Hot topics at Solar Power International 2011
Solar Power International (SPI) 2011 held October 17-20 in Dallas, Texas, is North America’s largest solar power trade fair with nearly 24,000 professionals from over 100 countries attending.
“There’s a lot going on in the NA solar industry besides Solyndra and the antidumping case filed against China module manufacturers,” indicates Kevin Kelley, Regional Sales Manager with Luvata Appleton. “It’s unfortunate that the Solyndra situation might hurt the image of the PV industry, because what some people may not realize is that the NA solar industry almost doubled from 2009 to 2010 in terms of annual installed capacity.”
Exhibiting at the show, Kelley indicates that overall the show went very well for Luvata. “We had some very serious conversations with some customers and the opportunity to talk with a few new prospective customers.” Now manufacturing Sunwire in Appleton, Kelley believes that a large part of Luvata’s success is our proven technology and the fact we’ve been around a while. “We aren’t the new kid on the block and that’s important when you consider that UL certification alone can take up to six months for the production of test panels to UL approval and finally production,” he says.
Also attending the show was Olli Naukkarinen, Photovoltaic Business Director with Luvata Pori. “We’ve developed a new bi-conical spool, which can accommodate up to 11 km of wire, depending on the specifications. The spool ensures gentle unwinding, which is attractive for customers,” he says. Since last year Luvata has added capacity and now its total global production capacity has reached 3 GW.
“Although the market is very price competitive, with silicon wafers down 30% and expected to decrease another 30% this year, this also helps bring us closer to grid parity,” continues Kelley. “PV then becomes much more attractive when compared with coal and oil. Having gotten into the market early, I think we’re in a good place right now.”