Thursday, August 21, 2008

Masdar takes first steps towards PV plant

Original Article

Abu Dhabi // Less than three months after announcing a strategic investment into thin-film photovoltaics, Masdar, the Abu Dhabi renewable energy company, has broken ground on its first photovoltaic production plant in Ichtershausen, Germany.

The plant will use advanced production technologies to bring PV closer towards grid parity.

The $230 million (Dh845 million) German plant marks the first phase of Masdar’s $2 billion investment in thin-film PV manufacturing, one of the largest investments ever made in solar.

To be opened late next year, Masdar has stated the plant has a projected annual production capacity of 70MW and will create more than 180 green jobs.

It will produce the world’s largest (5.7 m2) and most powerful PV modules, on equipment from Applied Materials.

The German plant will act as a blueprint for technology and knowledge transfer to a 140MW Abu Dhabi plant, which will begin initial production in 2010. Output from both facilities has already been committed to major PV system installers in Europe, and for Masdar’s own energy generation needs.

“Thuringia is a modern business location”, says Dieter Althaus, Thuringia’ prime minister.

“Within Germany we hold a leading position in modern environmental technologies especially in trendsetting solar energy. We are pleased that Abu Dhabi chose Germany and particularly Thuringia as a model for technology and knowledge transfer. Germany’s technology base combines well with Masdar’s vision to accelerate the development and adoption of clean energy solutions on a global basis.”

The United Arab Emirates is one of Germany’s major trading partners in the Gulf region with non-oil trade, currently worth nearly US$7 billion.

“Abu Dhabi’s geography and our vision to become a world leader in renewable energy, makes thin-film PV a natural area of focus for Masdar,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, the CEO of Masdar.

“Germany, with its technology, highly-skilled workforce, attractive investment climate, and direct access to the European market, make it an ideal partner for Masdar.”

“It is especially satisfying to be working together in bringing the world one step closer to a future of clean energy”, Dr Al Jaber said.

Present at the groundbreaking were Mr Althaus; Mohammed Ahmed Al Mahmoud, the UAE Ambassador to Germany; Dr Sultan Al Jaber; Dr Hermann Scheer, a member of the German Parliament; Klaus von der Krone, the mayor of Ichtershausen; and representatives from the Masdar PV management team.

No comments: