As part of its Masdar Initiative, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. is expanding its investment in solar energy by purchasing three SunFab Thin Film Lines for producing solar modules from Applied Materials , the company announced on May 30.
These SunFab lines are expected to annually produce modules with a targeted capacity of up to 210 megawatts (MW), or enough energy to power approximately 70,000 homes.
"The Masdar Initiative is focused on ensuring that renewable energies play a key role in the energy portfolio that the world needs now and into the future. We are doing this by applying scale, capital and commitment to the most promising technologies to accelerate the rapid adoption of renewable energy," said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar.
According to the company, the Applied SunFab Line is the only integrated production line for manufacturing thin film silicon solar modules using ultra-large 5.7m2 glass panels. These 2.2m x 2.6m panels can reduce installation cost by over 17% compared to smaller scale thin film panels, the company said.
One of the SunFab lines to be supplied by Applied will be located in Erfurt, Germany, and is expected to start up in the second half of 2009. The other two lines will be located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and are expected to start up in early 2010. These lines will help supply solar power to Masdar City, the worlds first zero carbon, zero waste city, designed to be fully powered by renewable energy, and also will help support the broader global need for clean sources of energy.
"Abu Dhabi Future Energy is leveraging its substantial resources and expertise in global energy markets to bring the first major photovoltaic manufacturing capability to the Middle East," said Dr. Mark Pinto, senior vice president and general manager of Applied's Energy and Environmental Solutions Group. "We are very excited to be part of Abu Dhabi's vision for the future in accelerating the adoption of solar energy to decrease the cost of electricity."