BP Solar today announced that it has begun constructing two mega cell plants, one at its European headquarters in Tres Cantos, Madrid and the second at its joint venture facility, Tata BP Solar, in Bangalore, India.
For phase 1 of the Madrid expansion, BP Solar is aiming to expand its annual cell capacity from 55 MW to around 300 MW. The Bangalore expansion could add another 300 MW to BP Solar's total capacity.
The new cell lines use state-of-the-art screen printing technology,much of it proprietary to BP Solar. By fully automating wafer handling,the lines will be able to handle the very thinnest of wafers available and ensuring the highest possible quality.
"The announcement of the two mega cell plants cements BP Solar's commitment to maintain a market leadership position in PV" said Lee Edwards, BP Solar's CEO. "The new cell technologies we are using, our intellectual property in casting with Mono2 and the contracts we have signed to secure preferential access to metallurgical grade silicon are all important steps towards our goal of offering customers PV generated electricity on a par with the cost of conventional grid supplied electricity."
This announcement brings BP's total announced capacity to 690 MW, second behind Sharp.
Sharp currently has three expansions underway which will bring their capacity to 820 MW per year.
These plants will bring us closer to being able to produce PV power at costs nearer that of conventional electricity. Several pundits have said that when production capacity reaches 1 GW at a single facility solar PV will be competitive with conventional electricity. Between the proprietary processes of several producers and the experience and expertise that
AMD AMAT is bringing to the field, reaching this goal is approaching faster than I had expected.