By SiliconIndia news bureau , 19 July 2009, Bangalore
Solar Semiconductor, a Hyderabad-based photovoltaic (PV) modules manufacturer has announced that it will set up a solar cell plant at its Fab City campus. The company plans to invest $100 million (Rs. 490 crore) in this plant. According to Ravi Surapaneni, Vice-President of the company, initially the plant will have a capacity of 30 Mw and subsequently it will be ramped up to 60 Mw. At present, Solar Semiconductor has a photovoltaic module-making capacity of 200 Mw a year, including 130 Mw at the Fab City and 70 Mw at Kompally. Both the facilities are dedicated to the export markets in the U.S., Germany, Spain and Italy. The solar cells manufactured at the new plant will be utilized by the company’s PV module-making plant at the Fab City.
According to Surapaneni, the PV modules business is expected to grow at around 30 percent annually. At present, the international price for PV modules is about $3.5 per watt and the global market for PV products is estimated to be $30 billion. Solar Semiconductor is among the few firms that have started operations at the Fab City, originally a semiconductor cluster but now a PV module cluster. The company also plans to add thin-film technology for making PV cells. It is also setting up a reliability laboratory at its premises at a cost of $2 million (Rs 9.8 crore) for testing new material to be used in solar cell making, which will be ready in about two months.
The company was certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent product safety certification organization, as a high-wattage PV modules manufacturer. UL India Sales and Marketing Director Manish Bhatnagar said, “The products of Solar Semiconductor have adhered to the prevailing international safety standards. The certification will allow Solar Semiconductor to access wider markets.” This certification has enabled Solar Semiconductors to spread its wings in the industry, starting with this new facility it has planned to establish.