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SunPower opens 1.4 GW solar cell Fab 3 in Malaysia

SunPower Corporation has inaugurated AUO SunPower Sdn Bhd, a joint venture solar cell fabrication facility (Fab 3) in Malaysia with AU Optronics Corp.

The construction and ramp of the Fab 3 solar cell facility, located in Melaka, south of Kuala Lumpur, will continue through 2013 and, when completed, is expected to generate more than 1.4 GW annually.

The two-building facility will be 108,000 m2 and will house 28 solar cell production lines when fully online.

In production since October of this year, Fab 3 has already produced approximately 5 MW of Gen 2 solar cells with up to 22.5% conversion efficiency, SunPower says.

The facility includes:

  • Solar covered parking that will provide up to 2.6 MW of annual power generation;
  • Rooftop solar on all site facilities that will total more than 10 MW of annual power generation;
  • Rain water retention ponds for environmental protection and water recycling;
  • Improved HVAC cooling and heating systems;
  • 100% of the hot water heating capacity is generated by heat recovery air compressors; and
  • Cooling system efficiency using approximately 40% less electricity compared to typical systems in the Melaka area.

"Fab 3 will enable us to significantly increase the production of our high-efficiency solar cells in this state-of-the-art manufacturing facility," says Tom Werner, SunPower CEO.

"Malaysia's investment in the AUO SunPower joint venture, an excellent talent pool and a positive business investment climate, has given us the opportunity to significantly expand solar cell production that will meet the demand for solar worldwide, which has grown nearly eight fold over the past four years. We appreciate our partnership with the Malaysian government."

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Green building  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity