MUNICH, Germany Glass manufacturer Schott AG plans to construct a solar energy technology facility in the US state of New Mexico. With the move, the company bets big on the U.S solar energy market.
According to Schott, the new production line will manufacture from 2009 receivers for concentrated solar thermal power plants (CSP) and 64 MW of photovoltaic modules. With an investment of 68 million (about $100 million), the company plans to create 350 jobs. Against the background of rising demand for renewable energy in the USA, Schott has long-term plans to invest $500 million and raise the number of employees to about 1.500. "We expect that the market for renewable energy in the USA will at least double over the next five years," explained Schott CEO Udo Ungeheur.
The planned facility in Albuquerque strengthens Schott's production in the USA. The Mainz, Germany, based company already runs a PV module production in Billerica, Massachusetts, with a capacity of 15 MW. For the next three years, Schott plans to produce crystalline PV cells and modules with a total of 450 MW annually. In addition, the company will produce thin-film PV wafers with a capacity of 100 MW.
At the planned Albuquerque plant, Schott intends to manufacture innovative PV cells with ISO surface texture, enabling higher efficiency.
Last summer, Schott had launched a joint venture with chemical company Wacker Chemie, one of the world's largest manufacturers of silicon for PV and semiconductor industry. The move secures the silicon supply to Schott.