Hanergy to build 10 MW GaAs thin film R&D fab in Wuhan

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Hanergy Thin Film Power Group is set to build a 10 MW gallium arsenide (GaAs) thin film solar cell research and development and manufacturing factory in Wuhan, China.

The company will construct the new fab at the Huangpi Linkong Industrial Park as part of an investment agreement with the Huangpi district government in Wuhan City.

The move follows Hanergy’s acquisition of California-based GaAs specialist Alta Devices in January and marks the group’s first GaAs thin film solar call R&D fab in China.

The manufacturing facility also comes as Hanergy explores new application areas for its flexible thin film GaAs products and further seeks to expand the utilization of mobile solar energy.

The project is receiving strong support from the Huangpi district government in Wuhan, which will oversee the construction of the production site, warehouse, factory facilities and power systems and then lease the site to Hanergy.

Hanergy can in turn earn recognition as a high-tech enterprise, making it eligible for support from the country’s Innovation and Technology Fund and High-end Industrial Support Fund.

The company said its project company would receive further assistance from the Huangpi district government in accessing special support funds from national, provincial and municipal governments as well as in applying for tax incentives, obtaining financing from local financial institutions. The government has also agreed to reduce or waive Wuhan City administrative fees for the project.

The construction of the fab will take place in two phases. The first phase will see construction of a 3 MW capacity production facility over a 10-month period, with production set to follow a testing period within 18 months. The second phase is expected to span a three-year period.

Hanergy is eager to exploit the GaAs technology obtained from Alta Devices. The technology has broken the world efficiency records four times in a row with its single junction thin film solar cells, which boast a single junction efficiency reaching 28.8% and a double junction efficiency reaching 30.8% (both certified by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory).