April 3, 2008 — /PRNewswire/ — NEWINGTON, CT — MALIBU, a joint venture of Schuco International KG and German energy giant E.ON, is building a $135 million production facility for manufacturing large-scale photovoltaic modules based on state-of-the-art thin film technology. This project promises to be highly significant for the future of environmentally friendly solar power. The foundation stone laying ceremony took place in Magdeburg, Germany, on February 7, 2008.
Starting in fall 2008, the plant is to begin producing photovoltaic modules measuring 5.7 square meters (over 61 square feet), in formats of up to 2.20 x 2.60 square meters, with an output of up to 460 watts. The annual output of these systems amounts to 40 megawatts. The centerpiece of the plant is a machine made by the US company Applied Materials, the world’s leading manufacturer of products based on this technology.
Thanks to the size of these modules – the largest ever built – photovoltaic technology now becomes a particularly attractive alternative for the metal and glass facades of large corporate and government office buildings. Generated without negative impact on the environment, electricity produced in this way for cooling, ventilation, shade, and heating is also extremely economical. Furthermore, the new modules can be perfectly integrated into the glass elements of the facade, thus opening up entirely new possibilities for architects.
E.ON is one of the world’s largest energy producers, with sales in 2006 of around EUR68 billion and a staff of 82,000 employees. Schuco is Europe’s market leader for system-supported construction, with over 50 years of experience in aluminum, steel, plastic, and solar systems for corporate and residential architecture. Schuco has 4,700 employees and 12,000 partners in 77 countries. The company’s US point of contact is Schuco USA L.P., which produces and markets aluminum systems for building envelopes and solar power systems.