Silicon-based solar panels today cost close to $3 per watt to produce, SolFocus will manufacture solar systems at $2 per watt when it opens its first concentrator plant next year. Larger scale production (in the area of gigawatts) will cut the cost per watt to just 50 cents. The second generation should cut costs further, says Conley, to as low as 32 cents per watt.
The products are aimed at the commercial market, such as retail stores or office parks. SolFocus also intends to build large-scale power generation, where a field of panels could generate several hundred megawatts of power, Conley said. The company intends to have a 100-megawatt manufacturing facility in India operating at the end of next year, he said. SolFocus then intends to replicate that plant in China, Europe and somewhere in the Americas.