The Astronergy factory in Frankfurt (Oder) has been producing premium quality modules for 10 years. Production started in May 2007, then under the name of Conergy. Astronergy, a manufacturer which is part of the Chint Group, then took over in 2014 and has been investing into expanding the site ever since.
There is international demand for German-quality modules
Photovoltaic modules with a total capacity of 1,500 Megawatt peak (MWp) have been manufactured at the 16,000 m2 site in Frankfurt. 636 MW of this capacity has been manufactured since Astronergy took over three and a half years ago, which corresponds to around 2.4 million of the 6.2 million modules produced since 2007. This module capacity is able to produce circa 1.4 billion kWh of clean energy, supplying more than 350,000 four-person households in Germany.
The manufacturer buys the material for the module components exclusively from Tier 1 suppliers in order to ensure consistently high module quality. This is the only way to ensure a smooth production process without large quantities of rejects in such a highly automated factory. The modules produced in Frankfurt (Oder) are used all around the world – particularly in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, Hungary, and increasingly in Benelux countries as well as Denmark and Poland. Astronergy modules are also being deployed in Vietnam and Australia, and even in Bangladesh, where a project to equip 8,500 post offices with Astronergy solar modules got underway last year.
“The global demand for premium solar modules from German production remains high,” explains Paul Ji, who took over as Managing Director for Astronergy Solarmodule GmbH in Frankfurt (Oder) at the beginning of the year. Strict internal and external testing ensures that the quality of Astronergy’s modules is already well above certification standards. Since 2014, more than €5 million have been invested in modernising the production lines and purchasing new equipment. Four of the five possible production lines are currently working at full capacity, while the fifth is being comprehensively modernised in order to further boost the production volume of modules per line without compromising quality. This will help to reduce unit costs.
Secure jobs in the region
Several of the almost 300 employees will also be celebrating their 10th anniversary at the company in the weeks to come. Their expertise forms the basis for seamless module production. “Our operators and engineers know exactly what they are doing, which is why they are able to respond flexibly to customer requirements,” reports Paul Ji. The location in Frankfurt (Oder) is also favourable for business: “Thanks to the excellent infrastructure, such as the logistics terminal nearby, we can supply the whole world from the heart of Europe,” says Ji.