thin film competitors. Analysts have been fond of describing ‘spectacular growth’ ahead for thin film solar, but near term expansion is not likely to be as easy as paper forecasts as the solar industry confronts fundamental challenges including rising costs of raw materials. Rising costs aside, the solar industry is expected to grow from a market volume of 5.6 GW in 2008 to 79.5 GW in 2015. And if thin film companies like Konarka can continue to open large scale MW and GW capacity plants they should certainly expect bright days ahead.

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Material adapted from Konarka Press Release

Image credit: Konarka Technologies, Ltd.

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