Nanosolar plans to expand its presence in Germany. The startup says it will build a second solar farm in the same town where it is already building a smaller power plant as well as a thin-film panel assembly facility, Gunther Portfolio reported this week.
The farm is expected to have the capacity to produce 10 megawatts of solar electricity from the company's thin-film panels that are made of copper, indium, gallium and selenium.
The solar startup has previously talked about building a 1-megawatt power plant in Luckenwalde, south of Berlin, and a 620-megawatt assembly plant in the same town.
Nanosolar, based in San Jose, Calif., confirmed last month that it had raised $300 million for building the assembly plant in Germany and expanding a 430-megawatt solar cell factory in its hometown (see Nanosolar Confirms $300M Funding).
The company has been mum about the 10-megawatt power plant, however. Nanosolar CEO Martin Roscheisen was only willing to confirm through an email that his company is building two power plants in eastern Germany.
Blogger Edgar Gunther dug up four articles by a regional German newspaper, Märkische Allgemeine, that offered some good details about the two power plants. His blog post, published Sunday, also features a map showing the location of the two power plants and the assembly factory.
One of the articles, published in April, said that Nanosolar had teamed up with Beck Energy to build the 10-megawatt power plant, which would cost around €30 million ($42.75 million). The news story cited a Beck official who said that the project is scheduled for completion next year and will power 10,000 homes.
Beck also is building the 1-megawatt plant, located at a former landfill, using Nanosolar's panels (see Nanosolar Begins Production and Nanosolar Chooses German Town for Solar Plant). Gunther pointed to a May article that cited a Nanosolar official who said the power plant would use 7,000 solar panels and cost an estimated €2.9 million ($4.13 million). The project is scheduled to be connected to the grid by the end of November this year and serve 400 homes.
Meanwhile, Nansolar has installed the first 100 megawatts worth of equipment for its 620-megawatt assembly plant, according to another German article that was published in June. The company plans to add another 300 megawatts worth of equipment by the end of this year.
When asked about the details of Gunther's blog, Roscheisen declined to confirm the newspaper accounts except to say that "two of our first [power plants] are located in Eastern Germany."
Roscheisen also wrote that two technical details in the newspaper articles were wrong. The June article said the size of the glass plate for a finished panel measures at 2 square meters. Roscheisen wrote that Nanosolar's panel is "compatible with First Solar's, which are 1.6 x .8m in size."
Roscheisen added that the 7,000 panels reported for the 1-megawatt plant also was wrong, but didn't offer the correct number.