ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct 13, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- 3M today announced the expansion of its manufacturing facility for its 3M Ultra Barrier Solar Film. As a key component supplier to the solar industry, this expansion will support the growing demand for high efficiency flexible PV modules. The majority of the facility expansion, located in Columbia, Missouri, is scheduled to be completed in 2011.
"3M once again demonstrates the value it brings to the rapidly expanding renewable energy sector by bringing our high-performance Ultra Barrier Solar Film to commercial-scale production," said Derek DeScioli, Business Development Manager for the 3M Renewable Energy Division. "3M is a recognized leader in ultra barrier film technology, and we are committed to accelerating our efforts to support the scale-up of our thin film manufacturing customers."
Designed to address the needs of flexible thin film solar manufacturers, 3M Ultra Barrier Solar Film acts as a replacement for glass with high light transmission, superb moisture barrier performance, and excellent weatherability. Compared with glass-glass modules, large area, light weight flexible PV modules manufactured with 3M Ultra Barrier Solar Film can achieve significantly lower balance of systems (BOS) costs by requiring less installation time, removing the need for metal racking, and reducing logistics expenditures. 3M Ultra Barrier Film also enable lower module manufacturing costs by allowing manufacturers to commercialize large area modules, effectively reducing fixed costs associated with module manufacturing, assembled in a continuous roll-to-roll process.
3M's Renewable Energy Division offers a robust portfolio of new and existing products, bringing more than 100 years of combined expertise in coatings, film, tape, adhesive and optical technologies to the rapidly expanding renewable energy and energy efficiency markets worldwide. In addition to the company's world-class R&D facilities, 3M works closely with leading national labs to develop and refine its energy generation and energy conservation technologies. 3M has expanded its global manufacturing capabilities for Renewable Energy Division products several fold in recent years to bring key products to commercial-scale production to meet customers' growing needs.
Visit 3M at Solar Power International: 3M will be displaying the Ultra Barrier Film and additional solar component technologies at booth #407.
A recognized leader in research and development, 3M produces thousands of innovative products for dozens of diverse markets. 3M's core strength is applying its more than 40 distinct technology platforms - often in combination - to a wide array of customer needs. With $23 billion in sales, 3M employs 75,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries. For more information, visit http://www.3M.com or follow @3MNews on Twitter.
3M Public Relations
Colleen Harris, 651-733-1566
Christine Bennett, 415-977-1941
Antenna Group Public Relations
(for 3M Renewable Energy)