Meyer Burger has raised €22m in its shift to solar cell and panel production in Germany.
The state of Saxony-Anhalt and the Federal Republic of Germany are pledging up to E15m in environmental protection aid for the establishment of heterojunction (HJT) solar cell production in Thalheim in the city of Bitterfeld-Wolfen.
There is also an extra €7.5m for the improvement of the regional economic structure (GRW) for the assembling of the production facility in Thalheim.
The investment is backed by a report from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems that highlights Meyer Burger's heterojunction technology (HJT) for solar cell production as having significant environmental advantages compared to conventional manufacturing processes.
"We are pleased to receive this significant environmental aid. It proves that heterojunction technology is not only more efficient but also more environmentally friendly than conventional solar cell technologies," said Gunter Erfurt, CEO of Meyer Burger.
The GRW grant can be drawn through the end of 2023 but requires confirmation of financing for the planned investments in the production site, which will have an annual capacity of 1.4GW.
Meyer Burger shifted from supplying manufacturing equipment last year to making its own cells and panels based on its proprietary heterojunction/SmartWire (HJT) technology. This technology has higher conversion efficiency, and higher energy yield than the current standard Mono-PERC and other heterojunction technologies currently available.
The establishment of the HJT production lines and the sales organization are progressing according to plan, says the company for production to start in the second quarter of 2021 with 0.4 GW of solar cells and 0.4 GW of solar modules.
The further processing of the solar cells into solar modules takes place in Freiberg (Saxony). The production capacity of solar cells is to be expanded to 1.4 GW in a next step and as quickly as possible, subject to successful debt financing.
Meyer Burger operates its research and development centres