Kyocera Establishes a Quadripartite Global Production Framework for Solar Modules

Marking the 30th Anniversary in 2005 of the Advent of Solar Energy Business – Company Aims to Become World’s Largest “Fully-Integrated” Producer

24 September 2005

Kyocera Corporation (President: Yasuo Nishiguchi) today announced that it is strengthening the production framework and enhancing the supply capability for its solar energy business in response to the increase in global demand for solar power generation.
First, a new assembly plant for solar photovoltaic (PV) modules will start operation in Tijuana, Mexico on October 1 this year. This plant will supply PV modules directly to the Americas. Moreover, a company engaged in solar energy business is scheduled to be established at the same time in Kadan in the Czech Republic. This company, Kyocera Solar Europe s.r.o., will start operation as an assembly plant for PV modules in the area in April next year, and will supply products to Germany and other EU countries.
Through these initiatives, Kyocera is establishing local production bases to target the markets in the United States and Europe, following the plant that started operations in Tianjin, China last November. With the Mie Ise plant in Japan, it will establish a supply framework targeting the four major solar markets in the world, namely Japan, Europe, the United States and China, which will enable Kyocera to respond promptly to the needs in each region.
Awareness of the usefulness and effectiveness of solar power generation has been rising, not only in Japan but also worldwide. Demand for solar energy is accelerating in Europe. In the United States, too, incentives for adopting solar electric generating systems are becoming more substantial, while in China, national energy strategies are starting to be implemented. In developing countries, solar energy has taken on increased significance as a lifeline.
As we enter the second phase of the solar energy market as indicated above, Kyocera has decided to designate 2005 as the year to initiate globalization, with the objective of establishing a worldwide quadrupole production framework. Kyocera will strive to supply solar electric generating systems of even higher performance and quality to all parts of the world.
At the same time, Kyocera is expanding the Shiga Yohkaichi plant that manufactures solar cells, the backbone of solar modules, to double the production capacity. As a result, a framework for manufacturing solar cells/modules at 20 MW per month, or 240 MW per year, will be established by August 2005. For reference, this production capacity is sufficient to supply 3.5 kW solar electric generating systems for about 5,700 houses each month, or approximately 68,600 houses per year.
Kyocera is building a production framework to ensure its ability to provide high-performance, high-quality multicrystal silicon solar products. To achieve this goal, the company will take advantage of its fully integrated production system, which involves every step of the PV manufacturing process – from casting silicon materials and producing individual solar cells, to assembling finished PV modules and integrating them into solar electric generating systems. By strengthening its production framework as described above, Kyocera will aim to become the world’s largest “fully-integrated” producer of PV modules.