When we talked with Mike Gering, CEO of thin-film solar company Global Solar back in January, he said the company would start manufacturing at a plant in Tucson, Arizona, near the end of March. Well, this morning Global Solar put out a press release officially announcing the plant that it hopes will soon start full production and which will also be accompanied by a 750-kilowatt solar system that will help power the plant with renewable energy.
While the company has been making portable thin-film products for the last three years, according to Gering, the Tucson plant will be Global Solar’s first mass manufacturing undertaking and will focus on large field arrays. Another plant, this time in Berlin, is scheduled to open mid-summer.
Global Solar makes thin-film panels out of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS); competitors include Nanosolar and Heliovolt. Given that Nanosolar started production of thin-film solar panels at its San Jose, Calif. manufacturing plant in December, and Heliovolt plans to start production within the year, 2008 could very well be thin-film solar’s first big year in the sun. (photo not actual thin film product)