Kyocera to Double Solar Capacity

"The U.S. is experiencing phenomenal public interest in, and acceptance of, solar electricity," said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar, Inc., the operating headquarters for Kyocera’s solar energy business in the Americas and Australia. "The majority of Americans want clean energy developed into an affordable, mainstream resource. Kyocera, with its 32-year commitment to this effort, is aggressively adding capacity both at our North American facilities and globally to meet this ever-increasing demand. We are all proud to be a part of the solution to our global climate and energy crisis."

Kyocera Mexicana, S.A. de C.V., which produces finished solar photovoltaic modules for the Americas and Australia, will increase capacity from its present 35MW to 150MW. The production area will expand tenfold with the addition of a second two-story facility in the Tijuana Industrial Park, representing an investment of approximately 4 billion yen (about $33 million) in new facilities and equipment. The new plant is expected to be completed before the end of March 2008.

Kyocera Solar Europe s.r.o., which produces solar modules for the European market, will also increase capacity to 150MW. By the end of March 2011, Kyocera will likewise invest approximately 4 billion yen (about $33 million) at this site in the Czech Republic, adding equipment and a new manufacturing facility to double the present production area.

Kyocera (Tianjin) Solar Energy Co., Ltd., which serves the Chinese market, will increase its manufacturing capacity to 90MW by the end of March 2011. In the process, the company will invest approximately 1 billion yen (about $8.3 million) to add equipment and increase its existing production area by 50 percent.

Kyocera Corporation, Ise Plant, which produces solar modules and systems for the Japanese market, will expand capacity to 110MW with an investment of approximately 1 billion yen (about $8.3 million). In addition, Kyocera Corporation, Yohkaichi Plant, which produces all of the raw solar cells used by the other four production sites for their local assembly into finished solar modules, will increase its capacity to 500MW, with an investment of approximately 20 billion yen (about $165 million) by the end of March 2011.

"The U.S. is experiencing phenomenal public interest in, and acceptance of, solar electricity," said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar, Inc., the operating headquarters for Kyocera’s solar energy business in the Americas and Australia. "The majority of Americans want clean energy developed into an affordable, mainstream resource. Kyocera, with its 32-year commitment to this effort, is aggressively adding capacity both at our North American facilities and globally to meet this ever-increasing demand. We are all proud to be a part of the solution to our global climate and energy crisis."

Increased solar energy production will help offset the negative effects of electricity generated by fossil fuels including carbon dioxide, a suspected contributor to global warming; nitrous oxide, which has been linked to the destruction of the Earth’s ozone layer; and sulfur dioxide, the principal contributor to acid rain.

Solar energy is Kyocera’s fastest growing business. As a measure of growth, the combined output of all Kyocera solar energy manufacturing from 1975 to 2006 totaled approximately 760 megawatts of solar modules. This result, in terms of "greenhouse gases avoided," is equivalent to the environmental impact of approximately 220 square miles of healthy forest.1 While that achievement took 32 years to attain, Kyocera’s planned production capacity by 2011 will be comparable to giving the Earth 220 new square miles of forest about every 18 months.

As another metric, the 500-megawatt capacity would allow Kyocera to build complete 3.5-kilowatt solar electric generating systems for 142,800 new homes each year.

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