Meyer Burger considering US solar cell production


From pv magazine USA

Meyer Burger is exploring pathways to manufacture solar cells in the United States. During an interview with investment firm Roth MKM, the company’s chief executive officer, Gunter Erfurt, suggested that its interest in domestic manufacturing had significantly increased following new guidance on the domestic content requirement.

The company said it plans to manufacture 2 GW per year of solar cells for the Goodyear, Arizona facility at its current factory locations in Germany. Erfurt indicated that Meyer Burger had secured enough manufacturing space in the German “solar valley” to reach a manufacturing capacity of up to 15 GW annually.

However, following the release of the Internal Revenue Service’s domestic content guidance on May 12, the company started looking for space to manufacture solar cells near the Arizona facility. Erfurt stated that, while there are no explicit timelines, the sooner they begin production in the U.S., the better.

When Phillip Shen from Roth MKM asked if Meyer Burger believed they could meet the 40% domestic content requirement by using a domestically manufactured solar cell in their modules, Erfurt affirmed that they did.

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Meyer Burger reached out to the Loan Programs Office under the Department of Energy (DOE). Erfurt noted that the DOE aims to stimulate more solar cell manufacturing and might potentially fund the construction of a solar cell facility.

Meyer Burger currently manufactures around 800,000 solar cells per day, which fills approximately 6,000 solar modules. Once the company completes its 1.4 GW/year expansion, it’ll reach an output of about 10,000 modules per day.

Erfurt said the company has adequate resources to achieve its 3.4 GW manufacturing capacity goal, which includes the aforementioned 2 GW of solar cell manufacturing that will be needed in the near future.

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