REC Solar wins EU grant to build 2GW HJT plant in France

The second Innovation Fund for large-scale projects from the EU will invest €1.8 billion in 17 clean-teach projects. Image: REC Group.

Module manufacturer REC Solar has been selected by the European Union to receive a grant to support a 2GW heterojunction (HJT) solar manufacturing plant in France.

Under the European Union’s second Innovation Fund for large-scale projects, the EU will contribute to the construction of REC’s RISE (REC Innovation at Sarreguemines Enterprise) project, earmarked for the north of France.

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Successful projects under the EU scheme will now start preparing their individual grant agreements which are expected to be finalised during Q4 2022.

The description of the project given by the EU states the manufacturing facility will mostly produce bifacial heterojunction modules, however there will be further consideration for it to produce tandem-cell technologies such as HJT-perovskite cells in the future.

“We are happy to have been pre-selected for the EU grant. This is an important recognition of EU’s confidence in REC’s project plans. The grant award is an important component of our France project funding. Our management is working on all the other components which are needed to make this project a reality,” a spokesperson for REC Solar told PV Tech.

In total 17 large-scale clean-tech projects have been selected by the EU to receive part of the €1.8 billion (US$1.8 billion) investment allocated for the second round across different industries including green hydrogen, energy storage and offshore wind.

The selected projects are located in Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Sweden.

In the first round, Enel Green Power had received €600 million (US$601 million) to fund the development of its 3GW bifacial PV module plant in Catania that will be fully commissioned by July 2024.

Frans Timmermans, executive vice-president of the European Commission, said: “Compared to the first disbursement round, the funds available have increased by 60%, enabling us to double the number of projects supported. This is a big boost for the decarbonisation of energy-intensive industry in the European Union.”

The Commission will launch in autumn the third call for large-scale projects with funds almost doubling to €3 billion as it was announced in the REPowerEU plan published earlier this year.

Aside from building a new HJT facility in Europe, the REC Solar has also increased its production capacity in Singapore and said earlier this year it was on track to reach 1.2GW of HJT module capacity.

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