China-based integrated PV module manufacturer Seraphim Solar System expects to be operational with a planned 300MW annual capacity solar module assembly plant in Jackson, Mississippi in August 2015.
Seraphim’s website homepage is currently dominated by an image of the Stars and Stripes, the US national flag and the registered name of its new manufacturing plant, Seraphim Solar USA Manufacturing, Inc., with the words, ‘Opening soon in 2015’.
PV Tech has learned that potential customers of the company, primarily in the US, were sent emailed letters in early May, announcing the facility was expected to be commissioned in August.
In recent years, several Asia-based PV manufacturers had closed down small-scale module assembly plants in the US, but before the US imposed anti-dumping duties, due to chronic industry-wide overcapacity and massive ASP declines.
Several China-based tier-one module manufacturers, such as Yingli Green and Trina Solar, had previously touted plans to establish manufacturing in the US, but both have since dropped those plans.
Recently, Trina Solar announced major capacity expansion plans in Thailand instead to avoid US import duties, while Yingli Green’s financial state is dictating that no new capacity will be added in 2015, and the company has lowered planned module sales in the US this year.
Seraphim is therefore the first China-based module manufacturer to establish production in the US since Suntech Power Holdings operated a plant in Arizona. Suntech subsequently went bankrupt and the plant was closed in 2013.
Seraphim is also undertaking plans to double capacity of solar cell and module assembly production from 600MW in 2014 to 1,200MW by the end of 2015 at its highly automated ‘Fab 1’ in Changzhou China.
The company is known for its high-quality modules, having been the first module manufacturer to pass TÜV SÜD’s ‘Thresher' test, which was created to provide better understanding and insight into the longer-term reliability and power output performance of modules, compared to standard tests such as IEC61215.
Seraphim provides both high-efficiency monocrystalline modules and standard high-specification multicrystalline modules, including black aesthetic and compatible with microinverters, widely used in the US residential rooftop market.