San Diego Module Assembly Will Support Company's Goal to Reach 1 Gigawatt of Annual Production Capacity Worldwide
SAN DIEGO, Calif [WorldofPhotovoltaics.com]
Kyocera Solar, Inc. today announced plans to begin manufacturing solar modules in San Diego, Calif., to serve the U.S. market’s growing demand for clean energy. The U.S. module manufacturing will support a new milestone for Kyocera’s solar energy business — global production capacity targeting 1,000 megawatts of solar cells per year (equal to one “gigawatt” per year) by March 2013.
“Today’s announcement is further proof that California’s nation-leading green policies play a vital role in our state’s economic success,” said California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Even in this recession, green jobs in California have grown steadily, and Kyocera’s decision to locate its solar manufacturing operations in San Diego will create even more jobs at a time when they are needed most.”
The new solar module manufacturing will begin in San Diego at Kyocera’s Balboa Avenue facility during the first half of 2010, with an initial production target of 30 megawatts per year. The new operations will leverage Kyocera’s world-class U.S. manufacturing capabilities to produce the company’s most powerful and efficient solar modules. The production venue was selected to cater specifically to the U.S. market’s increasing demand for large-scale solar electric generating systems.
“The U.S. is experiencing extraordinary growth in its adoption of solar electricity,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar, Inc. “Kyocera’s San Diego plant will provide high-quality, high-efficiency solar modules to serve this expanding market. With a 35-year commitment to providing clean energy through solar modules, Kyocera is adding capacity globally to meet worldwide demand.”
Solar energy has become one of Kyocera’s fastest-growing businesses globally, with the company expecting to double its production of solar cells in the two fiscal years from 2009 to 2011. In addition to the operations coming to San Diego, Kyocera currently has solar module manufacturing facilities in Japan, China, the Czech Republic and Mexico.
Solar power offers a hedge against electricity cost increases and serves as an environmental countermeasure to acid rain, ozone depletion and rising carbon levels. As an illustration of Kyocera’s global expansion plan, the one-gigawatt capacity will allow the company to supply 3.5-kilowatt solar-electric systems for about 285,000 homes each year.
Kyocera established U.S. operations in 1969, and started a trend as the first Japan-based corporation with manufacturing operations in the State of California (in 1971). Kyocera Group companies currently employ approximately 4,000 people in the United States.
Kyocera Solar, Inc. (http://www.kyocerasolar.com) is a world-leading supplier of environmentally sound, solar electric energy solutions. With operating headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz. and regional sales centers in the U.S., Brazil and Australia, Kyocera Solar, Inc. serves thousands of customers in both developed and developing regions. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kyocera International, Inc. of San Diego, the North American headquarters and holding company for Kyoto, Japan-based Kyocera Corporation.
Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO) (TOKYO:6971) (http://global.kyocera.com/), the parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of fine ceramics (also known as “advanced ceramics”). By combining these engineered materials with metals and plastics, and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera Corporation has become a leading supplier of solar electric generating systems, telecommunications equipment, copiers, printers, electronic components, semiconductor packages, cutting tools and industrial ceramics. During the year ended March 31, 2009, the company’s net sales totaled 1.13 trillion yen (approximately US$11.5 billion). Kyocera marked its 50th anniversary in 2009, and the 40th anniversary of its U.S. operations. It is ranked #418 on Forbes magazine’s 2009 “Global 2000” listing of the world’s largest publicly traded corporations.