Meyer Burger has acquired for an undisclosed sum from the former SolarWorld facilities in Freiberg, Saxony, which had at least 650MW of module assembly capacity and around 370MW of solar cell capacity. Image: SolarWorld
Meyer Burger has selected former manufacturing plants owned by defunct, SolarWorld and Q-Cells SE in Germany to kick-start its recently announced plans to become a dedicated heterojunction module manufacturer and stop being a supplier of PV manufacturing equipment.
After site analysis and selection, Meyer Burger has acquired for an undisclosed sum from the former SolarWorld facilities in Freiberg, Saxony, which had at least 650MW of module assembly capacity and around 370MW of solar cell capacity. The facilities were also key to in-house wafer production at SolarWorld, having a nameplate capacity of 1GW and around 750MW of silicon ingot nameplate capacity.
However, Meyer Burger plans to initially use the facilities for heterojunction module assembly, including its SmartWire technology. The former SolarWorld module assembly plant was said to have an area of around 19,000 square metres and was chosen for its scale and it highly automated module production lines, which with further advancements had a potential nameplate capacity of 800MW.
The company is acquiring the 14,000 square metre logistics and distribution facilities at the former Solarworld site in Freiberg.
The second site is the former integrated ‘String Ribbon’ silicon PV module facilities of bankrupt Sovello, formerly owned by the original Q-Cells SE in the well known ‘Solar Valley’ region of Bitterfeld-Wolfen (Saxony-Anhalt). Solar Valley was home to a number of former Q-Cells SE subsidiaries including Solibro.
Meyer Burger noted that it would be renting the Sovello facilities for an undisclosed figure. Sovello had several small manufacturing facilities, equating to around 250MW of nameplate capacity.
However, the company noted that the former Sovello facilities covered and area of around 27,000 square metres but additional floor space could be rented for extending the manufacturing footprint, if needed. Meyer Burger plans to install its latest heterojunction solar cell production equipment at these facilities.
“We are looking forward to revitalising two of the most traditional solar locations in Europe and creating new jobs," said Gunter Erfurt, CEO of Meyer Burger. “The fact that we are able to use existing infrastructures and the high level of expertise in the regions is a conscious strategic decision that will enable us to achieve short ramp-up times and high product quality.”
The company reiterated recently announced plans that included the start of production in the first half of 2021 with solar cell and module assembly of 400MW per annum, subject to raising a total of CHF 165 million and gaining approval from creditors of bankrupt Solarworld Industries GmbH.
Nov 12, 2020
The webinar will feature presentations from Cherif Kedir, CEO at RETC and Finlay Colville, head of research at PV-Tech, covering the latest developments related to PV module testing, reliability and bankability. Specific attention will be afforded to RETC's hail durability testing (HDT) process, and PV-Tech's bankability analysis for utility scale deployment in the US today.
Mar 10 - Mar 12, 2021
Penang, Malaysia (also available virtually)
Understand fully the technical and logistical supply chains that determine the production and performance of solar modules, including all related factors impacting quality, reliability & bankability. This event will be run as a live event in Penang for delegates able to attend and will also welcome virtual delegates via streamed content and online networking.
Oct 27 - Oct 29, 2020
Going into its fifth year over 200 delegates from 150 companies and 20 countries representing the PV supply chain will gather (virtually, due to COVID-19) for 3 days to discuss the technology roadmaps for PV cell advancement in GW markets. The scope of the event has been expanded this year, to cover developments in wafer supply and thin-film investments and technologies alongside all the regular benefits to all stakeholders tracking PV technology and investment trends for the next 5 years.