A brand-new company plans to open a 500-MW solar panel assembly factory in Madison, Georgia, in fall 2023. Adion Solar told Solar Power World it began exploring options to start a facility before manufacturing tax credits were included in the Inflation Reduction Act, intending to supply the commercial market. Everything is still on track for a 2023 opening, with official product releases determined once the Treasury Dept. provides more details on tax credit distribution, said Philip Devlin, part of Adion’s management team.
“Our goal prior to IRA was to make the [solar] process more affordable for people,” Devlin said. “Our goal is to not just be in the business, but to try and make a change. We want to be able to get [panels] to end users at a reasonable price.”
Adion Solar is a spin-off of B.I. Production Works, an equipment leasing company serving the film industry, located about an hour east of Atlanta. B.I. rents out work vehicles and talent trailers, and it recently began offering solar-powered options that also come with energy storage. The company says it is the only trailer company offering 100% solar setups, which is a significant alternative for the diesel-prone film industry.
The initial idea for Adion Solar was to make solar panels specifically for its growing fleet of sustainable work vehicles, but then it expanded into assembling solar panels for more traditional applications.
While Adion and its sister company B.I. have experience in business dealings, Devlin said they do understand the need to bring in executives familiar with solar.
“Certainly, we recognize that we’re going to have to get some industry subject matter experts as we go forward,” Devlin said. “It’s just a matter of timing as we build this out.”
Adion has purchased equipment from Italian assembly line manufacturer Ecoprogetti and expects to move into its new-build factory in late summer 2023. The factory will initially have a 500-MW annual capacity with the room to grow to 1 GW. Adion is planning on manufacturing a mix of mono- and bifacial solar panels, all focused on the commercial market and potentially the utility-scale market.
“Where it makes sense to go bifacial, certainly, we would be encouraging the customer base to go that way,” Devlin said. “But we’re going to be taking the lead from the customers, guiding us to fulfilling their needs.”
Adion Solar is currently distributing 540-W Rayzon solar panels from India in the United States until the U.S. facility begins production. The group is using those Rayzon panels on its B.I. trailers in the meantime, too. But the American-made Adion Solar panels will use its own tech while a relationship with Rayzon will continue.
“We want to be leading, but we don’t want to be cutting-edge. We recognize that there are costs associated with that. We want to take proven technologies and make them available,” Devlin said.