Solar wafer producer NexWafe has secured a €30 million (US$32 million) investment to accelerate the construction of its first commercial-scale wafer plant in Bitterfeld, Germany.
The company expects to raise additional funding in the second half of the year, while this funding round came from current investors such as Indian conglomerate Reliance New Energy – who invested US$29 million in a Series C financing round back in 2021 –, Saudi venture company Aramco Ventures and VC ATHOS Venture, along with new investors including Malcolm Turnbull AC and Keshik Capital.
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Germany-based NexWafe is developing monocrystalline silicon wafers through its Epinex process which simplifies polysilicon production and reduces energy consumption and production time, lowering production costs for n-type monocrystalline wafers. The manufacturing process already achieved parity with commercially available Czochralski (CZ) wafers, according to NexWafe.
NexWafe’s CEO Davor Sutija said: “This investment marks the start of NexWafe’s plan to raise substantially larger funds in the second half of 2023. The funds will be used to break ground on NexWafe’s first commercial facility to speed the renewable energy transition with more efficient, lower cost, green solar wafers for the world’s photovoltaic manufacturers.”
Earlier this year, in a guest blog for PV Tech, Sutija called for a solar PV revolution as both the US – through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – and Europe – through the Green Deal Industrial Plan – have made moves to reshore a solar manufacturing industry.
Furthermore, the company agreed to work with Aramco Ventures on a future green solar wafer manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia. The collaboration will be supported by Aramco’s $US1.5 billion Sustainability fund.