Smartenergy positioned to ramp up c-Si module production

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Having acquired Nanosolar’s German module assembly facility in July 2013, renewable energy startup Smartenergy Renewables intends to upgrade the fab to 120 MW c-Si production capacity as the company eyes wider utility markets.

The Luckenwalde facility, near the German capital of Berlin, was a specialized CIGS thin-film under the ownership of Nanosolar, but Smartenergy will convert the facility to enable it to produce its crystalline silicon glass/glass solar modules, which are hermetically sealed to eliminate potential induced degradation (PID) losses to ensure a longer lifetime.

The company has already installed 1.9 MW of these 295 W, fully IEC certified utility panels in a solar park in southern Germany, and hopes that by ramping up its production capabilities it can corner a larger share of the utility market.

"We have a highly competitive cost position due to the high degree of automation at this facility," said Smartenergy Renewables AG chairman and CEO, Horst H. Mahmoudi. "The impressive product advantages of our solar panels ‘Made in Germany’ are due to our manufacturing team’s enormous experience with glass/glass technology – a premium alternative to conventional modules that the market is rapidly picking up on."

To assist the company’s expansion and downstream goals, Smartenergy also announced the appointment of former Gehrlicher Solar USA CEO Stefan Parhofer as its new chief project officer. Also coming on board Smartenergy’s management team is Erik Oldekop – appointed to the board of directors to focus on the financing business; and Werner Matuschek – a seasoned manufacturing executive who will oversee the company’s state-of-the-art panel operations.