-The entire 2GW capacity will power the company's panel factory in Arizona.
By Kelly Pickerel | July 24, 2023
Swiss solar technology company Meyer Burger announced that it will open a silicon solar cell factory in Colorado Springs, Colorado. With an initial capacity of 2 GW of solar cells per year, the new facility will exclusively supply Meyer Burger's solar module production facility in Goodyear, Arizona.
The company has selected a former Intel semiconductor manufacturing facility in Colorado and production is expected to begin in Q4 2024, creating more than 350 direct jobs.
"Meyer Burger strongly believes that domestically produced solar cells will bring added value to our customers, both in terms of using premium, high-performance, Made in USA solar products and in terms of qualifying for additional tax credits," says Gunter Erfurt, CEO of Meyer Burger. With an initial planned production of 2 GW of solar cells and modules in the U.S., Meyer Burger is potentially eligible to receive up to $1.4 billion in Inflation Reduction Act tax credits beginning with production in 2024 through the end of 2032.
In addition to the IRA tax credits, the city of Colorado Springs and the state of Colorado are supporting the facility with nearly $90 million, primarily in the form of tax credits, direct assistance, and discounted electricity and water rates. In addition, upfront payments from module offtake partners and a more than $300 million loan from the Department of Energy are also expected to help fund Meyer Burger's growth in the United States.
“Meyer Burger is currently working on additional multi-gigawatt off-take agreements in the US with new customers. We are already exploring ways to further expand the production capacity for solar cells and modules in the country," said Erfurt.
The accelerated manufacturing schedule in the US is made possible by the re-routing of manufacturing facilities originally earmarked for the previously announced 2 GW solar cell expansion at the company's German facility. These facilities will be installed at the Colorado Springs facility to meet the planned cell factory completion date of 2024. Meyer Burger plans to expand its German factory at a later date.
Colorado is becoming a popular location for solar panel production. Just last month, a joint venture involving Vikram Solar announced it would open a 2 GW solar panel factory in the state. Colorado Springs is specifically a semiconductor manufacturing hotspot and supports recent expansions from Microchip Technology and Entegris, according to local news.