In a move that signals the company’s commitment to rapidly grow its solar energy business, BTU International, Inc. today 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 is 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. “Jack will be a key contributor in building our growing energy business,” said van der Wansem. “I’m looking forward to bringing my extensive industry experience to BTU,” said McCaffrey. “We will be developing the best production equipment available to the solar energy marketplace.”
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. Recently, at PRI, Doug was senior vice president of marketing and strategic business development. He is a graduate of the University of Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts, with a degree in chemical engineering, and was awarded a master’s degree in both manufacturing engineering and business administration from Boston University. “Doug’s key focus will be on business development for Silicon and Thin-films-based applications for solar energy,” said van der Wansem. “It is an exciting time to join BTU,” said Lawson. “The solar equipment market is growing rapidly and BTU is poised to become a major player.”
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.
“With the establishment of the Alternative Energy Group, BTU has made a clear commitment to grow our energy business,” said van der Wansem, “We are taking steps now to make sure we succeed in the future by winning a larger share of this exciting, rapidly expanding market. Both Jack and Doug will play a critical leadership role in our growth plans. They, along with our whole alternative energy team, are focused on doing what we need to do to win.”
BTU financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ending December 31, 2007, are being announced today in a separate press release.