Global renewable energy company SPI Energy Co. leased a facility in South Carolina this week to expand the solar wafer and solar module manufacturing capacities for its wholly owned SEM Wafertech Inc. and Solar4Amercica Technology subsidiaries.
Expanding the solar module manufacturing sector in the United States requires more than just module assembly as most of the world’s polysilicon, ingot, wafer and solar cell supply chain is situated elsewhere. This $65.9 million investment in SEM Waftertech’s U.S.-based wafer production will help meet the increasing need for locally sourced solar wafers as the demand for solar power continues to grow in the U.S.
SEM Wafertech and Solar4America plan to occupy an existing building located at 1150 Clipper Road in Sumter, where they will design, build out and install a world-class silicon wafer slicing facility. SEM Wafertech is targeting delivery and production of its first solar wafers in the U.S. by the end of 2023, with capacity ramping to three gigawatts by 2024.
Solar4America will add this South Carolina facility to its facility in Sacramento, Calif., allowing it to manufacture a wider variety of solar panels for customers, with an aim to increase capacity to 2.4 GW by the end of the year.
“As a global renewable energy company making American-made solar wafers and modules, we recognize the importance of having a strong domestic supply chain to meet the fast-growing demand for affordable solar power,” stated Denton Peng, Chairman of SEM Wafertech and Solar4America Technology. “We plan to bring the highest-quality domestically produced solar wafers and modules to market, enhancing our nation’s manufacturing capabilities with a long-term investment that will create good paying jobs for South Carolina.”
Silicon wafers produced in the facility will be used in a variety of applications, including photovoltaic cells and semiconductors. Solar panels will serve commercial, residential and industrial energy generation and storage needs. Operations are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project. The council also awarded a $1.5 million Rural Infrastructure Fund (RIF) grant to Sumter County to assist with the costs of water and wastewater improvements and building improvements.
More on SPI Energy
SPI Energy Co., Ltd. was founded in 2006 in Roseville, California and is headquartered in McClellan Park, California. The company has three core divisions: 1) SolarJuice which has solar wholesale distribution in Australia, as well as residential solar and roofing installation and solar module manufacturing. 2) SPI Solar and Orange Power which operates a commercial & utility solar division, and 3) the EdisonFuture/Phoenix Motor EV division.
The SPI Solar commercial & utility solar division provides a full spectrum of EPC services to third party project developers, and develops, owns and operates solar projects that sell electricity to the grid in multiple regions, including the U.S., U.K., and Europe. Phoenix Motor is a leader in medium-duty commercial electric vehicles, and is developing EV charger solutions, electric pickup trucks, electric forklifts, and other EV products.
SPI maintains global operations in North America, Australia, Asia and Europe and is also targeting strategic investment opportunities in fast growing green energy industries such as battery storage, charging stations, and other EVs which leverage the company’s expertise and substantial solar cash flow.
Listen to more in-depth conversations on Solar Builder's YouTube channel
Our most popular series include:
Power Forward! | A collaboration with BayWa r.e. to discuss higher level industry topics.
The Buzz | Where we give our 2 cents per kWh on the residential solar market.
The Pitch | Discussions with solar manufacturers about their new technology and ideas.