A number of recent announcements from US-based solar PV manufacturers concerning new or expanded module capacity have heralded a major turnaround in North America’s PV manufacturing fortunes.
According to analysis by PV Tech, 10 companies have announced specific PV production plans that would add close to 2GW of new capacity, specifically in the US, with close to half of the new capacity expected to come online in 2015.
This is in stark contrast to the position in 2011, when more than 20 US-based PV module manufacturers (predominantly thin-film producers) went bankrupt through 2012.
The significant reduction in the manufacturing footprint was exacerbated by production curtailments by companies such as First Solar and SolarWorld, as well as foreign firms such as Suntech Power Holdings and Sharp closing module assembly plants in the US.
However, PV Tech’s analysis highlights that new capacity expansion announcements kicked off in June 2014, with the major 1GW production plans of SolarCity and have continued through to November with First Solar planning to add two new CdTe thin-film lines at its facility in Perrysburg, Ohio, boosting capacity by an estimated 178MW.
A more detailed analysis by PV Tech can be seen here, which also highlights the potential for more announcements soon.