Meyer Burger opens first new solar module production line in Germany

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Reiner Haseloff, Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt, and economics minister Armin Willingmann joined Meyer Burger CEO Gunter Erfurt at the virtual opening ceremony. Image: Meyer Burger

Swiss-headquartered module maker Meyer Burger has formally opened its first new manufacturing facility in Germany as the company scales up its heterojunction (HJ) cell and module capacity.

Meyer Burger has started commercial operations at its facility in Thalheim, Bitterfeld-Wolfen, with a second in Frieberg also due to open on 26 May. The factory currently has a 400MW manufacturing capacity, but the solar company said production will be ramped up in June, and the company expects to reach a total manufacturing capacity of 5GW by 2026. The company said in a statement that it will produce roughly 200,000 solar cells each day.

Reiner Haseloff, prime minister of Saxony-Anhalt, and economics minister Armin Willingmann were among those who attended the virtual opening ceremony.

Meyer Burger said in January that it wants to scale up its production capacity to 1.4GW by 2023, having been awarded €22.5 million in regional German government grants to support the establishment of a HJ PV cell production plant in the country. The equipment provider-turned-module maker officially unveiled its new range of HJ modules for mass production last month.

CEO Gunter Erfurt said that there is a “unique opportunity” in Germany to become an “innovative global pacesetter in the field of renewable energies”, and will support European efforts to gain “strategic independence in the key technology of photovoltaics.”

The European Commission has signalled its intention to help develop a robust domestic solar manufacturing base in its updated industrial strategy earlier this month. However, Meyer Burger’s chief executive has previously warned it may require an investment of between €5 billion and €6 billion to become globally competitive.

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