Nanosolar announces big orders for its thin film solar cells

Nanosolar solar cells
Nanosolar solar cells
Nanosolar this week announced some pretty sizeable orders for its thin film solar cells and also said that they expect to match solar industry cost leaders within a few years.     Their new orders could be for as much as 1 gigawatt of solar panels over 6 years – as long as Nanosolar meets agreed upon technical milestones and is able to ramp up volume.   The announced contracts are with companies that Nanosolar is already partners with – solar developers Belectric (Germany), EDF Energies Nouvelles (France), and Plain Energy (Germany).

Nanosolar currently makes their solar cells in their San Jose plant, where  they expect to increase the output to 115 megawatts per year by the end of this year.    They fully expect that production costs will drop as the plant ramps up to full production and they are targeting $1 per watt by the end of the year.  This will make their cost per watt lower than panels made with crystalline silicon solar cells.    They also announced that they expect to further increase the efficiency of their cells from 10% now to 14% by 2014 and are looking to get production costs below $.60 per watt by 2013, which is where they need to be if they want to be competitive with other thin film solar companies such as First Solar.    Nanosolar makes their CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, selenium) thin film cells using a roll-to-roll process, while cost leader First Solar, which uses a vacuum deposition process, makes their cells using cadmium telluride.    Nanosolar has long claimed that their roll-to-roll process, which essentially lets them print solar cells, will dramatically reduce costs.

via: CNET News

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