A $600 million investment by GE into a state of the art solar panel plant may shape the face of solar technology for years to come. The manufacturing giant, already well-known for its contributions to other renewable energy sources, plans to produce enough thin film solar panels to power 80,000 homes per year.
GE’s thin film solar panel technology
Rather than produce traditional solar panels, GE created their own version of thin film solar panels. In a nutshell, the thin film solar panels place a layer of cadmium telluride in between two tiny sheets of glass to create a solar-enabled panel. Traditional panels that most people are familiar with seeing are actually made from silicon and other materials.
Because of the new technology and manufacturing facility designed specifically for its purpose, GE expects it will be able to churn out one solar panel every 10 seconds! Not only will GE be producing the thin film solar panels at a rapid rate, but they have also estimated that 100 m2 of their new solar panels would generate enough renewable energy to power all of the U.S.
For more details on the thin film solar panel manufacturing process, watch the very cool video from GE below:
GE’s renewable energy contributions
Most recently, GE was in the news for inventing a hybrid halogen/CFL/incandescent light bulb which can provide instant-on lighting while remaining energy efficient. However, GE is mostly known in the renewable energy industry for manufacturing and operating wind turbines. In fact, they have installed over 15,500 wind turbines across the globe, with more on the way.
Now, with their venture into creating the most technologically advanced thin film solar panels the world has seen (and manufacturing them at rapid rates), GE is truly making a significant impact on our renewable energy consumption, and cutting greenhouse gases.