NexWafe opens US division to prep for solar wafer production
German silicon wafer manufacturing company NexWafe has established a US subsidiary, and is now getting ready to build a gigawatt-scale facility to manufacture thin silicon wafers locally.
NexWafe has identified a gap in the market for the supply of solar wafers. The US market is dominated by Chinese suppliers and only one company, Qcells, actively makes wafers on the mainland.
Nexwafe clearly believes it has an opportunity to capitalise. It has developed a proprietary process to produce ultra-thin, monocrystalline, low carbon footprint solar wafers that make photovoltaics more sustainable. The firm says its continuous, direct gas-to-wafer manufacturing process reduces energy consumption during manufacturing by 60%.
The firm appointed Jonathan Pickering, former president of JA Solar Americas, as its VP of business development for North America. He is currently seeking strategic partnerships, and assessing potential manufacturing locations.
“Multiple top-tier solar companies have committed to advanced PV cell and module manufacturing at a multi-gigawatt scale across the US. But now we see a significant bottleneck in the supply chain for a domestic source of silicon wafers,” Pickering said. “Our breakthrough EpiNex direct ‘gas-to-wafer’ manufacturing process targets this exact opportunity. We are developing a gigawatt-scale facility to manufacture high-performance, American-made, thin silicon wafers to serve our U.S. customers, and we can do so while achieving a 60% reduction in the carbon footprint compared to today’s technology.”