Tokyo, Japan Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has announced plans to construct a new building for photovoltaic (PV) cell production at its Nakatsugawa Works Iida Factory in Nagano Prefecture. The new PV Cell Plant #2 will expand annual production capacity of PV cells to 600 megawatts by fiscal year 2012.
The increase in annual production capacity is in response to a sharp increase in demand for solar power generation systems, Mitsubishi said. The company forecasts a global PV market size of 1,950 megawatts in fiscal 2009 (April 1, 2007-March 31, 2008), growing to 4,430 megawatts in fiscal 2012 (April 1, 2011-March 31, 2012).
The new plant will have PV systems installed on the roof of the building to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from PV cell production. The total floor space will be approximately 24,000 square meters and is expected to be completed by December 2009.
Mitsubishi Electric also intends to accelerate its capital investment plan by one year, and invest a total of 50 billion yen to quadruple its annual PV production capacity from 150 megawatts in 2007 to 600 megawatts by fiscal 2012. Previously, the company planned to increase capacity to 500 megawatts by fiscal year 2013. The company is getting ready to increase its annual production capacity to 220 megawatts in October 2008.
The company also expects to improve the output of solar power generation systems by combining its multi-crystal silicon cell technologies (which reportedly has achieved the industry's highest photoelectric conversion efficiency rate of 18.6 percent) with its PV inverters, which claims the industry's highest energy conversion efficiency rate of 97.5 percent.