News » 2004 » KYOCERA Holds Grand Opening For North American Solar Product Manufacturing


KYOCERA Holds Grand Opening For North American Solar Product Manufacturing

Tijuana celebration includes elected officials and industry leaders from Mexico, the U.S. and Japan

SAN DIEGO, December 10, 2004 – Kyocera Solar, Inc. today held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially inaugurate its new solar product assembly operations at the existing Kyocera Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. maquiladora plant in the Tijuana Industrial Park, located at Blvd. Buena Vista Otay No. 2055, Mesa de Otay, Tijuana, B.C. Mexico.

The Kyocera facility manufactures solar photovoltaic (“PV”) modules – rectangular, roof-mountable panels that convert sunlight into a clean, silent source of renewable electricity. According to industry research firm Solarbuzz, Kyocera was the world’s No. 2 producer of PV modules in 2003. The new Tijuana assembly line is part of a global expansion Kyocera announced in September 2004 that will double its PV module manufacturing capacity, to 240 megawatts per year, during 2005.

“Solar energy products now comprise the fastest-growing segment of Kyocera’s global business,” said Rodney N. Lanthorne, president of Kyocera International, Inc. and director of Kyocera Corp., the group’s global parent. “This production operation represents our vision to make the San Diego/Tijuana region a significant contributor to North America’s solar energy industry.”

Production of PV modules commenced at the Tijuana plant in November, targeting California’s fast-growing market for commercial and residential solar PV systems. During 2005, the facility is expected to reach an annual production capacity of 36 megawatts of PV modules -- enough to provide a 3.5-kilowatt PV system for more than 10,000 homes each year.

“People all over the world are demanding an energy source that’s affordable, reliable and safe for the environment,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar, Inc. “These attributes are exactly what Kyocera’s PV technology delivers.”

The grand opening celebration was attended by elected officials and industry leaders from Mexico, the U.S. and Japan, including Sergio Tagliapietra, Secretary of Economic Development of the State of Baja California; Irene Stillings, Executive Director of the San Diego Regional Energy Office, and top executives from Kyocera’s U.S. and Japanese operations.

Preserving the Environment

Since 1975, Kyocera has shipped approximately 350 megawatts of solar energy systems worldwide. Generating this amount of electricity annually from solar PV modules instead of oil could reduce annual oil consumption by approximately 23 million gallons. This would prevent about 65,000 tons of carbon “greenhouse gases” from entering the atmosphere each year – an environmental benefit equivalent to that produced by approximately 99 square miles of trees. By August 2005, Kyocera plans to be producing PV modules at a rate sufficient to generate this level of environmental benefits every 18 months.

About Kyocera

Kyocera Solar, Inc. is a world-leading supplier of environmentally sound, solar electric energy solutions, with headquarters in  Scottsdale, Ariz. and sales affiliates in the Americas  and Australia.  Kyocera Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. is a dedicated maquiladora supporting Kyocera’s North American manufacturing operations. Both companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Kyocera International Inc. of San Diego, the North American headquarters and holding company for Kyoto, Japan-based Kyocera Corporation.

Kyocera Corporation (NYSE: KYO), the parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of advanced ceramics. By combining these engineered materials with metals and plastics, and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera Corporation has become a leading supplier of solar energy systems, telecommunications equipment, semiconductor packages, electronic components, laser printers, copiers and industrial ceramics, with global sales of approximately $11 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2004.


Jay Scovie,  619-517-3037
Cecilia Aguillon,  858-829-1708

PHOTOS:  Available upon request