Why is Silevo so important to SolarCity?
Silevo solar panels incorporate hybrid technology consisting of the best attributes of 3 different materials: (1) N-type crystalline substrate, 2) Thin Film Passivation, 3) Semiconductor oxide to optimize cell and solar panel performance while limiting costs. Sandia National Laboratories has measured the proprietary tunneling junction cell architecture at a 22.1 percent cell conversion efficiency. The key to the Silevo success is achieving a 22% efficiency at an acceptable price. Silevo has said it expects to get 24 percent efficiency out of its mass-produced solar cells in coming years, which is much higher than traditional solar cells can produce.
Musk, recognizing the cost advantage offered by this superior product, now has plans for a much larger solar panel factory than originally planned. Musk and SolarCity are planning a 1 gigawatt factory that has five times the output, making it one of the largest in the world. A 1 gigawatt solar panel factory would produce enough panels every year to produce 1 gigawatts of electrical output, which is enough to power about 220,000 homes.
Governor Cuomo’s office issued a press release about SolarCity’s new plans, without naming the company.
“Today, a global leader in clean energy manufacturing announced potential plans to build one of the world’s largest solar panel production plants at Buffalo’s Riverbend site, where the abandoned Republic Steel Mill is being transformed by the Buffalo Billion,” Cuomo says in the statement.