Vikram Solar launches three collaborations with leading European institutes and suppliers

Memorandums of understanding signed with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Meyer Burger, and Centrotherm at Hannover Messe

Kolkata/India, Hannover/Germany, April 16th 2015 - Solar company Vikram Solar has begun three new collaborations with leading international research institutes and technology companies from Germany and Switzerland. The partnerships are intended to further optimize the module production technology at Vikram Solar, make preparations for cell manufacturing at the company, and establish a solar academy in India. Memorandums of understanding were signed to this effect with Fraunhofer ISE and the companies Meyer Burger and Centrotherm photovoltaics at the world's largest industrial trade show, Hannover Messe.

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"By collaborating with leading technology providers and leveraging proven expertise from some of the best brains in the industry, Vikram Solar aims to reinforce its positioning as a technologically advanced PV manufacturer. We believe that this will add tremendous value for our global customers, resulting in unmatched product quality at very competitive costs," states Gyanesh Chaudhary, Managing Director & CEO of Vikram Solar.

Fraunhofer ISE in Germany is the biggest solar research institute in Europe and holds the world record in solar cell efficiency. It will assist Vikram Solar with the research and development of industrial scale crystalline silicon solar cell and module processing. The aim is to help Vikram to rapidly expand its manufacturing capability and emerge as one of the largest integrated players in the solar industry.

"Only photovoltaic manufacturers using excellent production technology will be successful in the very competitive PV market. Fraunhofer ISE is happy to support Vikram Solar to build up a production line for solar cells with the latest technology and therefore contribute to the ‘Make in India' initiative of the Indian Government", Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, Head of Energy Policy of Fraunhofer ISE said.

In addition, Fraunhofer ISE and Vikram Solar are set to collaborate on establishing a solar academy in India, which will serve to impart technical knowledge, expertise, and practical training in solar energy systems. Fraunhofer ISE will deploy technicians, experts, and personnel with practical experience in the sphere of solar energy systems to provide knowledge and training to the aspiring individuals of the solar academy.

Headquartered in Switzerland, Meyer Burger is a leading global technology group delivering systems, production equipment and fully integrated system solutions and services along the entire photovoltaic value chain. Vikram Solar has an existing relationship with Meyer Burger and uses Meyer Burger production equipment. In order to further strengthen this relationship, Vikram Solar and Meyer Burger signed an MoU for the provision of selected solar cell and module manufacturing equipment and for collaboration on process improvements in solar cell and module manufacturing, as well as research & development for materials, processes, and device technologies.

Hemal Ghelani, Vice President & General Manager of Meyer Burger India Pvt. Ltd., made the following statement: "Meyer Burger is proud to be the preferred strategic technology partner for manufacturing at Vikram Solar for selected cell and module manufacturing equipment. As Vikram Solar continues to expand and drives to be a dominant company in the global PV industry, this MoU between Vikram Solar and Meyer Burger elevates the existing relationship and encompasses a strengthened collaboration between our companies."

Centrotherm AG is a world-class manufacturer of cell production equipment and provides solutions for different levels of expertise across the crystalline silicon solar cell manufacturing value creation chain, specifically for processes, technology, systems, and applications. Within the scope of their partnership, Vikram Solar and Centrotherm have agreed to collaborate by using Centrotherm's production equipment and manufacturing expertise to improve cell efficiency and productivity.

Dr. Josef Haase, Centrotherm: "We are honored to be chosen as technology and equipment partner for the expansion into solar cell manufacturing. As Vikram Solar has deep experience in manufacturing of solar modules and solar systems, it is a perfect fit to our product portfolio and our business strategy."

Vikram Solar
Tier 1 module manufacturer Vikram Solar is headquartered in Kolkata, India, with subsidiaries in North America, Europe, Japan and Africa. The company is part of the 40-year old Vikram Group. Since 2009, Vikram Solar has been manufacturing monocrystalline and polycrystalline modules with outputs ranging from 5 Wp to 315 Wp at its production facilities in the Falta Special Economic Zone in West Bengal. The company also offers a comprehensive selection of services, from project development to installing and maintaining solar power plants.

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