German solar module and battery manufacturer Solarwatt today inaugurated 300 MW of new module production lines, bringing its total PV module production capacity to 550 MW. The company is also bringing new battery pack assembly lines online, at its headquarters in Dresden, Germany.
The company says it invested around €35 million in the new PV and storage capacity, as part of a plan to invest €100 million in further development of the company over the next few years. The module lines will produce glass-glass modules based on half-cut M6 (166mm) cells, and the new storage lines will assemble nickel-manganese-cobalt modules into battery packs for the residential storage market. Cells for the battery pack are obtained from BMW, consisting of the same technology used in the automakers electric vehicles. The cells are assembled into modules by German company Webasto, as part of a cooperation with Solarwatt.
The new production capacity was officially announced at an event earlier today. Solarwatt CEO Detlef Neuhaus introduced the new factory, and was joined on stage by Michael Kretschmer, Prime Minister of the State of Saxony, and Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe – both of whom spoke of the need for new renewable energy manufacturing capacity to keep up with rising demand, and for both Germany and Europe to maintain leadership in development of the technology and not to rely solely on other regions to power its energy transition.
“Demand from customers for photovoltaic solutions for private homes and the commercial sector is increasing – not only in Germany but all over the world,” said Neuhaus. “That’s why it is important that we also have a strong solar industry in this country that drives innovation and offers solutions that enable people to supply themselves with clean energy as quickly and easily as possible.”