Silfab plans 50 new jobs, bifacial module launch


On the back of the announcement last week that it is expanding capacity to 300 MWp, and creating 30 new full time jobs, the Canadian solar PV module manufacturer has said it plans to add a further 50 new jobs in 2016.

Geoffrey Atkins, business development, sales and marketing at Silfab, tells pv magazine the 30 jobs created this August were full time positions on the factory floor. "The 50 additional ‘expected’ new positions in 2016 would be a mix of added factory floor team members and admin," he explains, adding, "We are adding to our sales team, marketing team, HR and finance teams. As well we are creating new product engineers and QC team members."

Silfab said on August 20 that it will increase production at its Mississauga plant from 180 to 300 MW – expected to be completed this Q3 – on the back of strong North American demand. Capacity is shared between OEM partners, Silfab branded modules and new technology.

Without going into specifics, Atkins says the equipment came from suppliers in Europe. He also declined to mention the investment required, but did say, "The investment allows us to increase both volumes and flexibility with a brand new line designed to receive the latest cells and module designs, and with modifications to the existing line to do the same. The investment has been entirely self-funded by Silfab Solar and its commercial bank partners."

Currently, he says high efficiency modules are the most popular, with those featuring 60 cells between 275 and 285 W, and equivalent 72 cell modules. Regarding the capacity split between OEM partners and the company’s own-branded modules, Atkins says, "Our strategy is to have 30% of our business focused on OEM customers … 20% on Canadian Customers under Silfab Brand, and 50% of our capacity direct to US customers mixed equally between residential, commercial and distributors."

By the end of the year, Silfab expects to launch a new bifacial solar PV module. "The bifacial module and product has received a lot of interest and we are targeting the product primarily for the CDN and US north east market due to the dramatic snow shedding ability and reflective gain off the backside in snow conditions," says Atkins. No further details were available on the launch.