Solar Frontier hits 3 GW of global CIS module shipments


Japanese thin film manufacturer Solar Frontier has announced today that it has surpassed 3 GW of global shipments for its CIS solar modules.

The first batch of CIS modules were shipped just four years ago from the company’s 900 MW Kunitomi Plant in Miyazaki Prefecture, and in that short while more than 20 million have now been deployed around the globe.

Solar Frontier’s CIS technology was first commercialized in 2007, and the company has now delivered its modules to 47 countries – demonstrating the technology’s ability to perform in testing real world conditions. Its CIS modules have been installed in the dry desert heat of Farasan Island in Saudi Arabia, while at the other end of the scale they are in situ in Lithuania, where temperatures can plunge to -20c.

The world’s biggest CIS installation is the 82.5 MW Catalina Power Plant in the U.S. – which was recently awarded Project of the Year at Intersolar North America.

If all of Solar Frontier’s deployed CIS modules were laid end-to-end, they would reach halfway around the world, the company claimed, adding that enough CIS modules have been installed to meet the energy needs of 650,000 Japanese households and displace 1.93 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.

"Solar Frontier is now building on its 3 GW shipment achievement, supplying CIS modules to more homes and businesses, as well as developing utility-scale power plants around the world," said Solar Frontier CEO and president Atsuhiko Hirano. "We are working to drive adoption of CIS technology so our customers have more choice to build cleaner businesses and more comfortable lifestyles anywhere in the world."

Despite Solar Frontier’s success in growing its module business, the company is seeking new revenue streams, Hirano told pv magazine at the recent Intersolar North America exhibition. These include offering energy storage systems and working with developers in Europe to ensure the company remains a key player in the region.