SMT & Inspection | March 02, 2008

BTU forms solar energy equipment unit

US based equipment maker BTU forms a new Business Group for Alternative Energy, announces new executives and establishes international solar research and process application centers.
In a move that signals the company's commitment to rapidly grow its solar energy business, BTU International, Inc. has announced several initiatives, including the formation of a new Business Group for its Alternative Energy equipment business, the addition of key talent, and the establishment of international solar research and process application centers.

With over 15 years experience in providing thermal processing systems used to manufacture solar cells, BTU consider itself well positioned to take advantage of the rapid expansion occurring in both silicon and thin film solar energy markets. "The increasing use of solar power as a clean, renewable energy source provides an excellent opportunity for us to grow our solar equipment business," said BTU Chairman and CEO Paul J. van der Wansem. "We are strengthening our organization in a variety of ways beginning with the formation of a new Business Group for Alternative Energy under the leadership of two new executives with excellent experience and managerial talent."

John J. McCaffrey, Jr. has joined BTU as vice president of Alternative Energy, in charge of engineering and product development. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy and serving as a nuclear engineer officer, he held a variety of positions at Polaroid. Jack joined Evergreen Solar as a startup in 1999, where he designed, built, and operated their U.S. pilot and initial manufacturing facilities, achieving required margin and revenue targets. He next worked with Q Cells to design the initial 30 megawatt EverQ factory in Germany. He then moved to Daystar Technologies, a CIGS thin film solar company, setting up their pilot line for foil, and led the initial design for their 25 megawatt glass manufacturing facility in California. Jack was also responsible for product development at both companies.

Douglas A. Lawson joined BTU as vice president of Alternative Energy in charge of marketing and business development. His primary responsibilities will focus on growing the company's Alternative Energy business. "Doug's extensive experience in rapid growth equipment businesses like PRI Automation and his in-depth process engineering background from Intel and Digital will be highly valuable to our success," said van der Wansem.

In addition to the creation of the Alternative Energy Group, the company is building two new solar research and process application laboratories--one in Billerica, Massachusetts and one in Shanghai, China. These laboratories will be used to develop new solar process capabilities and provide an environment where customers can test and process their photovoltaic cells on BTU systems. The Shanghai lab is scheduled to open next month, while the Billerica lab is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.


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