NexWafe GmbH (NexWafe) has established a U.S. subsidiary to evaluate the development of multi-gigawatt-scale solar wafer production in the U.S. with an initial target production volume of six gigawatts (GW). The North American operation will leverage NexWafes EpiNex production technology from the companys 250 megawatt (MW) first commercial facility, which is under construction in Bitterfeld, Germany. As part of this expansion, NexWafe appointed solar industry veteran Jonathan Pickering as Vice President of Business Development for North America to spearhead U.S. operations.
The U.S. solar industry has tremendous growth potential. 2023 was the nations largest year of solar installations, reaching 33 GW of solar installations. Average annual growth of solar installation of 14 percent is expected between 2023 and 2028.
In line with the goals of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), NexWafes U.S. expansion is a strategic move to reduce vulnerabilities in the solar-wafer supply chain, which remains subject to Chinas market dominance and potential geopolitical disruption. The company is actively working on securing strategic partnerships, assessing potential manufacturing locations and the associated regional incentives, and securing offtake agreements for domestic wafer supply. Along with other solar supply chain manufacturers, NexWafe will work with the Administration to leverage IRA incentives to realize the companys vision of gigawatt-scale wafer manufacturing in North America. As a front runner in bringing solar wafer production to the U.S., NexWafe further demonstrates its commitment to the energy transition.
Silicon wafers are critical materials for the energy transition, and Jonathans leadership will be key as we embark on establishing gigawatt-scale wafer manufacturing in the U.S., said Davor Sutija, CEO, NexWafe. His extensive experience and proven expertise in solar technology complement the strength of our established leadership team.
Pickering was previously President of JA Solar Americas, and a former Vice President at Applied Materials. His experience spans the solar value chain from solar wafer and solar cell processing equipment to solar module manufacturing and commercial solar project development.
Multiple top-tier solar companies have committed to advanced PV cell and module manufacturing at a multi-gigawatt scale across the U.S. But now we see a significant bottleneck in the supply chain for a domestic source of silicon wafers, said Jonathan Pickering, VP of Business Development, North America, NexWafe. Our breakthrough EpiNex direct gas-to-wafer manufacturing process targets this exact opportunity. We are developing a gigawatt-scale facility to manufacture high-performance. American-made, thin silicon wafers to serve our U.S. customers, and we can do so while achieving a 60 percent reduction in the carbon footprint compared to todays technology.
About NexWafe GmbH
NexWafe GmbH designs, develops and is ramping into production a proprietary process to produce ultra-thin, high-efficiency, monocrystalline, low carbon footprint solar wafers to make photovoltaics more sustainable and efficient. Fully compatible with conventional solar cell manufacturing, NexWafe offers a 60 percent reduction in energy consumption during manufacturing. NexWafes continuous, direct gas-to-wafer manufacturing process also minimizes waste, resulting in wafers that are less expensive than conventional wafers. NexWafes in-line, ultra-scalable process leapfrogs current barriers in the cost reduction roadmap and inherently supports the industrys extraordinary growth as the transition to solar power accelerates worldwide. The company was spun out from Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in 2015 and is a member of the Ultra Low-Carbon Solar Alliance, Solar Power Europe, and the European Solar Manufacturing Council.
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