Panasonic builds new plant to manufacture HIT solar panels

Electronic manufacturer Panasonic will construct a new AUD$581 million (JPY $45 billion) solar panel manufacturing facility in Malaysia to produce wafers, solar cells and full modules.

The new 70,000 square metre factory will be built in the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah and will employ approximately 1,500 people.

Production will be geared toward producing technology used in Sanyo HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin layer) solar panels. Production is expected to commence in December next year with an annual production capacity of 300 MW.  About AUD$286 million (JPY$22.5 billion) has been invested in capital.

Sanyo’s HIT product is used in Australia in residential rooftop solar arrays.

The Sanyo HIT solar panel was the first hybrid solar module available to the general Australian market. The technology combines a thin monocrystalline silicon layer encased in ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers, providing solar cell efficiencies of up to 20.2% and an overall panel efficiency of over 17.7%, according to Energy Matters.

Panasonic will sell its solar modules as an individual product as well as part of a system combined with storage batteries.

Panasonic Corporation is a manufacturer of electronic products for consumer, business and industrial markets.

The Osaka, Japan-based company is made up of over of 680 companies, including Sanyo Electric.

Panasonic purchase a majority stake in Sanyo Electric in 2009 and acquired 100% of the company in 2010. 

Image:  Solar Power Portal