Eetimes analysis suggests that new automated polysilicon based solar celll plants would not cost $1 billion to make a 400Mw plant. So Nanosolar's $100million to produce 400MW per year is at the top end of where its commpetitors are also trying to go. Solar-cell providers are in production or building next-generation 150- and 200-mm factories, which cost about $100 million. These factories are highly-automated “autolines” that produce from 200- to 500-megawatts per year.
Each factory could produce 70-to-180 million wafers a year, or roughly 8,000-to-20,000 wafers per hour. The capital cost for a solar-cell plant is projected to be around $0.50-per-watt, although the industry is attempting to spend “half of that".