BREAKING: GE Solar Thin Film Plant to Open in Colorado $GE
GE announced the completed acquisition of PrimeStar Solar in April of this year, the original developer of the CdTe technology.
GE (NYSE: GE) claims to have achieved the (independently verified) highest recorded efficiency for cadmium telluride at almost 13 percent for a full scale module. The firm claimed the best way to reduce solar cost was by improving efficiency, also stating that each percentage point in efficiency lowers cost by 10 percent.
Note that First Solar, the clear leader in thin-film solar, is in gigawatt-scale production at 11.7 percent efficiency with a $0.75 per-watt cost and a guidance of 2 gigawatts of production in 2011. Abound Solar, another CdTe aspirant, is working on building up capacity of 840 megawatts with help from a DOE loan guarantee.
GE said that it has closed more than 100 megawatts of orders, including 60 megawatts with NextEra, an existing GE wind customer. The firm will be building a 400-megawatt factory in the U.S. with production starting in 2013. That would make it the largest solar plants in the U.S.
GE said that when the 400-megawatt factory comes on-line in 2013, the efficiency will be above 13 percent. The efficiency level quoted is at the module level, although the existing 30-megawatt line is not the “main event,” according to GE.
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