North American solar panel manufacturer Silfab Solar (Silfab) and Norwegian ingot and wafer producer NorSun signed a memorandum of agreement for to supply NorSun’s planned 5 GW ingot and wafer production facility in the U.S.
In March Silfab 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 anticipates 1 GW cell production and 1.2 GW module production, which it expects to reach operations 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.
Both companies will benefit from the support of the Inflation Reduction Act, which is stimulating a manufacturing renaissance. However, while much module manufacturing is expected in the U.S., ingot wafer and cell production do not align.
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
According to Paolo Maccario, CEO of Silfab, the agreement between NorSun and Silfab “adds strategic value to Silfab’s unwavering commitment to supply North America with domestically produced, high-performing solar panels”.
Meanwhile, Norsun 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.
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