GE is going from being a major investor in solar technology to a major manufacturer. The company is announcing today that it will build the largest solar panel factory in the U.S., set to open in 2013.
The factory will produce thin-film cadmium telluride panels at a rate of 400 MW worth per year. The location of the factory has yeat to be determined, but it already has customers lined up, including NextEra Energy Resources, who is purchasing 60 MW worth of the thin film panels.
The cadmium telluride panels are less efficient than conventional panels, with a record of 12.8 percent efficiency, while conventional panels fall between 16 and 20 percent efficient. But the benefit to the thin-film panels is that they are cheaper to produce, which has made them attractive to solar developers and GE has stated it plans on both increasing the efficiency of the panels and lowering their costs by 50 percent within the next few years.
via NY Times