Powerfield abandons plans to build 300 MW module factory in the Netherlands

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Netherlands-based solar company Powerfields has abandoned its plans to build a 300 MW solar module manufacturing facility in Noord-Groningen, in the north of the Netherlands.

In a press release, the company said that the project, which was announced in April of last year, has now become unviable due to the drastic drop in module prices, at a global level, over the past twelve months.

Furthermore, the company explained that two additional factors have determined its decision to abandon the project: the duties introduced by the U.S. administration on foreign solar panels; and the elimination of minimum import prices for Chinese module, which comes into effect next September.

“The result of all this is that the Chinese providers can no longer deliver their overproduction in the US, while the EU opens the way for Chinese solar panels,” Powerfield director, Elwin Ter Horst said in a statement.

The company, however, still intends to source modules for its projects from Dutch manufacturer Energyra, which itself is building a 100 MW factory in  Zaanstad.

“Powerfield sees the possible cooperation with Energyra as a more responsible strategy to set up a local production of solar panels and considers the financial risk of building its own ‘traditional’ solar panel factory in the Netherlands too big to continue,” the company said in its statement.

Energyra will produce modules using a technology which has, in part, been developed by the Energy Research Centre Netherlands (ENC). Its modules are based on a nanocoated anti-reflective, high transmission glass, patented metal wrap through (MWT) technology and an aluminium/copper backside barrier.

“The new generation of solar panels as those produced by Energyra not only last much longer, but they also generate more power, while guaranteeing the lowest price per kWh for the produced electricity,” Powerfield stressed.