Vikram’s new joint venture will build a 4 GW solar module manufacturing facility in Brighton, Colorado, followed by a wafer and ingot mill in the southern state.
Indian solar module maker Vikram Solar has teamed up with investors Phalanx Impact Partners and Das & Co to form a US joint venture, VSK Energy LLC. The new company plans to invest up to $1.5 billion to develop a vertically integrated solar manufacturing operation.
The first phase of the investment consists of a $250 million investment to establish a Colorado module manufacturing facility in a newly completed building owned by Mortenson Properties and Hyde Development.
The new plant is expected to create more than 900 direct jobs with an average salary of more than $70,000 and 200 construction jobs. VSK Energy expects the facility to begin operations in 2024, with a capacity of 2 GW of solar modules, with plans to expand up to 4 GW in the coming years.
With the two planned projects, VSK will extend Vikram Solar’s 17 years of solar manufacturing experience to the US with the financial support of Phalanx Impact Partners, a private equity firm focused on sustainable development, and Das & Co, a multi-level asset manager.
“Colorado is one of the top solar-producing states in the country, so this Brighton expansion will help build on our plans to reach 100% renewable energy by 2040, create more than 900 new good-paying jobs for Coloradans and boost our state’s thriving economy,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis.
“Cleantech in Colorado contributes $4.6 billion annually to the state economy and employs more than 62,000 Colorado workers. By establishing a new solar manufacturing facility in Brighton, VSK will grow this important employment sector and advance Colorado’s commitment to growing clean energy technology,” said Eve Lieberman, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade executive director.
The second phase of the investment would complement the vertical integration of VSK’s solar manufacturing process and the development of a second US factory in a southern state to manufacture solar ingots, cells and wafers with a planned annual capacity of 4 GW and a capital commitment of $1.25 billion.
VSK Energy is expected to begin operations in 2025 after evaluating and finalizing available federal, state, regional and local incentives for the project. The new factory is expected to create more than 1,500 direct jobs and 1,000 construction jobs.
Mortenson, a leading solar engineering, procurement, construction and commercial contracting firm, will oversee the design and construction of both phases of VSK Energy’s planned investment.
To build both phases of VSK Energy’s planned modular and ingot facilities, Mortenson plans to hire hundreds of team members from local communities participating in the project, including plumbers, electricians, sheet metal workers, plumbers, drivers, carpenters, laborers and security professionals.
“With our 17 years of experience in solar manufacturing, combined with the VSK team’s commitment to a clean energy future, we look forward to driving the solar industry forward and setting a new benchmark for innovation and efficiency in solar manufacturing in the United States.” said Gyanesh Chaudhary, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vikram Solar.
“The passage of the Anti-Inflation Act was a watershed moment for the future of clean energy in the United States,” said Sriram Das, co-chairman of VSK Energy and CEO of Das & Co. “The Biden administration and Congress have called for With immediate action and our VSK partnership, we will take a decisive step towards solar technology self-sufficiency, strengthen America’s energy security and promote large-scale solar energy adoption.
Dentons LLP represented Vikram Solar in setting up the VSK Energy JV, while McDermott Will & Emery represented Phalanx Impact Partners and Reed Smith represented Das & Co.
Based in Kolkata, India, Vikram Solar operates in 32 countries, has 1.42 GW of solar projects and employs nearly 2,000 people. The cumulative production capacity of the company’s solar modules is 3.5 GW.