NexWafe’s lower carbon solar wafer gets closer to production after Series C funding

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NexWafe GmbH is developing a new process for producing monocrystalline silicon wafers directly from inexpensive raw materials, skipping a more energy-intensive step. It’s an intriguing concept for reducing the embodied carbon of solar PV modules, and last we heard back in October is that Reliance New Energy Solar Limited (RNESL) became a strategic lead investor with plans to build large-scale wafer manufacturing facilities in India.

This week, NexWafe sent word that a few more investors joined on during a Series C investment round completed in December 2021, led by one of Germany’s largest family offices. Including the second close, the Series C financing totals 39M Euros and will be used to complete product and technology development for NexWafe’s solar photovoltaic products on prototype lines in Freiburg.

“NexWafe is accelerating the renewable energy transition with more efficient, lower cost, greener solar wafer technology for photovoltaic manufacturers globally, including strategic partners committed to gigawatt scale implementation of NexWafe epitaxial wafer production,” said Davor Sutija, CEO of NexWafe.

NexWafe’s development roadmap calls for an initial pilot facility with capacity up to 500 MW, expandable up to 3 GW, with initial capacity being based on 63 million wafers/year using the G12 wafer format. This facility is to be based in Bitterfeld, Germany, and will be located close to the manufacturing facilities that will be used to supply the required STC feedstock. Construction is intended to start in 2022, with equipment due to be ordered in H1 2023, production due to begin in by Q1 2024.

As the global PV supply chain just generally gets messier every day, a new player in this space, in another part of the world, could ease some of these challenges. Additionally, NexWafe’s patented wafer manufacturing solution simplifies polysilicon production could also drastically lower production costs.

Investors joining NexWafe’s Series C growth round’s second close also include Ecosummit, an investment group that advises smart green startups on fundraising and strategy. Investors in the first close of the Series C Round include Reliance Industries Limited, InnoEnergy, HEMMA Group, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and others.

A new NexWafe board was elected in January, including Chairman Bart Markus, deep-tech investor and former General Partner of Wellington Partners; and Directors Marina Groenberg, Managing Director, HEMMA Group; Thomas Koerner, Vice President, Canadian Solar; Sanjay Mashruwala, President of Reliance Industries Ltd., and Bruce Niven, Chief Investment Officer at Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures.

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