SunEdison, Inc., a global solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services, announced on October 1st that its most advanced polysilicon technology was now in production and on target to produce solar material at the lowest cost in the world. This achievement represents a step-change in technology and will enable SunEdison to deliver a 400 watt peak solar panel at a cost of $0.40 per watt peak by 2016.
"Solar energy is at a transformational moment in time and innovative technology is what will power that transformation," said Ahmad Chatila, Chief Executive Officer of SunEdison. "Our latest advance is a leap forward in solar technology and will enable solar power to become the lowest cost energy solution – not just an alternative to other renewables, but the cost-winner over fossil fuels as well."
The technology, called "high pressure fluidized bed reactor" (HP-FBR), produces high purity polysilicon 10 times more efficiently and with 90% less energy used than non FBR technologies. SunEdison's new HP-FBR technology requires less land, less capital and fewer natural resources, delivering a more economical and sustainable method to produce polysilicon at the lowest overall cost. This breakthrough will reduce the cost of the raw material needed to produce solar panels to less than $0.05 per watt peak by 2016.
HP-FBR technology is now in production in an Ulsan, Korea joint venture facility of SunEdison, SunEdison Semiconductor, and Samsung Fine Chemicals (SFC).
"This technology represents a significant competitive advantage for our company", said Shaker Sadasivam, President and CEO of SunEdison Semiconductor Ltd. "With the successful start-up of our proprietary HP-FBR technology we're on target to meet our goal of producing significantly lower cost, semi-grade polysilicon."
The capacity of the Korean plant was originally designed for 10,000 metric tons (MT) per year but has been enhanced to 13,500 MT. The plant will be operating at full capacity in the first quarter of 2015.