The factory currently features one PV module production line supplied by Spire Corporation (Bedford, Massachusetts, US) with an annual capacity of 20 MW. SKY Energy notes that workers are still calibrating the machines, and expects 250 kW of module output in 2013.
SKY Energy handled the logistics of the manufacturing equipment, as well as the initial purchase of raw materials for the factory. Training for Ethiopian operators was conducted in the United States, and the final phase of training is expected to take place in February 2013.
The company states that it anticipates continuing the relationship with METEC and the Ethiopian market to certify and sell the PV modules.
Second PV factory in East Africa
The factory is the first in Ethiopia and follows on Ubbink BV's (Doesburg, The Netherlands) opening of a PV module factory in neighboring Kenya in August 2011.
An estimated 80% of Ethiopians are currently without electricity, and the government of the nation has announced a goal to have solar technologies represent 20% of its power capacity in the next five years.