LEIPZIG, GERMANY: The Asian Walsin Lihwa Corp. has chosen solar technology from Leipzig. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Ally Energy, Walsin Lihwa will invest 40 million euro and takes a 49 percent stake of Solarion AG, a specialist in flexible thin film solar cells and modules. Under involvement of the Development Bank of Saxony the investment is awarded with a grant of more than 20 million euro.
The contracts were signed between Yu-Lon Chiao, chairman of Walsin Lihwa, Dieter Waffel, supervisory Board chairman of Solarion AG, Dr. Karsten Otte, CEO of Solarion AG and Dr. Alexander Braun, CTO of Solarion in the ballroom of the new city hall in Leipzig.
In the first stage, an integrated cell and module factory with an annual production output of 20 megawatts and a staff of 140 employees will be constructed in the near vicinity of the BMW Leipzig assembly plant.
Subsequently, it planned to set up a manufacturing plant with 180 megawatts of annual production capacity. In addition, both parties have signed agreements on technical cooperation and licensing. As part of a technological cooperation, the thin-film technology will be enhanced.
After several years of development this paves Solarions’s way into mass production. "We are pleased that we have found Walsin Lihwa, a global player and a strong partner, to support our long-planned global expansion strategy of cost leadership," explains Dr. Karsten Otte.
"Through our advanced technology and novel solar module properties, we will significantly decrease the cost of photovoltaic power generation." The company also received support of various sites in its recent development. "We want to express our thanks especially to the Saxon Development Bank, CMS Hasche Sigle Düsseldorf, Euflex, Apricum and the Economic Development Offices of Saxony and Leipzig," Dr. Otte concluded.
"The CIGS technology has the highest efficiency potential in the photovoltaic thin film area. Together with the favorable cost structure of Solarion’s processes, we will attain a leadership position in the photovoltaics market,” said Yu-Lon Chiao. "A sustainable energy supply is one of the most important social and political challenges. Therefore, the cooperation with Solarion is an important step in the business development of Walsin Lihwa."
"In the past years Solarion has developed a powerful solar technology in co-operation with research and industrial partners. I am especially pleased that this technology will be transferred into mass manufacturing together with the Asian company Walsin here in Central Europe. This shows the high quality of this location." said Sven Morlok, Saxon State Minister of Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport.
The City of Leipzig has accompanied the development of Solarion for many years. In particular intensive efforts were undertaken by the Economic Development Office and the Environmental Protection Office to assist the young company on their way to success.
Leipzig's mayor, Burkhard Jung, remarked: "A company with such an innovative technology fits perfectly to our city and is an important addition to the development of the Energy City of Leipzig. Solarion AG creates many jobs in an area where we need them urgently. I hope the company is undergoing a fast development into a very strong partner as a member of our cluster energy and environmental technology."