German PV module maker CS Wismar plans to raise production in 2018

The German module maker, CS Wismar GmbH manufactures panels of the “Sonnenstromfabrik” brand at its factory in northern Germany.

“Last year, we have been able to set up a classic wholesale brand, and we want to continue on this path this year too,” said the company’s managing director, Bernhard Weilharter in an interview with pv magazine.

The company is focusing mainly on glass-glass and low-carbon modules. The business with the Sonnenstromfabrik modules accounted for a good half of the volume last year.

Weilharter estimates the total amount at around 70 MW. These modules registered robust demand not only in Germany, but also in France. “This year, the business should be expanded, especially in the Benelux and Scandinavia,” continued Weilharter.

The company’s business, however, still relies on OEM activities. In this segment, CS Wismar achieved a total volume of around 35 MW last year, Weilharter said. About half of the orders came from France, where smaller manufacturers often do not have sufficient capacity to serve costumers participating to tenders. The certification of the modules as low-carbon modules pays off here.

CS Wismar also works closely with German EPC companies and produces solar modules with special import authorization for Turkey. In addition, there would be further special orders for niche products in the OEM area. For example, the building-integrated solution, Solrif will be produced in Wismar on behalf of a Swiss customer and other special formats for the Benelux countries, said the company’s managing director.

“Our goal is to at least double the capacity utilization in the OEM segment this year.” We are aiming for a slight increase in the production of our own modules to 100 MW, Weilharter added. The factory, which was previously owned by insolvent German solar manufacturer, Centrosolar, theoretically has capacities for producing 300 MW of solar modules annually.

Weilharter further said the company is currently in talks with two unnamed well-known brand manufacturers from Europe and the U.S. Negotiations are about new white label OEM products, he says.

CS Wismar is also active in the repowering business. “Currently, we have requests from France in particular, where word of mouth has worked very well on the matter,” said Weilharter.

Read the original article, in German, on pv magazine Germany.