Industry Headlines

SMA to Open U.S. Manufacturing Plant

NIESTETAL, GERMANY-In order to optimize the supply of inverters to the growing North American solar market, the SMA Group of Companies (SMA) will establish an additional production facility in Denver, Colorado. At its inauguration, the yearly production capacity of the new facility will be around one gigawatt with an option for expansion. The central SMA site for production, as well as research and development, in Niestetal and Kassel (Germany) will continue to grow in the years to come.

In the new U.S. production facility for solar inverters, SMA will produce the Sunny Boy, Sunny Central and Sunny Island product lines for the North American market. SMA, the Etkin Johnson Group, the State of Colorado and the City of Denver have signed agreements for the establishment of this largest production facility for solar inverters in the United States.

“We will implement the successful manufacturing concepts already employed in Germany in our new U.S. production. This will ensure maximum flexibility in the production of our solar inverters,” says Uwe Hertel, senior vice president of production at SMA.

The premises and buildings for the new one-gigawatt production facility have been rented long-term. Additionally, an option for additional space has been negotiated with the Etkin Johnson Group, a Denver-based real estate developer, and Forest City Enterprises in order to be prepared for further growth of the U.S. photovoltaic market.

“In the medium term, we expect the U.S. market to become the largest solar market globally,” says Günther Cramer, chief executive officer of SMA Solar Technology AG. “With the new production in Denver, SMA will be able to reduce transportation and interim storage costs as well as currency exchange risks.”

In the near future, SMA will employ a staff of 700 (including temporary employees) in Denver. Production is planned to begin around the middle of 2010. The investment for the new production line and building enhancements is estimated at around 15 million Euros.

Denver will become the first international production site for SMA. “Our headquarters for production, as well as research and development, will remain in Niestetal and Kassel, in Germany. There, with the recent inauguration of the world’s largest inverter factory, which boasts a production capacity of four gigawatts per year, we are clearly showing our commitment to the high-tech location Germany,” says Günther Cramer. “With the construction of that factory alone, 1,000 new jobs were created this year and we will continue to develop that site.”

For more information, visit www.sma.de.

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