Fraunhofer ISE to support HoloSolis’ new 5GW PV production plant in France

The back-end production laboratory of Fraunhofer ISE’s Photovoltaic Technology Evaluation Center. Image: Dirk Mahler / Fraunhofer ISE.

French startup HoloSolis has signed a strategic collaboration agreement with German research organisation Fraunhofer ISE to support setup of its PV production line in France.

Founded by innovation group EIT InnoEnergy, real estate company IDEC Group – which specialises in the rooftop market – and French solar developer TSE, Holosolis plans to build a production line for solar cells and modules, with an annual capacity of 5GW, once at full capacity.

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The collaboration aims to build cost-effective and efficient PV modules in Europe, based on tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) solar cells.

Fraunhofer ISE will support the startup in selecting the technology and planning the factory at the concept design and construction phases.

“HoloSolis’ approach of building a PV production line from solar cells to PV modules while further developing the technology convinced us from the beginning,” said Dr Jochen Rentsch, head of technology transfer at Fraunhofer ISE. “We are very happy to be able to accompany the young company on its way to become a major European-based producer of PV components.”

Located near the French-German border in Sarreguemines, the plant is expected to start production in 2025. It will ramp up to produce ten million PV modules annually for the residential and commercial markets.

The companies will also cooperate in the research and innovation for sustainable solar cell and module production in Europe.

Since the European Commission unveiled its Green Deal Industrial Plan early this year, many companies across Europe have announced plans to build domestic PV manufacturing as the European Union targets a 30GW annual manufacturing capacity by 2025 across the value chain.

Germany went a step further and is seeking 10GW of annual domestic solar manufacturing capacity. The government expects at least 2GW of this capacity to come from solar module production.

Jan Jacob Boom-Wichers, president and CEO of HoloSolis, said: “The Fraunhofer ISE team has unparalleled expertise in Europe in N-type TOPCon technology because they participated in its invention. The Fraunhofer ISE team has been very committed and motivated from the onset of the project to help us build the most cost effective and highest quality PV gigafactory in Europe.”

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