(EnergyAsia, October 29, Thursday) — KSK Surya Photovoltaic Venture, Private Limited (KSK), a subsidiary of KSK Power Ventur plc, a leading independent power provider in India, said it has agreed to purchase from Applied Materials Inc two Applied SunFab™ Thin Film Lines for manufacturing high-power output 5.7-sq m solar panels.

The SunFab lines will be installed in a state-of-the-art facility, including an R&D center, which KSK plans to build in the “Fab City” located in the Indian city of Hyderabad at a total project cost of US$500 million. When completed, the annual capacity of KSK’s facility is expected to be about 150MW, making it the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) factory in India.

Using Applied Materials’ advanced tandem junction technology, each SunFab panel will have a power output greater than 500Wp.

T.L. Sankar, KSK Group chairman, said:

“Since India receives among the highest amount of solar radiation in the world, it must become a leader in solar power-generation technology. Our alliance with Applied Materials will help KSK play a significant part in India’s new Solar Mission to build 20GW of solar power by 2020.”

S. Kishore, KSK’s executive director, said: “The large, powerful, tandem junction panels from our SunFab lines will enable us to quickly build our PV capacity and supply clean, renewable energy at an affordable cost.”

The company plans to apply its power generation experience to system integration and development of solar farms selling energy into the grid.

Mark Pinto, senior vice president and general manager of Applied’s Energy and Environmental Solutions Group, said:

“KSK’s selection of Applied’s SunFab production lines and service solution is a strong testament to the value proposition we offer to utility-scale power providers, affirming the manufacturing readiness of our 5.7-sq m tandem junction technology and the confidence in our roadmap. The fully integrated SunFab lines will enable KSK to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy solar farms to meet India’s fast-growing, energy needs.”

KSK also signed a service contract with Applied Materials covering the first five years of production. Applied Materials will support KSK’s lines with preventive and corrective maintenance, spare parts and other services to optimize equipment performance and maximise manufacturing output. The two companies have agreed to jointly develop continuous improvement programs that aim to increase module efficiency and lower operating costs.

“We believe that thin film silicon is the best solar module technology for conditions on the ground in India,” said Anil Kutty, managing director of KSK Surya Photovoltaic Venture, Private Limited.

“Compared to crystalline silicon technologies, our SunFab thin film modules will be capable of producing more power at high ambient temperatures and under diffused light, maximising the energy yield from our future solar farms.”