Solar Frontier and GE Enter Global CIS Module Supply Agreement

(Nanowerk News) Solar Frontier announced today that it will supply GE with its proprietary CIS (copper, indium, and selenium) thin-film solar modules as part of GE's globally marketed portfolio of solar energy solutions. The company will provide GE branded panels to help meet the growing global demand for reliable clean-energy solutions. In return, GE will be providing its power plant expertise to enhance the development of Solar Frontier's CIS technology for use in utility-scale solar installations.
GE's extensive testing and benchmarking determined that Solar Frontier modules offered a compelling combination of performance and efficiency, meeting the established high standards of GE's globally respected brand.
"By teaming up with a billion-dollar global industry leader, Solar Frontier demonstrates that the solar market has matured to support large-scale players," said Shigeaki Kameda, President and CEO, Solar Frontier. "GE's selection of Solar Frontier's thin film technology establishes our leadership in bringing bankable, reliable and ecological solar technology to the global market."
The modules produced for GE by Solar Frontier will be part of GE's utility-scale solar projects. The contract will ensure that its customers have a reliable supply of standard-setting thin-film solar modules for large ground-mount and roof-top installations.
"Our modules have been proven in field tests since 2003, and we will have gigawatt-scale production online by next year," added Kameda. "For a stable, mature solar market, we have to combine reliable panels with reliable supply chains."
The modules will be manufactured at Solar Frontier's state-of-the-art, automated production plant in Miyazaki, Japan. The Miyazaki facility will be the world's largest PV factory when the third phase of production comes online next year.
The agreement with Solar Frontier was included in GE's announcement of an expanded portfolio of highly differentiated solar solutions that would establish GE "as the global leader in the Renewable Energy space," offering both leading technology and "the unique bankability that comes with one of the world's leading brands."
Solar Frontier uses fewer natural resources and raw materials than competing crystalline-silicon processes, enabling an industry leading energy payback time of less than one year, and less carbon emissions per kilowatt of production capacity. Materials like cadmium or lead are not used in the production process, minimizing the environmental impact and offering superior PV panel recyclability.
About Solar Frontier
Solar Frontier, a 100% subsidiary of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., is committed to creating the most economical, ecological solar energy solutions in the world, on the world's largest scale. Solar Frontier's proprietary CIS technology, denoting key ingredients copper, indium, and selenium, has the best overall potential to set the world's most enduring standard for solar energy. This is based on our legacy of work in solar technology since the 1970s, the priority focus our laboratories have given to CIS since 1993, and our success in large scale CIS commercialization since 2007. The critical factors that combine to make CIS the overall economical and ecological leader include high efficiency and low production costs as well as superior reliability, stability, sustainability, non-toxicity, and lower overall energy consumption in the manufacturing process to yield a faster energy payback time. That is why in 2009 we announced plans for a 900MW factory in Miyazaki, Japan. Scheduled to commence operations in 2011, it will become the world's largest photovoltaic production facility, enabling Solar Frontier to meet worldwide demand for the new standard in affordable solar panel performance. Visit for more information.
Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.
Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and has roots dating back more than 100 years in the downstream energy business.
Source: Solar Frontier (press release)
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