Silfab Solar signs deal with NorSun for US-made wafers


From pv magazine USA

Silfab Solar and Norwegian ingot and wafer supplier NorSun have signed a deal for NorSun’s planned 5 GW ingot and wafer production facility in the United States.

In March Silfab Solar announced plans to invest $125 million investment to expand its facilities and launch a third cell and module fabrication facility in the United States. The company is planning 1 GW of cell production and 1.2 GW if module production, with operations to start in 2024. 

NorSun recently raised $8.5 million in new equity to further develop clean energy manufacturing projects in the United States, including a 5 GW ingot and wafer production facility.

The companies will benefit from the support of the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which is stimulating a manufacturing renaissance. However, while much module manufacturing is expected in the United States, ingot wafer and cell production do not align.

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According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the current domestic solar module capacity is 8 GW. However, more than 155 GW of solar supply chain capacity expansions have been announced since the passing of the IRA. This has resulted in an estimated $20 billion investment across domestic communities, leading to various production additions, including:

  • 85 GW of solar module capacity
  • 43 GW of solar cells
  • 20 GW of silicon ingots and wafers
  • 7 GW of inverter capacity

Paolo Maccario, the CEO of Silfab Solar, said that the agreement with NorSun “adds strategic value to Silfab’s unwavering commitment to supply North America with domestically produced, high-performing solar panels.”

Meanwhile, Norsun has temporarily suspended wafer production in Norway, as module oversupply in Europe is affecting pricing across the solar value chain, resulting in employee layoffs through the end of this year. The company reports that it will continue to concentrate on its short-term and long-term expansion plans, including plans to upgrade its production line in Årdal, Norway.

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