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Soitec solar module facility now operational

The Rancho Bernardo facility acquired by solar energy component manufacturer Soitec in December 2011 is opened for business.

Soitec announced the grand opening Thursday. The factory is equipped with an automated production line and is operational, the company said. Photovoltaic solar modules produced in San Diego will support hundreds of megawatts worth of contracts for utility-scale projects in California, the company added.

The 176,000-square-foot factory sits on a 14.8-acre parcel of land, and represents an investment of more than $150 million. The company has completed an extensive upgrade of the facilities to install fully-automated manufacturing equipment and processes. The first module was produced in October, and the first phase of the production line is now operational, as initially planned.

The factory has been designed to reach 280 MWp in capacity at full production.

Soitec has said the factory should create 450 jobs at full capacity, including employees for the joint venture Reflexite Soitec Optical Technology LLC. This new company operates a manufacturing operation within the facility developing and manufacturing silicone-on-glass Fresnel lens plates used in Soitec's PV modules.

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