Schott Solar this week cut the ribbon on new $100 million facility in Albuquerque to produce large-scale concentrated solar power receivers and PV units. Schott, which also has production facilities in Germany, the Czech Republic and Spain, says the 200,000 square-foot plant will provide at least 350 jobs, and is being described as only the first phase of the company’s plan. Schott has another PV facility in Billerica, Mass.
The plant was designed to facilitate anticipated future growth. In subsequent phases, Schott says the buildings can expand to 800,000 square feet and ultimately employ 1,500 workers.
The new production plant has annual capacity of 85 MW of 225-watt polycrystalline PV modules. These units will be sold under Schott Solar Poly 225 brand and marketing is targeted at commercial buildings and schools. Schott will also run two production lines for manufacturing parabolic trough, utility-scale CSP units. Combined, these two lines have an annual CSP capacity of 400 MW.
Schott CSP technology is based on heat-exchange system. A heat transfer fluid resides in steel absorber tubes encased in evacuated glass tubes. The tubes are positioned at the focal point of the mirrors. The fluid moves through a heat exchanger/boiler apparatus, creating steam used to drive a turbine generator.
Schott and at least one state official linked the plant opening to increased investments in renewable energy sources contained within the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment act. “This facility is proof that smart policy can create jobs and spur investment,” said New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. “SCHOTT Solar has recognized the vast potential that exists for solar energy in the United States and especially New Mexico.”
Adding . . . where is a news broadcast about the opening: