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Silex Systems resumes production in Sydney

24th Feb 2012

Solar panels are once again going to be produced in Sydney, after Silex Systems announced that manufacture of the systems is to recommence.

Initially, there will be limited production at the Sydney Homebush facility, as the company seeks to establish a lower cost base, reports RenewEconomy.

Michael Goldsworthy, chief executive officer of Silex Systems, noted that the business model being used by the company is still under revision.

"Commercial and utility scale solar are starting to evolve in Australia and around the Asia Pacific basin, and our strategy is to position ourselves to take advantage of that," he commented.

At the end of last year, Silex Solar put its manufacturing facilities into suspension as a cost-saving measure.

The company still employed 20 people around this time in its marketing and sales departments, while some worked in the manufacturing sector.

It pledged continue with its solar panel business and focus on sales in the residential rooftop market.

Mr Goldsworthy acknowledged there are various opportunities in the pipeline for the company, such as potentially putting in a bit for the ACT government's reverse auction for utility-scale solar.

He claimed that at present, the market for utility-scale solar photovoltaics is being driven by falling prices for solar panels, as well as an increase in the cost of electricity.

"In that context, these projects are starting to drive themselves," commented Mr Goldsworthy, although he did not offer any predictions on the size of the solar panel market.

This could well be the year for solar power to really take off, as Apple recently revealed in its Facilities Report: 2012 Environmental Update that it would be constructing the biggest privately-owned solar power plant in the US.

Once completed, the facility will span 100 acres and be capable of generating 42 million kWh of clean, renewable energy every year.

It will be constructed on the site of Apple's data centre in Maiden, North Carolina, which has already been awarded LEED Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council.

Researchers around the world are developing changes to solar cells in a bid to make them more efficient for consumers, showing that the industry is already undergoing changes in 2012.

For example, a team from Swinburne University of Technology believe they have created the most efficient broadband nanoplasmonic solar cell the world has ever seen.

Meanwhile at the University of Cambridge, experts believe they have made new solar cells that are 25 per cent more efficient than they are at present.

Posted by Mike Peacock


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