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Kyocera Solar to begin solar module manufacturing in San Diego

March 4, 2010 |  6:48 am

Kyocera

Kyocera Solar Inc. plans to begin manufacturing solar modules in San Diego this year, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company said Wednesday.

Production at the company’s existing Balboa Avenue facility is expected to help push Kyocera toward its goal of making 1-gigawatt-worth of cells by 2013. Reaching that level would allow the company to supply 3.5-kilowatt solar-electric systems to about 285,000 homes each year, Kyocera said.

The initial production target is 30 megawatts per year when the manufacturing begins in June. San Diego was appealing to the company because of its close proximity to Kyocera Mexicana in Tijuana, which also manufactures solar modules, Kyocera Solar President Steve Hill said in an e-mail.

“But the biggest reason is the local market,” he said. “San Diego  is probably the leading city in California for the deployment of solar photovoltaic systems. And California leads all U.S. states in solar deployment.”

The company manufactures solar modules in Japan, China, the Czech Republic and Mexico. Kyocera Solar is a subsidiary of Kyocera International Inc. of San Diego, which is the North American headquarters for Kyocera Corp. in Kyoto, Japan. The parent corporation also makes telecommunications equipment, copiers, printers, industrial ceramics and more and pulled in about $11.5 billion in net sales for the year ending March 31, 2009.

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Rodney Lanthorne, president of Kyocera International Inc., speaks at Wednesday's press conference. Credit: Gary Payne for Kyocera
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