Spain is a world leader in the development of solar energy, and since the Costa del Sol is blessed with an annual average of more than 300 sunshine days, it is perhaps no coincidence that one of the country’s major players is based in Málaga.
But then in December of last year, the Spanish government pulled the plug on the previously very generous subsidies set aside for the solar industry…
So the recent news that South Korean electronics giant, Samsung, is about to invest no less than €50 million in Málaga-based Isofotón – particularly amid the doom and gloom of the current economic crisis – is a very welcome shot in the arm.
The first tranche of €30 million, to be provided in 2012, will allow the startup of a new selective emitter solar cell production line of 100MW capacity, while the remaining €20 million – to be made available in 2013 – will enable Isofoton to increase its manufacturing capacity to 300MW. The strategy will ensure that Málaga city is one of the key global manufacturing hubs for this type of component, consolidating its position as the principle production centre for Europe and North Africa.
“Counting with the financial support of a company that enjoys the prestige and solvency of our new partner is an honour,” says Isofotón president, Ángel Luis Serrano, “and demonstrates that Isofotón represents an attractive investment proposition as well as providing a reality that inspires confidence.”
Showcasing the company’s photovoltaic technology, Isofotón’s Málaga plant has been designed and constructed as a ‘green building’. The outer walls feature ceramic grid-connected PV modules that have been harmoniously integrated into the architectural design. Thermal collectors have been installed on the roof to provide hot water for industrial processes and vacuum tubes for air-conditioning. In addition, the skylight comprises grid-connected photovoltaic modules. In 2008, the building won the Eurosolar ‘Solar Architecture Projects’ award presented by the European Association for Renewable Energies.
A global company with a presence in 60 countries around the world, Isofotón – which in 2010 became part of the Affirma Group – also plans to open a new plant in Ohio in 2012.