Germany’s Nexwafe mulling US wafer factory


Nexwafe, a German epitaxial wafer manufacturer that is currently building a 250 MW factory in Bitterfeld, Germany, has announced that it has established a US subsidiary.

The company said in a statement that it is evaluating the development of multi-gigawatt-scale solar wafer manufacturing in the US market, with an initial target production volume of 6 GW.

The company said it is evaluating manufacturing locations, considering regional incentives, and actively working on strategic partnerships and wafer offtake agreements in the United States.

To lead the US operation, the company has named Jonathan Pickering as VP of business development, North America. He was previously an executive at JA Solar Americas and Applied Materials.

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“Multiple top-tier solar companies have committed to advanced PV cell and module manufacturing at a multi-gigawatt scale across the US. But now we see a significant bottleneck in the supply chain for a domestic source of silicon wafers,” said Pickering, adding that the company will be able to offer US-made, thin silicon wafers.

Nexwafe is commercializing kerfless wafers. Its monocrystalline silicon wafers are grown directly in a gas-to-wafer manufacturing process that it claims is not only more efficient but also enables the production of ultra-thin wafers. Its wafers are compatible with conventional cell processing, and reportedly minimize wastage, offering a 60% reduction in the carbon footprint compared to conventional processes.

Nexwafe, which is based in Freiburg, Germany, announced a €30 million financing round in May 2023.

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