North American PV module producer Silfab Solar Inc. is bringing online domestic PV cell manufacturing — this is only the third U.S.-based solar cell line to be announced. This cell line is planned as part of a third PV module manufacturing facility that’s being “fast-tracked” to open and be fully operational in 2024.
Silfab’s third U.S. solar manufacturing facility will have an initial annual capability of 1 GW cell production and an additional 1.2 gigawatts of PV solar module assembly. The new facility is expected to generate more than 800 new U.S. jobs. Other details of the new facility, including location, will be announced at a future date.
“Domestic production of solar cells represents a strategic effort to further manage our supply chain and to apply our technical prowess from the ground up for a comprehensive manufacturing process,” said Paolo Maccario, Silfab’s Chief Executive Officer.
Silfab is no new comer to North American PV production. It has 40 years of solar experience from facilities in the state of Washington and Toronto, Canada. Silfab has recorded more than a dozen expansions of production capacity, most recently with state-of-the-art PV module assembly plants in the state of Washington. The Inflation Reduction Act incentives along with a September 2021 investment from ARC Financial Corp. has sent their plans into hyper drive.
“Silfab has grown more than 40 percent since ARC’s initial support,” Maccario said. “We are thankful for our collaborative relationship with ARC and with the Biden administration and its Inflation Reduction Act, both enabling us to accelerate our U.S. manufacturing strategy.”
This expansion was funded via a second investment round led by ARC Financial Corp. The $125 million investment from ARC’s Energy Fund 9 includes co-investments by Manulife Financial Corporation, Ontario Power Generation Inc. Pension Plan, CF Private Equity and BDC Capital’s Cleantech Practice. ARC is one of North America’s most established energy-focused private equity fund managers.
ARC is confident in Silfab’s ability to meet increasing demand for high-quality PV modules through a sustainable growth strategy.
“Silfab is ideally situated to meet North America’s growing appetite for domestically manufactured cutting-edge solar products,” said Brian Boulanger, CEO of ARC.
ARC’s first investment enabled Silfab to make further enhancements to production lines at existing Washington facilities in order to deploy next-generation PV modules to North American consumer, business, and institutional markets.
Silfab’s newest module, the 410 Watt ELITE, utilizes the company’s proprietary X-pattern technology, which combines an integrated cell design with an innovative conductive backsheet to create a more efficient and powerful solar panel.
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