Nanosolar Summer Solar Speculations

[San Jose, CA USA]

The 1 MW (MegaWatt) Solar Farm litmus test.
Has Nanosolar even produced 1 MW of CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide) photovoltaic (PV) modules?

After Intersolar Europe in Munich (München), “Nanosolar Exhibits at Intersolar Europe” was posted on the company News Blog. The RSS feed was propagated by the usual scrapers with almost immediate effect. The Nanosolar, Inc. post links to the “Nanosolar Utility Panel” YouTube video embedded below.

At around timestamp 1:52, the video advances to a Free-Field Installation which is none other than the 1 MW solar farm being constructed on the retired landfill in Luckenwalde, Germany. The landfill is down the road from the Nanosolar GmbH module factory. Upon critical review, the installation portion of the video appears to reveal two (2) completed rows of modules. A few weeks ago, a reliable confidential source reported only another row had been completed since In Search of Nanosolar GmbH – Part 3.

While former Nanosolar CEO Martin Roscheisen was prone to hype and occasional disinformation (like on Nanosolar panel dimensions, for example), the careful framing of the YouTube video seems to indicate the practices extend to the corporate culture.

Solar-luck-neu A dedicated project page (German only) at the Südbrandenburgische Abfallzweckverband now claims the 1.3 MW project covering 2.7 hectares (6.7 acres) will be completed mid 2010. An included narrow field photo (above) appears to show four (4) or more completed array rows of the installation. However, the project first broke ground in May 2008 and was supposed to be completed the same year. A Photovoltaic Systems Workshop (German only) on the conversion of disturbed land plans a field trip to the (completed per the inset photo?) site on August 24, 2010.

In addition, my source observed the Nanosolar GmbH module factory was not running 24/7 or very busy in general. Although I could not confirm these observations myself, I did cross check the Nanosolar, Inc. San Jose site yesterday. Late afternoon Saturday, there were sufficient cars in the parking lot to suggest a second shift may have been producing CIGS solar cells. A conundrum or perhaps San Jose is also producing modules with their limited capability?

From Nanosolar Summer 2010

I continue to key off the 1 MW Luckenwalde solar farm as a proxy for Nanosolar’s progress. To date, Nanosolar has not announced the completion of a single solar farm installation, and the Luckenwalde project has been delayed almost two years. I wonder if Nanosolar has yet manufactured 1 MegaWatt of datasheet compliant PV modules on a cumulative basis since their September 2009 serial production claim of producing 1 million cells per month?

Of course, “Semiconductor Veteran Geoff Tate Named CEO of Nanosolar, Inc.” after the complete ouster of Martin Roscheisen may well have hinged on issues with the production ramp.

One R. Martin Roscheisen has a webpage (http://www.rmartinr.com/) and may be planning a new entrepreneurial venture per “Nanosolar’s Roscheisen “on something of big interest to” me (the eestor blogger) in September”. Could it be … Storage?

On his webpage, Mr. Roscheisen said:

After ending my active involvement in the company in April 2010, I continue to support Nanosolar as its largest individual shareholder.

I guess there won’t be an inside Nanosolar interview with Martin Roscheisen any time soon.

My discreet inquiries to Nanosolar on these topics were not acknowledged.

8 comments

  1. Yannick Bastian says:

    An airial photo of mentioned solar farm can be found on the same web page under:u
    http://www.sbazv.de/index.php?mid=87&vid=&lang=de

    As one can see, there are many more rows already installed. Too me, it looks pretty finished, though I have not compared the photo with the detail plans of the farms.

    I wonder what Beck Energy as system integrator, shareholder and partner would comment about progress done at Nanosolar or the Frankenfelder project, respectively. Somebody asked them at Intersolar?

  2. admin says:

    I don’t believe the “aerial” photo is real since there is no article in the local newspaper, the Märkische Allgemeine (MAZ), press release from Nanosolar, or ceremony to celebrate the project’s completion. I think it is a conceptual drawing.

    I believe I have tried to contact Beck Energy in the past and not gotten any response.

  3. Katherine says:

    Google has independent satellite images of the area, dated “2010,” at http://bit.ly/dcxbv0

    I would think a seven acre solar farm would be pretty hard to miss, but I don’t see it.

  4. Yannick Bastian says:

    To admin:
    I strongly believe that both photos are very consistant to each other and are to my taste real, indeed. I come to this conclusion because:

    a) on the arial photo you see that the top vegitation suffered from some kind of construction work especially if one compares that with GE satallite images. You usually do not do this kind of detail photoshop-like photomontage/rendering of solar farms.

    b) The arial photo actually helps in locating where the field photo has been shot: on the lower right corner of the upper section of what I would call an extension to the solar farm. Exactly on the initially dedicated storage space for contruction work (“Lagerfläche – Baustelleneinrichtung) which was the former second, smaller landfill site (“Grube 2”, see detail plans). Indeed, 4 array rows in offset can be seen in the front of the photo, but also the 8 ascending array rows of the main solar field. Keep in mind that Beck Energy mounts 6 panels horizontally on a single array. There are simply too many panels on the picture for only one or two additional rows.
    Then, on the upper left one can see also an offset of the array rows of the main solar field, exactly as in the detail plan and on the arial photo.

    c) The extension of the solar farm -if true- simply means to me that phase I of the solar farm is finished and Nanosolar/Beck Energy hit already a first milestone: 1.3 MWp (1MW-AC)

  5. Edgar A. Gunther says:

    Well, those SBAZV Nanosolar photos were real!
    Tom Cheyney has the exclusive!
    “Exclusive: Nanosolar rising, Part I—One-time thin-film PV lightning rod gets its focus on” http://bit.ly/a4LfFt

  6. Edgar A. Gunther says:

    And finally an article in the local newspaper, the Märkische Allgemeine:

    “ENERGIE: Premiere auf der Müllhalde Solarkraftwerk produziert im Verbund mit Deponiegasverstromung Energie
    LUCKENWALDE/POTSDAM”
    http://bit.ly/bVNm1e

    Google English
    http://bit.ly/a1lsoN

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