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Sanyo Electric Company Ltd. on September 29 announces the decision to construct an $80 million new plant for the manufacture of solar ingots and wafers in the Renewable Energy and Technology Park of Salem, Ore., and made a definitive agreement with the City of Salem for land acquisition. The 861,000-square-foot plant is planned to begin operations in October 2009, and be at full operation by April 2010 with a production capacity of approximately 70 megawatts (MW), bringing the total for ingot and wafer production capacity in America approximately 100 MW.
Sanyo is augmenting its facilities with the necessary equipment and constructing new facilities for future growth in response to market demand, moving forward to reach the goals set for an annual production capacity of at least 600 MW by fiscal year 2010. To increase ingot and wafer production, a fundamental part of the solar cell, the second plant in the US will be constructed and organized into a new company, Sanyo Solar of Oregon LLC.
Sanyo first started researching and developing amorphous solar cells in 1975, and was the world's first to commercialize amorphous-type solar cell production in 1980. In 1997, Sanyo started the mass production and sales of its world-leading conversion efficiency HIT solar cells, currently manufacturing the ingots and wafers in the United States, the cells in Japan, with module assembly plants located in Mexico, Hungary and Japan.