Newly announced Washington-based solar cell and panel manufacturing venture Violet Power will now have a domestic silicon supplier with nextdoor REC Silicon. REC’s Moses Lake silicon production facility has been out of commission since 2018, but with Violet Power setting up nearby and planning on 1 GW of production output, REC now had a significant domestic buyer.
The two facilities will establish a silicon ingot and wafer solution for Violet Power’s immediate solar cell manufacturing requirements and also work to expand domestic capacity for production of input materials necessary for other cyber-secure clean energy solutions utilizing green energy to create sustainable, responsibly produced and highly competitive products for domestic applications.
“We welcome Violet Power to Washington and look forward to a close collaboration in building the comprehensive silicon-based supply chain for high technology solutions in the United States. The U.S. represents one of the largest and fastest growing solar installation markets in the world, creating huge opportunity for high tech domestic manufacturing. We applaud Violet Power for its leadership in entering the market at this critical time. Our collaboration will create hundreds of direct jobs and multiply the indirect jobs linked with solar, battery storage and semi-conductor applications” said Tore Torvund, CEO and President of REC Silicon.
REC Silicon has already invested over $1.7 billion in Washington, in a plant employing its proprietary silane gas-based fluidized bed reactor for granular polysilicon. Violet Power is expanding on an existing nearby facility, co-located with REC’s Moses Lake plant to manufacture solar cells and modules, adding ingot and wafer production in time. Violet Power’s initial cell production will begin sampling in the second quarter of 2021 with 500 MW of solar cells, reaching 1 GW of capacity by 2022 and scaling to 5 GW over the next five years.
“It is time to re-shore solar manufacturing to the United States. Our goal is to re-start, and re-vitalize U.S. manufacturing, bringing critical energy security and resiliency to the U.S. REC Silicon is therefore a natural partner given its long-standing technology leadership. This partnership secures domestic supply chain self-reliance and is the springboard for tremendous new job creation. The time is now,” said Desari Strader, Violet Energy’s Chairwoman and Founder.
REC Silicon last week joined a group of U.S. solar panel players to build greater market awareness around how solar supply chain decarbonization is producing solar panels with low embodied carbon to help governments and companies meet aggressive sustainability goals. The Ultra Low-Carbon Solar Alliance plans to develop and deploy a reliable methodology to allow companies to specify ultra-low carbon solar panels in projects