Auburn Hills, Mich., October 24, 2011- United Solar, the global manufacturer of UNI-SOLAR® lightweight, flexible thin-film solar cells and modules, announces the opening of the new Marcegaglia photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing facility in Taranto, Italy. The new PV factory combines the production of UNI-SOLAR® PV laminates with Marcegaglia’s metal products to produce the perfect product for PV-integrated, insulated metal roofing panels.
This new operation produces PV laminates from UNI-SOLAR® cells and is a leading example of United Solar’s recently announced Open Solar™ initiative. Marcegaglia’s laminates are produced in 10 different product sizes and vary from 1.3 to 9 meters in length, with rated power outputs up to 242 watts per panel. Marcegaglia has begun sale and installation of the BIPV insulated roofing panels including these innovative laminates. One important reference, includes 3.2 megawatts (MW) across 13 of its industrial buildings in Taranto, capable of producing 3.7 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. The total investment in the Marcegaglia PV operation was approximately 15 million Euros and currently employs 150 people.
“We have found that UNI-SOLAR’s flexible, lightweight product is ideal to integrate with our rooftop PV products. UNI-SOLAR has provided excellent technical and operational support in establishing our PV facility in Italy,” said Enzo Poggi, President, Marcegaglia Buildtech S.R.L.
The Marcegaglia BIPV product complies with the requirements of “Integrated Photovoltaic Systems with Innovative Characteristics”, is IEC/CEI certified and therefore benefits from Italian solar incentives under “Titolo III” of Conto Energia 4. With the production in Taranto, Marcegaglia qualifies as a European photovoltaic laminates manufacturer, that is, among those companies who are entitled to guarantee the extra 10% solar incentive as stated by the Italian Conto Energia 4.
The Taranto plant is certified according to EN/CEI 61646 and EN/CEI 61730-2 both for the production of photovoltaic modules and for the manufacturing of photovoltaic integrated roofing systems.
United Solar’s Open Solar initiative focuses on the development and commercialization of its unique lightweight, flexible thin film solar cells through innovation with third-parties. Through this collaborative approach with its customers, products already launched in the market include factory integrated solar roofing products, solar-powered military shelters, and solar-powered consumer bags and chargers.
Marcegaglia is the leading industrial group worldwide in the steel processing sector, with a yearly output of 5 million tons. The group has operations worldwide with 7,000 employees, 51 sales offices, 210 representations and 50 manufacturing plants covering 6 million square meters, where 5,500 kilometers of carbon and stainless steel products are manufactured every day, serving more than 12,000 customers. Activities in the steel sector (88%) and other businesses (12%) are expected to generate 3.6 billion euro turnover in 2010, with an estimated increase to 6.0 billion by 2013. Founded in 1959 and fully owned by the Marcegaglia family, the group is headquartered in Gazoldo degli Ippoliti, Mantova, and is organized into 7 business areas: steel, building, home products, engineering, energy, tourism, services.
About United Solar/UNI-SOLAR®
United Solar has been a global leader in building-integrated and rooftop photovoltaics for over 25 years. The company manufactures, sells and installs thin-film solar laminates that convert sunlight to clean, renewable energy using proprietary technology for which the company has been awarded over 70 U.S. patents. UNI-SOLAR® brand products are unique because of their flexibility, light weight, ease of installation, durability, and real-world energy production. The company also designs, manufactures and installs rooftop photovoltaic systems, which enable customers to transform unused rooftop space into a value-generating asset. The Open Solar™ Initiative is seeking to build a community of solar innovators who will commercialize new products using the underlying UNI-SOLAR patented technology. For more information on United Solar visit uni-solar.com or follow UNI-SOLAR on Facebook.com/unisolar and Twitter.com/uni_solar.
About Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) (Nasdaq:ENER) has a renowned 51 year history since its formation in Detroit, Michigan and has been a pioneer in materials science and renewable energy technology development. The company has been awarded over 500 U.S. patents and international counterparts for its achievements. Besides the United Solar business which represents about 90% of ECD’s sales and assets, ECD’s technology portfolio also includes the Ovonic Battery Company, the inventor and worldwide licensor of nickel-metal-hydride battery technology and the developer of proprietary advanced lithium-ion cathode materials, along with other emerging energy storage technologies. ECD’s Ovonyx joint venture is the inventor and worldwide licensor of phase change memory (PCM) technology. For more information, please visit ECD on the web at energyconversiondevices.com and on Facebook, and follow ECD on Twitter @ECD_ENER.
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