More big news from BP Solar
BP Solar Aust have unveiled a bold initiative which is an important step in the long journey towards creating an environmentally sustainable future.
The company is constructing one of the world's largest solar manufacturing facilities in the Sydney suburb of Belrose.
The A$57 million plant will manufacture 20 megawatts per year of the latest generation of high performance solar cells, with potential to expand to 50MW a year. (World solar output was 100 MW in 1997).
BP Solar developed and commercialised the buried grid laser technology photovoltaic cells, known as Saturn, over 10 years, utilising technology invented by the University of New South Wales.
The General Manager of BP Solar Australia, Mr Ken Brown, said: "This announcement ensures that Australia is at the forefront of developing solar power and a new manufacturing industry from which all Australians will benefit".
The plant, due to come on line in October 1999, will make Australia the world's third largest supplier of photovoltaics, after the United States and Japan.
Exports, including solar modules and complete systems from the new Belrose plant, will total about $A100 million by 2000 and bring energy to people in South East Asia and the South West Pacific who would not otherwise have access to an electricity grid.
Power generated by solar cells from the new plant will represent a saving of some seven million tonnes of greenhouse gas.
BP is committed to driving down the cost of solar to peak demand electricity costs in the next decade.