Solar Frontier selected for second fab subsidy

24. February 2012 | Markets & Trends, Global PV markets, Applications & Installations | By:  Jonathan Gifford

While it has only been a matter of months since all lines were opened at its 900 megawatt (MW) Kunitomi production facility, CIGS-module manufacturer, Solar Frontier has been selected for a Japanese government subsidy to construct a new fab. The subsidy is a part of the government’s Great East Earthquake recovery effort.

A Solar Frontier power plant in Japan.

Solar Frontier has recently supplied a series of power plants with its CIGS modules, but is it enough to warrent another fab?

In recent days there has been speculation the thin film manufacturer would build a new Japanese fab – it currently operates two small facilities additional to its Kunitomi facility – and that it is investigating building another in the Middle East. The company has close ties with the Middle East by virtue of its ownership structure and through its oil parent company, Showa Shell Japan.

Responding to pv magazine’s enquiries, Solar Frontier has said that while no formal investment decision has been made, the company is, "taking a close look at the Tohoku region of Japan as a possible location for a future Solar Frontier production facility." The company added that its experience with its CIGS technology, which the company refers to as CIS, and in scaling up production are advantages for the company.

The statement continued: "While Solar Frontier has no specific production expansion plans to announce at this time, clearly we are in a growth industry and Solar Frontier intends to grow."

Solar Frontier has been announcing a number of supply agreements and completed power plants of late including a 10 MW power plant in central Japan and a 100 MW supply agreement for the Catalina Solar Project in California.


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