Spark Solar Australia To Build $60M Plant

Spark Solar Australia Pty Ltd announced plans to build a $60 millon solar cell factory. The operation will initially produce more 40 megawatts (MW) of solar cells.

The project is the first to be awarded Major Project
Facilitation status by the Rudd Labor Government. The status recognizes
Spark’s planned manufacturing operations as "of strategic significance
to Australia."

Initial planned capacity expansion would see this number triple to over 120 MW. Construction and fit out of the factory is expected to be completed by late 2010.

The company last year completed its first round of capital raising with cornerstone investor Swiss fund New Energies Invest. The company said it is currently searching for Australian investors.

Several potential sites for the factory have been identified. Locations being considered include Canberra, Queanbeyan, Wollongong, Geelong and Adelaide. "We would prefer to be close to the ANU and UNSW for collaboration purposes," said Interim CEO, Dr Michelle McCann.

Spark also has plans to develop its own high efficiency technology, the Angled Buried Contact cell or ‘ABC cell’.

The company will initially export its cells, but Dr McCann said the company has high hopes for the growing Australian market.

"The Australian market is taking off, and we are well-placed to lead the charge," Dr McCann said.

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