TSEC increasing manufacturing capacity by 450 MW

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Taiwanese solar companies are gearing themselves up for an increase in demand in the country, after the government set a 20 GW target of installed PV by 2025. TSEC has responded with a capacity expansion for its solar cell manufacturing, and a new facility for the manufacturing of its solar modules.

To begin with, it shall be adding 450 MW of new annual solar cell manufacturing capacity at its existing facilities. This should be completed by February, at which time it shall make up approximately 30% of the company’s annual 1.5 GW of cell manufacturing capacity.

It is funding this expansion with TWD 1.9 billion (USD 60 million) that it raised earlier in the year from syndicated loans and new share issuances. Past this point, the company is also planning to develop a new module manufacturing facility, with a projected annual capacity of 1 GW.

Back in October 2015, the company announced ambitions to increase its manufacturing capacity from 800 MW to 1.5 to 1.6 GW. It looks as if the company has now gone beyond these goals, as demand is growing fast in the country.

The demand has developed in the face of the new government aiming to completely phase out nuclear power, and hugely increase the share that renewable energy has in the country’s energy mix. Its target is to reach 20% of total power generated by renewable sources by 2025, which includes the ambitious target of having 20 GW of installed solar PV by this date.

“If the government can hit that target, we believe local suppliers of solar cells or solar chips will be able to allocate 20 to 25 percent of their output to the domestic market, up from 3 percent,” said TSEC Chairman Ellick Liao.

There are, of course, plenty of challenges within the country that make this goal difficult to achieve. The most outstanding of these is the lack of available land or suitable rooftops on the island nation to build solar arrays. But even with these challenges, solar demand is expected to surge, and to meet the growing demand other local companies have also unveiled new solar investment projects.

The December issue of pv magazine includes an extended article on the downstream solar market in Taiwan. To subscribe, click here.

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