The German industrial group Bosch, widely known for electric appliances, power tools and auto parts, is investing more and more in photovoltaic systems.
Bosch said on Friday that it had inaugurated a plant in Arnstadt, central Germany that took two years to build at a cost of 530 million euros ($760 million).
Some 1,000 jobs are expected to be created at the site by 2012, a statement said.
The new facility will comprise research and development activities, solar cell production and the manufacturing of installation equipment destined for European markets.
A training centre is also to be set up there.
Bosch has also plans to build a solar panel factory in Malaysia at a cost of 520 million euros that will employ 2,000 people, in addition to a site in Venissieux, central France that is to begin operations in early 2012.
This year, the group's Solar Energy division should post sales of more than one billion euros for the first time, it said.
That remains modest however with respect to the group's overall activities, which employ 285,000 people worldwide and posted 2010 sales of 47.3 billion euros.
Explore further: Road transport in Spain is more efficient during financial crisis periods