CubicPV plans for U.S. solar wafer production earn investor support

Banyan funding

As noted in this piece from CEA in our Q2 2023 issue, U.S. solar module manufacturing is hampered by a lack of domestic component supply. U.S. solar cell facilities are slowly coming online, but ingot and wafers (which become solar cells) are basically nonexistent. CubicPV is seeking to change that, with plans to build a 10 GW solar wafer facility along with tandem solar R&D.

The vision has convinced first-stage investors — CubicPV leadership announced firm equity commitments in excess of $100 million in support of its U.S. factory plans and tandem product roadmap.

“With its deep experience in silicon wafer production and ownership of highly innovative proprietary technologies, Cubic is ideally positioned to play a key role in the world’s embrace of solar powered electricity generation. We continued to be impressed with the strength of the team, their progress against plan and their commitment to manufacturing and innovation excellence,” said Tim McCaffery, Global Investment Director, SCG.

The investment will be split into two tranches, with the first $33M released immediately. The second tranche investment is tied to specific project milestones. Cubic’s strong shareholder base, led by SCG Cleanergy (a wholly owned subsidiary of SCG) with contributions from Hunt Energy Enterprises and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, committed the capital to further accelerate the Company’s growth strategy.

“Today’s announcement underscores the considerable progress we’ve made, the depth of our engineering competence and the strength of our technologies to deliver a more powerful solar future,” said Frank van Mierlo, CEO, CubicPV. “We thank SCG Cleanergy for their confidence in our manufacturing goals and product roadmap.”

Current status | CubicPV has completed its conceptual design and scoping for the project, narrowed its site selection decision to two final possible locations, engaged with an industry-leading project management company, and is in the process of completing the detailed design.

The company also remains on track with respect to financing the factory and has received indicative term sheets exceeding the required total equity for the new factory.

Cubic also announced that it has appointed David Gustafson as President of the new wafer facility. In this role, Dave will lead the planning, design, ramp, and operation of Cubic’s factory. He brings extensive manufacturing leadership and engineering experience, most recently leading the manufacturing functions for 5,000 people, across seven states and eight U.S. factories for a Fortune 500 company. Dave received his Bachelor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Master of Science degree from Vanderbilt University. He also served in the United States Navy Civil Engineer Corps as Company Commander for Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 74.

“We conducted an exhaustive search for the right candidate to help us construct, ramp, and operate the factory with precision and speed. Dave’s wealth of experience in manufacturing and construction is a tremendous asset to Cubic, and we are delighted to add him to the team,” said van Mierlo.

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