Kingston to be new home for next-generation thin-film solar panels
Kingston, ON — After reviewing several locations, Everbrite Solar, a division of Everbrite Industries Ltd. of Toronto, yesterday announced plans to locate its new ultra-high efficiency photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing facility in Kingston.
With the help of several financial advisers, Everbrite Solar is raising $500 million to invest in a highly specialized, robot-controlled manufacturing facility using leading-edge technology in the realm of "thin-film" solar module production. Everbrite will also be in discussions with the Government of Ontario regarding the project and the opportunity it presents. The planned plant will have an annual output of thin-film modules capable of generating 150 MW of clean solar power, and generate more than 1,200 direct, indirect and induced "green collar" jobs in the Kingston area.
"With this next-generation optical and coating technology and mechanized production process," said Everbrite Solar President and CEO Karl Scherre, "generating clean solar power will, at last, be cost-competitive with
electricity produced from the burning of fossil fuels."
Within just the past three years, solar panel technology has improved in leaps and bounds. Traditional PV modules, composed of solid crystalline material, are being replaced in the market by modules constructed by
depositing extremely thin layers of photosensitive materials onto a low-cost backing such as glass, stainless steel or plastic. These "thin-film" modules are less costly and more efficient than their predecessors. Since the first generation of thin-film modules became available, researchers have been experimenting with different materials to increase the spectrum of light available for conversion to electricity, and the efficiency of the modules. Everbrite Solar’s technology claims to surpass traditional thin-film modules by increasing the efficiency of the module, lowering costs significantly and eliminating the environmental hazards associated with the earlier generations.
A key part of yesterday’s announcement is Everbrite’s intention to seek a collaborative research agreement with Queen’s University to engage a multi-disciplinary team of researchers to help ensure that Everbrite continues
to be at the forefront of PV technology. Everbrite intends to invest up to $25 million to build an experimental thin-film manufacturing facility to which the Queen’s researchers will have access for their studies and, as a
result, help ensure that Kingston remains a focus of excellence in thin-film solar technology.
"Queen’s participation in Everbrite Solar’s Kingston research and development community will ensure that the ultra-high efficiency thin-film modules produced by Everbrite will continue to improve and be best in class for quality, efficiency and production costs," said Scherre.
"Here in Ontario, having a stable and home-grown supply of solar panels will help the province achieve its goal of shifting more of its electricity production to renewable sources of energy and make Ontario a leader in the
field of solar power generation," said Scherre.
For more information visit www.everbritesolar.com.