Mitsubishi Electric Corp. announced on August 27 its plans to construct a new building for photovoltaic (PV) cell production, the PV Cell Plant #2, at its Nakatsugawa Works Iida Factory in Nagano Prefecture. The company will expand annual production capacity of PV cells in response to a sharp increase in demand for solar power generation systems.
The company will invest total of 50 billion yen to quadruple its annual PV production capacity from 150 megawatts (present) to 600 megawatts by fiscal 2012.
Having entered the residential PV systems business in 1996, Mitsubishi Electric opened its PV plant at Nakatsugawa Works Iida Factory in 1998, where production of cells and modules began. A lead-free solder module2 production line, the first in Japan, was opened in January 2003, the same year as the opening of the Kyoto Factory. Total annual production capacity was increased to 35MW in January 2003, to 50MW in September 2003, to 90MW in June 2004, and then up to 135MW in April 2005.
In September 2006, the company began production of residential PV inverters for the European market, and in August 2007, the company improved factory productivity, increasing its annual PV production capacity to 150MW.
The company is getting ready to increase its annual production capacity to 220MW in October 2008.
As one of the goals of "Environmental Vision 2021," the company's long-term environmental management vision, it plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by further promoting PV installation and by developing technologies to increase module efficiency. Specifically, Mitsubishi Electric intends to improve output of solar power generation systems by combining its multi-crystal silicon cell technologies with its PV inverters.