July 9, 2008 — The Moncada Energy Group s.r.l. , a private producer of renewable energy in Italy, has awarded Applied Materials, Inc. a contract to establish what will be Moncada’s first photovoltaic (PV) module production facility and Applied’s first SunFab line in Italy. The Applied SunFab Thin Film Line will produce large 5.7 square meter single junction PV modules at a facility to be located in Campofranco, Sicily, and is expected to have an annual rated capacity of 40MW.
Applied’s SunFab production line will add to Moncada’s existing power production capacity of more than 105MW in wind energy, and will expand Italy’s growing infrastructure of renewable energy installations. Moncada plans to use the SunFab-produced modules to build solar farms on some of the same land where its wind turbines are located, effectively double-harvesting its clean energy resources.
Sized at 2.2 x 2.6 meters, the SunFab modules are four times larger than today’s typical solar panels, making them ideal for cost-saving power plant applications. Applied’s SunFab technology has recently been demonstrated to lower installation costs by over 17% compared to smaller area thin film panels.
“We believe that the large 5.7 square meter modules produced by the SunFab line will enable lower production and installation costs, making them an excellent solution for quickly achieving grid parity in Italy,” says Salvatore Moncada, CEO and founder of Moncada Energy Group. “Based on Applied’s strong leadership in manufacturing, and its capability to provide complete service support which is unprecedented in today’s solar industry we are confident that Applied can help us quickly start up our SunFab line and achieve production in 2010.”
“Applied Materials is very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Moncada on its first solar venture and we appreciate their confidence in our capabilities,” says Dr. Mark Pinto, senior vice president and general manager of Applied’s Energy and Environmental Solutions Group. “We are excited to expand our role in Italy which has the geographic potential to realize early grid parity from supplying crystalline silicon equipment through our Baccini business to producing the world’s largest thin film modules with our SunFab line.”