Germany’s NexWafe Eyes US for Multi-GW Solar Wafer Plant

The facility will have an initial target production volume of 6 GW


Germany-based solar wafer manufacturer NexWafe has set up a subsidiary in the U.S. to explore establishing a multi-gigawatt scale production facility with an initial capacity of 6 GW.

The North American facility will leverage NexWafe’s production technology from its 250 MW under-construction commercial facility in Bitterfeld, Germany.

According to NexWafe, its patented green solar wafer manufacturing simplifies polysilicon production reduces energy use and production time, helping cut production costs for n-type monocrystalline wafers. The company claims its gas-to-wafer manufacturing process minimizes waste, resulting in less expensive wafers than conventional wafers.

The company said it is actively working on securing strategic partnerships, assessing potential manufacturing locations and the associated regional incentives, and securing offtake agreements for domestic wafer supply. It will also leverage incentives available under the Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to spur green manufacturing in the U.S.

“Multiple top-tier solar companies have committed to advanced PV cell and module manufacturing at a multi-gigawatt scale across the U.S.,” said Jonathan Pickering, VP of Business Development, adding that NexWafe is targeting this opportunity by developing a gigawatt-scale facility to manufacture American-made, thin silicon wafers to serve U.S. customers.

“We can do so while achieving a 60% reduction in the carbon footprint compared to today’s technology,” he said.

NexWafe had secured €30 million (~$32 million) from a group of investors, including Reliance New Energy, to accelerate the construction of its green solar wafers production facility in Bitterfeld. Reliance also plans to build a large-scale wafer manufacturing facility in India using NexWafe’s processes and technology.

The company had also said that it would work with one of its other investors, Aramco Ventures, on a green solar wafer production facility that will be built in Saudi Arabia with participation from the latter’s $1.5 billion Sustainability Fund.

NexWafe’s investors also include ATHOS Venture and former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Keshik Capital, led by his son Alex Turnbull.