On June 7, 2010, SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA) and the municipality of Niestetal, Germany, signed a purchase agreement for a 20-hectare (approx. 50 acres) property at the newly developed commercial area of Sandershaeuser Berg. At this commercial area, which is located east of Autobahn A 7, SMA is planning to gradually expand its facilities over the next few years.
The expansion of its facilities at Sandershaeuser Berg is another important step for SMA in enhancing its production. Against the background of an increased demand for solar inverters, the company doubled its maximum annual manufacturing capacity over the past few months to around 11 gigawatt through the use of short-term interim solutions in the commercial area Kassel-Waldau. However, as a result of the current global delivery bottleneck in the supply of electronic components, SMA is able to use these capacities only partly at present.
The planned expansion at Sandershaeuser Berg is to replace these interim solutions by 2012. Construction of the facilities at this location will be carried out in several stages. Initially, a service center and central warehouse will be built; manufacturing modules will be added later. In this process, SMA will also increase its productivity by once again optimizing its manufacturing processes as well as directly integrating its components warehouse into the manufacturing process for the first time. In addition, Sandershaeuser Berg also offers room for the company to further expand its manufacturing facilities if necessary, which will completely eliminate the need for interim solutions in the future.
A sustainable energy concept is a significant component of SMA’s building plans at Sandershaeuser Berg. This concept includes the highest possible reduction of energy, highly energy-efficient buildings and manufacturing processes, and the use of electricity from renewable sources. Plans have also been made to apply this sustainable energy concept to the entire commercial area at a later time.
“Due to its size, the commercial area Sandershaeuser Berg offers our company the perfect conditions for the gradual expansion of our facilities, and also allows us to be highly flexible when increasing our production. In addition, our collaboration with the local authorities in Niestetal has been very good,” explains Günther Cramer, CEO of SMA Solar Technology AG. “This is why the Sandershaeuser Berg location represents clear growth prospects for SMA in North Hesse in the coming years.”
The company will already begin construction at Sandershaeuser Berg this summer, and currently plans to invest a total of approximately € 125 million in the project.
The SMA Group generated sales of c. 934 million Euro in 2009 and is the worldwide market leader for photovoltaic inverters, a key component of all solar power plants. It is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented on four continents by 13 foreign subsidiaries. The Group employs a staff of over 4,500 (incl. temporary workers). SMA’s product portfolio includes the most comprehensive range of inverters on the market, offering a compatible inverter for every type of photovoltaic module and for all plant sizes. The product range covers both inverters for photovoltaic plants connected to the grid as well as inverters for off-grid systems. Since 2008, the Group’s parent company SMA Solar Technology AG has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and also in the TecDAX index. In recent years, SMA has received numerous awards for its excellence as an employer.
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