An Atlanta-based company that recently landed nearly $1 billion in contracts to supply silicon cells to European and Indian solar module manufacturers opened its first production line in Norcross on Nov. 4. 

Suniva Inc. provides monocrystalline silicon solar cells for devices that absorb the sun’s energy and use it to generate power for homes and businesses.

Established and grown at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s incubator in Midtown, Suniva announced in June that it would be moving all operations out of the Advance Technology Development Center and into its Norcross factory.

The company has said that the facility will create 100 jobs at full capacity.

On the same day that it began production on its initial line, Suniva announced plans to build an additional line that should triple its output by mid-2009. 

In August, Suniva landed a deal to supply more than $500 million worth of cells over the next four years to Berlin-based Solon AG, a large European solar module maker.

Later in the month, it announced a $480 million deal with Titan Energy Systems Ltd. of the state of Andhra Pradesh, India.

Suniva’s technology was developed by Ajeet Rohatgi in Georgia Tech’s University Center for Excellence in Photovoltaics

Through its products, the company seeks to mitigate the main impediments to widespread adoption of sun-derived energy sources: high cost and low efficiency.

“As the solar industry looks to bring down costs and compete with conventional power, Suniva has built the team and the technology to execute on our vision of low-cost, high-efficiency solar energy,” said Suniva Chief Executive John Baumstark in a June press release. 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...