Honda Soltec Co. Ltd. has officially opened a solar cell production plant in Kumamoto, Japan – one that mass-produces thin film made from a compound of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS) instead of silicon.
Honda says its next-generation solar cell achieves a major reduction of approximately 50% in the amount of energy consumed during the manufacturing process compared to what is required to produce conventional crystal silicon solar cells. The company began mass production of solar cells in October, and the annual production will reach the full capacity of 27.5 MW by next spring.
The company has also begun sales of solar cells for homes throughout Japan, with 80 distributor locations and plans to accelerate sales by increasing the number of distributor locations to more than 200 within 2008. Honda will also work to begin exporting its solar cells.