Single crystal substrate start-up, Confluence Solar is to build a solar silicon ingot plant on a 25 acre site in Clinton, Tennessee at a cost of US$200 million. The company claims that its ‘HiCz’ single crystal ingot growing technology offers 15% better cell conversion efficiencies but at a cost comparable or better than using multi-crystal silicon ingots. Tennessee is fast becoming a hub for polysilicon producers with new plants being built by Hemlock Semiconductor and Wacker Chemie, in the state.
“Two years ago, we set upon a strategy to make Tennessee a significant player in the solar industry,” said Governor Bredesen. “Since then, we’ve seen more than two billion dollars in capital investment and more than a thousand jobs created. The announcement today by Confluence Solar is further proof that Tennessee is being recognized as a leader in renewable energy and that a new economic engine is emerging in our state.”
“When both Hemlock Semiconductor and Wacker Chemie, AG announced plans to locate in our state, we said Tennessee would be looking to expand the solar industry throughout the value chain,” said Commissioner Kisber. “The announcement today by Confluence Solar is proof that strategy is working and that Tennessee is now a major player in a growing industry.”
The stealthy start-up initially received funding from VC’s of US$12.7 million in September, 2008. It also has secured raw material from DC Chemical.
The company co-founder is John DeLuca, PhD, who began his career in nuclear materials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the early 1970’s, has more than 35 years of experience conducting research and development with 25 years experience specifically focused on silicon research.
No timelines or details regarding funding for the project were disclosed.