GE’s Big Solar Commitment
GE just announced that it intends to manufacture a full-size, thin film solar panel at a new U.S. factory that will be larger than any existing solar panel factory in the country today. When complete in 2013, the factory will highlight an expected $600 million plus investment made by GE in solar technology and commercialization.
Photovoltaic solar is the next step in growing GE’s renewable energy portfolio and is part of the company’s ecomagination commitment to drive clean energy technology through innovation and R&D investment. The record-setting panel was produced on the 30-megawatt manufacturing line in Arvada, Colo. It was measured by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) at 12.8 percent efficiency. This panel surpasses all previously published records for Cadmium-Telluride [CdTe] thin film technology, which is the most affordable solar technology in the industry. Continually increasing solar panel efficiency is a key component of GE’s goal to offer advanced solar products while reducing the total cost of electricity for utilities and consumers. In fact, a 1 percent increase in efficiency is equal to an approximate 10 percent decrease in system cost.
The site for the new solar panel factory, the largest such facility of its kind, will be chosen in about 90-120 days, ultimately employing 400 workers and creating 600 related jobs. GE is ramping up to seriously compete in the 2020 projected $114 billion worldwide solar market.
You can read more about different types of thin-film solar panels in our blog below.