Schott Solar Closes The Gap To The Global Leaders - Substantial Expansion Of Photovoltaic Capacities

SCHOTT Solar GmbH is seeking to strengthen its position as one of the world’s technology and market leaders in the field of Photovoltaics.

To achieve this, the company will be quadrupling its production capacities by 2010. SCHOTT Solar GmbH will be investing 100 million euros over the course of the next six months alone. For the most part, production of wafers, cells and modules will be expanded in both Germany and the Czech Republic. Research and development and sales activities are to be extended on a global basis.

When it comes to securing access to silicon over the next few years, SCHOTT Solar has made so much progress that the silicon material that will be required in order to expand activities is already sufficiently available.

SCHOTT Solar is Europe’s largest integrated manufacturer of wafers, cells and modules for use in Photovoltaics and already ranked among the world’s top 10 vendors in 2006. The move towards expansion that has now been announced will pave the way for the company in closing the gap to the global leaders by 2010.

SCHOTT Solar is currently executing its plans at an extremely fast pace. The new manufacturing facility in Jena that will produce thin-film solar electricity modules will become operational, as planned, in the fall of 2007. The production capacity will reach 33 megawatts per year. The company has already invested 60 million euros towards this initiative. By establishing solar manufacturing at its joint site in Jena, SCHOTT will be creating 180 new jobs.

In addition to thin-film technology, SCHOTT Solar will also be extending its crystalline business to include all levels of the value creation chain. Wafer, cell and module manufacturing will be modernized and expanded at existing company sites, mainly in Alzenau and Jena, Germany, as well as Valasské Mezirící in the Czech Republic.

“Massive investments in research and development will enable more efficient manufacturing, higher levels of efficiency and additional improvements in the quality of our products. Here, SCHOTT Solar will be cooperating closely with renowned institutes and universities on an international basis in order to extend its technological leadership position,” explains Dr. Martin Heming, Managing Director of SCHOTT Solar GmbH and a member of the Corporate Management Committee at SCHOTT AG.

The global sales network will also be expanded. SCHOTT Solar intends to intensify its cooperation with its authorized dealers. In Germany, the world’s largest market for photovoltaic technology, market penetration will increase significantly. Additional markets are to be developed on an international basis together with partners.

According to the projections of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), the global market could grow at a rate of 30 percent per year under favorable market conditions. Whereas the annual market volume was 1,362 megawatts (MW) in 2006, the output of newly installed photovoltaic systems is expected to reach 5,600 megawatts (MW) by the year 2010.

SCHOTT Solar GmbH with its headquarters in Alzenau (Germany) is a world-wide leading company covering various segments of solar power products: fully integrated production of silicon wafers, solar cells and modules for the terrestrial market and thin-film modules based on amorphous silicon for building integration and OEM products. With the SmartSolarFab® SCHOTT Solar runs the world’s latest state-of-the-art integrated production site in Alzenau.

SCHOTT is one of the leading solar industry companies worldwide. The international technology group supplies components for almost all photovoltaic and solar thermal applications. PV solar electricity modules with various performance ratings are used for decentralized power generation. Receivers are the key components in solar thermal parabolic trough power plants, a future technology for centralized power generation along the Earth's sunbelt. Highly efficient evacuated tube collectors provide solar heat for warm water, heating and air conditioning.

600450 Schott Solar Closes The Gap To The Global Leaders - Substantial Expansion Of Photovoltaic Capacities

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