SMA Technologie AG, the parent company of SMA America, Inc., has broken ground on an 82,000-square-foot solar inverter manufacturing plant in Kassel, Germany. The largest of its kind, the new facility is designed to triple SMAs current production capacity. It will support all manufacturing efforts for SMA America including production of the Sunny Boy 3000US/4000US and Sunny Boy 5000US/6000US/7000US inverters, created specifically for the American solar market.
Gnther Cramer, CEO of SMA Technologie AG said the new plant will "set the new standard for the energy efficiency of industrial buildings."
The state-of-the-art manufacturing plant will feature an innovative carbon dioxide neutral energy concept. The energy needed for the production process will be supplied exclusively from renewable energy sources, including a building-integrated, 1.1-megawatt photovoltaic system and a regional biogas plant. The building itself will harvest electricity and heat from two gas-powered combined heat and power plants. An absorption refrigeration system will allow the waste heat from these plants to be used for cooling the facility in the summer and heating it during the winter. The plant also will feature natural ventilation systems, and natural and artificial lighting systems.
The new manufacturing plant is expected to create about 1,000 new jobs. Construction is expected to wrap up in the fall. The Sunny Boy inverters have an installed base of more than 750,000 units worldwide and is able to provide an aggregate of three billion watts (i.e., three gigawatts) of safe, usable, grid-quality power.