By Isabella Kaminski
Solar Frontier has opened production lines at its flagship 900 MW Kunitomi plant in Miyazaki, Japan, for commercial operations. Solar Frontier now has a total annual production capacity of around 1 GW.
According to Solar Frontier, the Kunitomi plant is Japan’s largest solar module production facility, as well as the largest CIS (copper indium selenide) factory in the world. The billion dollar plant shipped its first commercial thin-film CIS solar modules in February.
Hiroshi Yoshida, Vice President of Manufacturing at Solar Frontier, says: “We were able to execute this fast ramp-up at our third plant through experienced leadership and a compact workforce of highly skilled individuals that rate among the world’s best.”
Satoru Kuriyagawa, Solar Frontier’s Chief Technology Officer, says: “The Atsugi Research Center (ARC) functioned as a production laboratory where we were able to fine-tune processes from raw materials to finished modules until our modeling matched precisely what we wanted to see in production."
According to Solar Frontier, in operating conditions the ‘light soaking’ effect of CIS modules significantly increases output from initial values, while a lower temperature coefficient than crystalline silicon modules means more kWh produced under real conditions in a wide range of climates.