SPI Energy to build US heterojunction solar cell factory


From pv magazine USA

Solar4America, a wholly owned subsidiary of SPI Energy, plans to begin manufacturing N-type heterojunction (HJT) solar cells in the United States.

This follows the company’s January announcement to increase solar module production to 2.4 GW at its factory in Sacramento, California. While the US Inflation Reduction Act has thus far incentivized many module manufacturers to begin production in the United States, cell and wafer manufacturing has yet to ramp up.

“The production of HJT solar cells aligns with our commitment to providing cutting-edge renewable energy technology while reducing carbon footprints globally,” said Denton Peng, chairman and CEO of SPI Energy.

HJT uses N-type monocrystalline silicon as a substrate, depositing silicon-based thin films with unique characteristics and transparent conductive films on the front and rear surfaces. By combining the benefits of crystalline silicon and amorphous silicon thin-film technologies, the company reports that HJT technology offers excellent photo absorption, passivation effects as well as exceptional efficiency and performance. Key advantages of HJT solar cells include enhanced conversion efficiency, superior energy yield, reduced degradation rate, improved weak light performance, and it is adaptable to thinner wafers.

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Solar4America plans to begin manufacturing HJT solar cells in the United States by the end of 2024. This announcement adds to the company’s manufacturing plans, which includes not only cell but also wafer manufacturing.

Last year, SPI Energy registered its US solar wafer manufacturing business, SEM Wafertech, for production of wafers starting this year with initial capacity of 1.5 GW, with plans of expanding manufacturing capacity to 3 GW in 2024. At the same time, SPI Energy hired Franz Feuerherdt as vice president of sales and marketing to lead the Solar4America module production business. Feuerherdt joined Solar4America from Mission Solar Energy, and held prior roles at Flex and SolarWorld.

Formed in 2006, SPI Energy is based in McClellan Park, California. It went public in January 2016 and its EV affiliate, Phoenix Motorcars, went public in January 2022, with the companies trading on the Nasdaq.

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