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3 October 2012

Solar Frontier completes 80MWp delivery to Catalina Solar Plant

Tokyo-based Solar Frontier K.K. (a subsidiary of Japanese energy business Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.) – the largest manufacturer of CIS (copper indium selenium) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar modules - says that 80MWp of its modules have been delivered to the world’s largest CIS thin-film solar power generation project. The modules will be part of the 143.2MWp Catalina Solar Project installation in Kern County, CA, developed, built and owned by renewable energy project developer EDF Renewable Energy (formerly enXco) of San Diego, CA, USA (an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company).

The project’s first phase of about 50MWp should go online by the end of 2012, while the remainder is targeted for completion by June 2013. The plant will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of about 35,000 homes and will offset about 74,000 metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions annually.

“This year, Solar Frontier will approach a cumulative total of a gigawatt of installations worldwide from the time of its founding,” says Charles Pimentel, chief operating officer of Solar Frontier Americas Inc of Santa Clara, CA. “With CIS demonstrating advantages from desert to tropical to sub-zero climates, our modules are especially well suited to the range of conditions here in California, where their higher kilowatt-hour production in real conditions ensures improved project economics,” he claims, as Solar Frontier continues its growth in the Americas markets.

Solar Frontier delivered its modules to the Catalina project site in 623 shipping containers. Securing the modules on a custom-designed steel-resin pallet with reusable plastic corner pieces, the firm has increased the module-container density of worldwide shipments by 130% and cut its logistics carbon footprint by more than 10%, while lowering its module breakage rate to what is claimed to be a record 0.002%. The new packaging solution ensures that there is also no more than 5 cubic meters of on-site waste per megawatt-peak of modules shipped, helping customers to install projects with minimum ecological impact, the firm adds.

Solar Frontier’s solar panels are manufactured at gigawatt-scale production facilities in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan and meet JET, IEC, UL, RoHS and California Energy Commission standards. These standards, and collaboration with integrators, installers and energy providers such as Belectric, juwi and Granite Construction, ensure quality, durability and reliability, claims the firm. The modules are available from 140W to 160W classes, operating with up to 13.0% efficiency and 14.1% aperture efficiency.

Tags: Solar Frontier CIS


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