December 15, 2007 (Bloomberg) – Sharp Corp., Japan’s biggest maker of solar batteries, will spend about 100 billion yen ($883 million) to build a solar battery plant in Osaka, the Nikkei newspaper reported, citing Chairman Katsuhiko Machida. The company will construct the factory for thin-film solar cells in Sakai in Osaka prefecture, next to a liquid-crystal display plant under construction, Nikkei said. It will likely become the world’s largest solar-cell plant, capable of producing 1,000 megawatts of capacity yearly, the report said.
Sharp expects the factory to be operating by March 2010. Solar-power cells made using thin-film technology reduce costs as they require about one-hundredth the amount of silicon as conventional models, President Mikio Katayama said in July.