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Posted: March 5, 2010

Solar Frontier Global Expansion and Consolidation Bid to Set New Standard in Solar Industry

(Nanowerk News) Showa Shell Solar K.K., a 100% subsidiary of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. headquartered in Tokyo, today announced that it will open two overseas offices this April in Northern California and Munich, further building its global network to facilitate one gigawatt per year of sales and delivery of its proprietary CIS solar panels to customers worldwide. The move will be accompanied by a global branding consolidation under a single name, Solar Frontier (the original name of its international sales subsidiary), and a new logo.
"We chose Solar Frontier as the name of our international division a few years ago because we knew we stood at the frontier of the photovoltaic industry in terms of research and development," said CEO Shigeaki Kameda. "With CIS solar technology, our PV modules today combine compelling economics, non-toxic materials, lower energy consumption in production, increasingly higher efficiency, and greater potential for tomorrow. With this announcement we signal our commitment and capacity to set and supply the new global standard for photovoltaic panels into the future, starting with the European and North American office expansions."
Solar Frontier's Director of International Business, Brooks Herring, added, "Thanks to Solar Frontier's significant production capacity, which will reach gigawatt class with the opening of our 3rd plant in Miyazaki, Japan, in 2011--the world's largest CIS production facility at 900MW-- we can offer the full benefits of economy of scale to our customers. This is matched by the strong economics of panel performance we have developed through years of research, development, and testing in the field. Our panel development engineers understand that economics is the key driver of a panel's value, which depends on the combination of efficiency, durability, stability, temperature coefficient, degradation, and numerous other factors, whether you are a home owner, business, or utility. There is far more than a gigawatt of demand for the superior economics we can deliver."
"Our production, factory, and quality assurance engineers understand this as well," added Kameda. "Our gigawatt scale capacity is an engineering decision as well as an economic decision because this is what we can do today for maximum production efficiency and minimum energy payback time. Moreover, our panel efficiency will continue to climb toward the aperture area efficiency of 16.0% on a 30cm x 30cm module we achieved recently in our laboratories. While the aperture area efficiency of panels coming off of the assembly line today are at a competitive efficiency of around 13.0%, we expect to reach 14.2% when our third plant starts operating in 2011, and approach 15.0% by 2014."
Source: Showa Shell Sekiyu (press release)
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