Evergreen Solar has finalized its agreements with Jiawei Solarchina and the Wuhan Government’s Hubei Science & Technology Investment Co., Ltd. (HSTIC), a project PV-Tech reported on back in May.
As part of this agreement Evergreen Solar will manufacture String Ribbon wafers using its Quad furnaces at a leased facility being built by Jiawei in Wuhan, China on Jiawei’s campus. Jiawei will convert the wafers into Evergreen branded panels on a contract-manufacturing basis.
An investment of $17 million in cash and equipment in the Wuhan String Ribbon operation will be made by Evergreen, while HSTIC will provide Evergreen Solar with $33 million of 7.5% financing, which it must repay no later than July 2014. Jiawei will make a similar investment for its cell and panel operations with the support of HSTIC.
The contruction of the factory has begun while the cell and panel production is scheduled to commence in 2010; initial capacity for the project will be approximately 100MW and is expected to be increased to 500MW by 2012.
Evergreen Solar and Dynamic Green Energy, Jiawei’s parent company, have agreed to exchange warrants representing 1% of their outstanding shares. These warrants will have a five-year term and may be exercised for 20% of the warrant shares for each incremental 95MW of production capacity achieved.
“Our String Ribbon wafer technology, combined with Jiawei’s low-cost manufacturing capabilities, should enable our products to stand out distinctly among customers seeking both value and dependability for their solar energy solutions,” commented Richard M. Feldt, Chairman, President and CEO.
“As we reach the 25MW quarterly capacity by the end of 2010, we expect total manufacturing costs of our String Ribbon panels produced in China to be in the range of $1.40 per watt to $1.50 per watt, with both companies working aggressively to further improve technological performance as well as reduce manufacturing costs. Our mutual goal is to drive conversion efficiency and manufacturing performance so that panels are produced at the $1.00 per watt level by no later than 2012.”