Smartenergy ramps up crystalline silicon solar panel production

Successful upgrade and certification ---- 1.9 MW solar project completed ---- Senior appointments strengthen management team

Zurich, Switzerland – June 27, 2014: Smartenergy Renewables AG successfully completed the conversion and upgrade of its fully-automated solar panel manufacturing facility in Luckenwalde, near Berlin, Germany. The factory is certified to DIN ISO 9001, 14001, and 50001 standards. The currently manufactured 295W Utility panels are fully IEC certified. To-date 1.9MW of the ultra reliable Utility panels have been installed in a solar park in Southern Germany. Smartenergy Renewables strengthens its management team with Dr. Stefan Parhofer, Dr. Erik Oldekop and Werner Matuschek.

Smartenergy Renewables acquired the cutting-edge factory for module assembly in July 2013 from US-based Nanosolar Inc. Following customer demand, the company manufactured and marketed several MWs of solar panels based on thin-film solar cells from Nanosolar Inc. In late 2013, Smartenergy Renewables initiated the conversion of the facility with a view to upgrade the site to a fully-automated assembly facility for crystalline solar panels with a maximum capacity of 120 MW.

The Utility panels are based on a highly reliable and mature glass/glass panel design. Compared to standard solar panels, glass/glass solar panels offer a host of significant product advantages, all of which enhance the long-term stability and reliability of the product. The hermetically tight edge seal of the solar panel eliminates Potential Induced Degradation (PID) losses, ensures a longer lifetime and its frameless construction dramatically reduces soiling losses. Interestingly, these product benefits of glass/glass solar panels have lead other well-known manufacturers to also consider this type of panel design.

"We have a highly competitive cost position due to the high degree of automation at this facility. The impressive product advantages of our solar panels ‘Made in Germany' are due to our manufacturing team`s enormous experience with glass/glass technology, a premium alternative to conventional modules that the market is rapidly picking up on," says Horst H. Mahmoudi, Chairman and CEO of Smartenergy Renewables AG. "With the completion of the first 1.9 MW project, we have demonstrated our ability to execute and we thank all involved parties that helped make this happen."

Going forward, Smartenergy Renewables will intensify its cooperation with project developers and financing partners in order to solidify the solar project business. To that end, the company has further strengthened its management team with three senior appointments. Dr. Stefan Parhofer, formerly CEO of Gehrlicher Solar USA, is in charge as Chief Project Officer to build up the international project business. Dr. Erik Oldekop, formerly in charge of renewable energy investments at aeris CAPITAL AG, was appointed to the Board of Directors to focus on the financing business. Finally, with Werner Matuschek the company has hired a seasoned manufacturing executive with long experience in the solar industry, to manage the company's state-of-the-art panel operations.

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