Solar PV systems integrator Belectric has taken over the European operations of the insolvent organic PV (OPV) producer Konarka.
Konarka Technologies GmbH is part of a new business within Belectric, called Belectric OPV GmbH, which is based in Nürnberg, where Konarka was based. Belectric OPV's R&D will focus on cell development, printing-related production and product development, including the integration of OPV cells into existing products, which Belectric will supply to customers in industries including building integrated PV (BIPV) and automotive integrated PV (AIPV).
Michael Belschak, CFO of Belectric Holding, says Konarka's product range will expand Belectric Holding's own portfolio. 'We will use Power Plastic wherever conventional modules aren't a suitable solution. Particularly in facade construction and in the automotive sector, the highly flexible and pliable material can be used in a variety of ways to save energy cost-effectively.'
According to Ralph Pätzold, former head of European operations and CEO of Belectric OPV, since the insolvency was announced back in July, Konarka has expanded its team in Germany from 11 to 16 and will spend the next 18 months focusing on preparing to manufacture OPV modules. It also aims to begin generating revenues, once lifetimes are extended. The Belectric OPV team will work closely with Belectric Holding's headquarters in Kolitzheim.
Unlike typical engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms that handle the building of projects in fields such as energy generation, water and infrastructure, Belectric's activity spans PV system development, component manufacturing, project development, construction and operations and maintenance. The company uses PV modules sourced from key suppliers and partners that include Sharp, Nanosolar and First Solar.
The majority of balance of system (BoS) components, such as inverter technology, control systems and substructures, are manufactured in-house to enable Belectric to reduce the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of PV generated power over the life of the plant.
The company is not providing details of the value of the buy-out.
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