In other words, an annual power output of 100 MW, or the equivalent yearly energy requirements of a town with 15,000 inhabitants. The site should be operational from the 2nd quarter of 2012 and will supply the global market. Its modules will be marketed independently by Avancis and HHI.
Based on depositing coatings of CIGS on a glass substrate, the technology developed by Avancis avoids using traditional crystalline silicon. This technology makes it possible to imagine production costs as low as other thin-film based techniques, while its electrical efficiency (above 12% industrially and up to 20% in the laboratory) is close to the higher yields achieved using polycrystalline silicon cells. As well as being suitable for solar fields, CIGS thin-film based modules are especially recommended for roof installations, due to their simplicity of assembly, their attractive appearance and their reliability.
"With this investment, Saint-Gobain significantly accelerates its growth on the solar market, by banking on a competitive and innovative technology. This latest illustration of the Group's commitment to renewable energies testifies to the growth potential of Avancis, the reference player on the high-efficiency thin-film PV modules market" states Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and CEO of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain. "Already well located in Korea (particularly in Flat Glass where it has 4 float lines and several processing units for the automotive and building sectors), Saint-Gobain strengthens its position in this country in association with HHI, whose industrial and technological know-how is recognized worldwide" declares Jean-Pierre Floris, Senior Vice-President of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain and President of the Innovative Materials Sector.
"By expanding into the high-efficiency CIGS PV market, under a joint-venture with Saint-Gobain, HHI is on track with its plan to become a global supplier in the renewable energy sector via innovation and diversification. Above all, HHI will be one step closer to achieving the global commitment of pursuing an era of clean energy. We believe that we will soon fulfill these commitments that will provide a strong foundation for our future generations," says Keh-Sik Min, Chairman of Hyundai Heavy Industries.
In 2010, the PV solar power market has grown tremendously and installed power worldwide is currently estimated at 30 GW, i.e. enough energy to meet the requirements of 5 million Western Europeans. This rise should continue at a steady pace over the years to come, enabling
the sector to grow by relying less on public subsidies.