Nanosolar is a thin film photovoltaic manufacturer who is making major strides in the solar industry. The most notable stride is the fact that Nanosolar is the first manufacturer to figure out how to make solar panels at less than $1 per kW. This news broke many months back and Nanosolar has been all over the green blogsphere, so we did not write about it at the time even though it was probably the larges solar breakthrough we will ever see.
Since then, Nanosolar has been producing their thin-film photovoltaics on a very large scale and have only been providing panels for 2-10MW municipal solar power plants. Much to dismay of die hard solar enthusiast(like me) eager to get their hands on these $0.96 per kW solar panels, Nanosolar has not begun selling their panels on the free market. Nanosolar wants to make the biggest environmental impact they can, and by only selling to large municipalities at first, they will do just that. Even though it hurts, it is whats best for the solar industry and for the environment.
Along with these major stride in pricing, Nanosolar just put into production the solar industries first 1GW thin-film photovoltaic production tool. The tool shown in the video above is printing thin-film solar panels at 100 feet-per-minute and is capable (in theory) of ramping up to over 2,000 feet-per-minute. The photovoltaic printer cost Nanosolar $1.65 Million. Now considering that the current high-vacuum process that other manufacturers are using will generally produce 10-30MW per year and cost almost ten times as much as Nanosolar’s printer, I’d say Nanosolar is about to dominate the solar industry and give coal a run for its money.