XsunX: PV tools come first, then factory site

December 6, 2007 – Citing an abundance of real-estate options to choose from, XsunX execs say they’re prioritizing getting their tool orders ready before finalizing a deal for their first multimegawatt thin-film photovoltaic factory.

The company recently indicated it had narrowed site selection for its planned 100MW thin-film photovoltaic solar module manufacturing facility to somewhere in Oregon, and also has finalized a $21M equity financing commitment to support its initial operations up to the first 25MW of solar module manufacturing capacity. The company has said its initial manufacturing line after a first phase of its new facility would produce ~17,000 solar modules in 2008, and planned completion of the full 100MW production facilities in 2009 would ramp to 950,000 modules annually.

But with deliveries not scheduled until 2008, and “no shortage of buildings to choose from,” the company is focusing right now on ordering production system assembly components, starting with long-leadtime items like deposition tools and laser systems, notes COO Joseph Grimes, in a statement.

Tom Djokovich, XsunX’s CEO, noted that there is a “looming shortage of access to sufficient supplies of system components necessary to build thin-film module manufacturing facilities.” Just as limited polysilicon supplies have constrained silicon wafer markets, he predicts a similar shortfall with infrastructure will squeeze the thin-film sector, such that it will be hard to expect equipment orders “within reasonable time frames, if at all.”

So, the company has taken steps to negotiate an exclusive contract for plasma deposition systems, to support as much as 500MW of plasma chamber deliveries over five years. “We did not want to find ourselves in a position where we didn’t have a plan and path to establish XsunX as major producer of solar modules,” he stated. Once components for XsunX’s manufacturing system have been secured, then the company will focus on final site selection and facility preparation to house its PV line, noted Grimes.


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