WREXHAM, Wales, Dec. 3, 2010 — Photovoltaic (PV) panel producer Sharp Manufacturing UK announced it will invest $56 million to double the production capacity of the PV panels it makes at its Wrexham solar plant, the Welsh Assembly Government said.
The investment is in response to growing European demand for PV panels. Three new assembly lines will be created, which will double the company’s production capacity of PV panels to 500 MW.
Currently employing 750 people at the site, the company plans to hire several hundred additional workers.
“As a global company, Sharp could have chosen anywhere to invest, but selected Wales because of its tech-savvy workforce and government support for business,” said Geraint Jones, head of the Americas for the Welsh Assembly Government. “Sharp’s location in Wales helps reach Europe’s fast-growing solar panel technology market.”
In addition, this month the company will launch a new renewable energy academy at the facility to train workers to install solar panels that will power homes and business.
The plant opened in 2004 with an annual capacity of 20 MW, with continued expansion ever since.
Sharp is also launching an academy to train up installers to MCS standard.