SANTA CLARA, Calif.–As part of its Masdar Initiative, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. is significantly expanding its investment in solar energy by contracting with Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT) to purchase three SunFab(TM) Thin Film Lines for producing solar modules. With an optional tandem junction upgrade, these SunFab lines are expected to annually produce modules with a targeted capacity of up to 210 megawatts (MW), or enough energy to power approximately 70,000 homes.
“The Masdar Initiative is focused on ensuring that renewable energies play a key role in the energy portfolio that the world needs now and into the future. We are doing this by applying scale, capital and commitment to the most promising technologies to accelerate the rapid adoption of renewable energy,” said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar. “We are pleased to be working with Applied Materials.”
The Applied SunFab Line is the only integrated production line for manufacturing thin film silicon solar modules using ultra-large 5.7m2 glass panels. Ideally suited for utility-scale applications, these 2.2m x 2.6m panels can reduce installation cost by over 17% compared to smaller scale thin film panels. The SunFab line is designed to deliver leading-edge manufacturing capability with the world’s most advanced engineering and equipment.
One of the SunFab lines to be supplied by Applied will be located in Erfurt, Germany, and is expected to start up in the second half of 2009. The other two lines will be located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and are expected to start up in early 2010. These lines will help supply solar power to Masdar City, the world’s first zero carbon, zero waste city, designed to be fully powered by renewable energy, and also will help support the broader global need for clean sources of energy.
Filed Under: Green engineering • renewable energy • sustainability, Materials • advanced