SCHOTT Solar Breaks Ground on Facility in New Mexico

Date: 17 March 2008
Source: SCHOTT AG
PV Modules and receivers for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Plants / Opening in 2009 with 350 jobs / Plans call for investment to grow to $500 million and workforce to expand to 1,500 Executives from SCHOTT AG of Mainz, Germany, Governor Bill Richardson (D – NM) and local dignitaries ceremonially broke ground today for the company’s new manufacturing facility for SCHOTT Solar, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SCHOTT.

The site, located in the Mesa del Sol region of Albuquerque, NM, will produce both photovoltaic (PV) modules and receivers for concentrated solar thermal power plants (CSP). Production is expected to begin as early as spring 2009.

Initially, the company will construct a 200,000 square-foot facility, which will employ 350 people. SCHOTT Solar will invest approximately $100 million to start production in New Mexico.

Anticipating the need to increase production of its solar power technologies as the market for renewable energy in the US grows, the new site is designed to support expansion of both its photovoltaic module and solar receiver lines.

"Today is an extremely proud day for SCHOTT," said Dr. Udo Ungeheuer, Chairman of SCHOTT’s Board of Management. "With the groundbreaking in New Mexico, SCHOTT is further demonstrating the company’s position as a global leader in solar technology and our ongoing commitment to developing the North American market through strategic investment."

"Recently I announced that SCHOTT Solar was coming to New Mexico and would build a new $500 million-dollar facility to Mesa Del Sol," said Governor Richardson. "Just weeks later – I am pleased to say - SCHOTT Solar has officially broken ground on their new solar manufacturing facility. SCHOTT is one of the largest, most prestigious solar companies in the world and I am honored to welcome them to New Mexico."

At the groundbreaking, SCHOTT Solar unveiled the ambitious timeline for the opening of the facility. The building is scheduled to be completed at the end of the summer. From there, installation of the manufacturing equipment will take place and the interior will be prepped.

In March 2009, the first receiver, a critical component for concentrated solar power plants is expected to be available for sale. The PTR-70 receivers represent the latest in technological advancements for the surging CSP industry. In April 2009, the first photovoltaic panel manufactured for sale is scheduled to roll off the production line. Additional PV manufacturing lines will be added to the facility to meet market demand.

Initially, the 190,000 square-foot facility will have 175,000 square feet allocated to production and 15,000 square feet of office space. The receiver line will occupy nearly double the space of the PV line (115,000 / 60,000 respectively). Future growth at the facility is planned by SCHOTT Solar, which will bring total employment up to 1,500, and SCHOTT’s total investment to approximately $500M.

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