According to a 9/19/05 press release, "United Solar Ovonic has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Tianjin Jinneng Investment Company (TJIC) to form a joint venture to establish a 25-megawatt (MW) thin-film triple-junction amorphous silicon photovoltaic module manufacturing operation in Tianjin, the People's Republic of China.
In addition to its existing 25 MW photovoltaic manufacturing plant, United Solar Ovonic broke ground in July 2005 for its second state-of-the-art solar module manufacturing plant in Auburn Hills, Mich., to double its U.S. solar cell/module manufacturing capacity. Occupancy of the new facility is scheduled for May 2006, and it is anticipated that the plant will begin manufacturing products in the fall of 2006.
Compared to conventional solar technology utilizing single crystal or polycrystal silicon, United Solar Ovonic’s thin-film solar cells are 100 times thinner, do not use crystalline silicon material and, therefore, are unaffected by the scarcity of silicon worldwide. The products, unlike conventional glass-based PV products, are lightweight, flexible and rugged and can be aesthetically integrated into buildings.
United Solar Ovonics is the world leader in thin-film amorphous photovoltaics. Its existing 25-megawatt production equipment is the world’s largest and most advanced machine for the manufacture of thin-film amorphous silicon alloy solar cells and related products used for a variety of applications ranging from large solar farms for utility-scale applications to charging batteries for solar lanterns. UNI-SOLAR® solar cells are lightweight, rugged and flexible, and are ideal as building-integrated photovoltaic roofing systems for residential and industrial customers. ECD Ovonics and United Solar Ovonic hold the basic patents covering the continuous roll-to-roll manufacturing of thin-film amorphous silicon alloy multi-junction solar cells and related products. More information on United Solar Ovonic can be found at www.uni-solar.com".
A full copy of the press release can be found here. (application/msword)
A previous post that discussed thin-film amorphous silicon cell technology can be found here.