Silex To Acquire Australian BP Solar Panel Plant

Silex Systems Ltd yesterday announced the conditional acquisition of Sydney Olympic Park solar manufacturing facility; abandoned by BP Solar earlier this year.

Should the transaction proceed, Silex will acquire not only the building, but all other infrastructure and associated services relatively intact.

According to Silex CEO Michael Goldsworthy, “This is a unique opportunity for Silex to kick-start its commercial solar operations”.

Mr Goldsworthy said the opportunity also opens the door for Silex to begin implementing some potentially exciting technical innovations in relation to high efficiency solar cells.

The plant was one of the largest solar cell manufacturing facilities in the Southern Hemisphere. Under BP Solar, the plant produced 50MW of solar cells and 10MW of solar panels annually.

Silex estimates the future capacity of the Sydney Olympic Park plant could go beyond 200MW.

The company intends for the reopened plant to start out at a capacity of 10MW – 15MW during 2010, ramping up to 50MW by 2015.

Silex Systems Ltd (formerly Australian Nuclear Enterprises Pty Ltd) was established in 1988 by Dr Michael Goldsworthy as the research subsidiary of Sonic Healthcare Ltd, a publicly listed Australian company.

In 2003, it took majority ownership in Translucent Photonics, a company that in the same year achieved a key technical milestone by demonstrating optical gain in crystalline silicon material.

More recently it filed two provisional patents for the development of its advanced materials in alternative energy applications: ultra high efficiency solar cells and thermoelectric energy conversion.