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MPO expands into solar energy

Without retreating from its original optical disc replication business, French independent manufacturer MPO is expanding its activities into the production of new-generation photovoltaic cells.

This diversification strategy is based on the many commonalities that exist between optical disc and photovoltaic production. To meet this challenge, MPO announced the formation of a consortium of French companies under the name PV20 – PV for cellule photovoltaic (solar cell), and the number 20 for the 20% efficiency of the cells, contributing to 20% reduction in emission of greenhouse gases. It participates towards the goal of reaching 20% renewable energy in Europe by 2020.

The objective of the consortium is to launch an ambitious project to improve the manufacturing efficiency of photovoltaic cells. MPO has earmarked a budget of €24.5 million over 40 months, including a contribution of €10 million from OSEO. Other French partners include INES (CEA), EMIX (manufacturer of silicon ingots) TENESOL (module manufacturer) and SEMCO (equipment supplier).

Between the end of 2010 and early 2011, MPO will launch a state-of-the-art production line with a capacity of 100MW 3,000 cells per hour. The company intends to become a major player in this booming market.

Story filed 21.11.10

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