Sanyo Electric Co Ltd held an opening ceremony of the "Shiga Plant," a new production base of solar cell modules, whose annual production capacity is expected to reach 40MW by the end of fiscal 2008.
Following the opening of the plant, Sanyo's annual production capacity of solar cell modules will become 340MW at the end of fiscal 2008, including the capacities of the Tokyo Plant, the Nishikinohama Plant, the Hungary Plant and the Mexico Plant.
Sanyo plans to increase its production capacity from 260MW as of the end of fiscal 2007 to 600MW at the end of fiscal 2010, and then to 4GW at the end of fiscal 2020. Sanyo estimates global production of solar cells will reach 40 to 45GW in fiscal 2020.
"We set a target of 4GW, 2GW each for crystal Si and thin-film Si, to hold a 10% share," said Tetsuhiro Maeda, executive officer and director of Solar Business, Sanyo Electric Co Ltd.
The Shiga Plant is designed to meet the future needs for increased production. The existing building has space for enough equipment to producing 100MW per year. In addition, "The site has room for more facilities," a company spokesman said. During the tour of the plant after the opening ceremony, an idle space was confirmed in the module production line.
The Shiga Plant, the latest module plant of Sanyo, was planned based on its module plants in Japan. Each piece of production equipment was improved reflecting the expertise gained until now and the number of operating personnel was reduced, according to the company.
Furthermore, "New technologies were introduced," including an inspection equipment that visualizes cracks on cells by utilizing the EL phenomenon. It was installed before the laminate process equipment, Maeda said.