SPI Energy says it will establish a new heterojunction solar cell factory in the United States. Its manufacturing plans in the country now include modules, wafers and cells.
Solar4America, a wholly owned subsidiary of SPI Energy, plans to begin manufacturing N-type heterojunction (HJT) solar cells in the United States.
This follows the company’s announcement in January of increasing solar module production to 2.4 GW at its Sacramento, California facility. Although the US anti-inflation law has so far encouraged many module manufacturers to start production in the US, manufacturing of cells and wafers has not yet started.
“The production of HJT solar cells is in line with our commitment to provide cutting-edge renewable energy technology while reducing our global carbon footprint,” said Denton Peng, Chairman and CEO of SPI Energy.
HJT uses N-type monocrystalline silicon as a substrate and applies silicon-based thin films with unique properties and transparent conductive films on the front and back surfaces. By combining the advantages of crystalline silicon and amorphous silicon thin-film technologies, the company reports that HJT technology offers superior photo absorption, passivation effects, and exceptional efficiency and performance. The main advantages of HJT solar cells are improved conversion efficiency, superior energy yield, lower degradation rate, improved low-light performance, and it is adaptable to thinner wafers.
Solar4America plans to start manufacturing HJT solar cells in the US by the end of 2024. This announcement complements the company’s production plans, which include not only cells but also the production of wafers.
Last year, SPI Energy registered its US solar wafer manufacturing business, SEM Wafertech, to manufacture wafers starting this year with an initial capacity of 1.5 GW. There are plans to expand production capacity to 3 GW in 2024. Meanwhile, SPI Energy hired Franz Feuerherdt as director of sales and marketing to lead the Solar4America module manufacturing business. Feuerherdt joined Solar4America from Mission Solar Energy and held previous roles at Flex and SolarWorld.
Founded in 2006, SPI Energy is located in McClellan Park, California. It went public in January 2016 and its electric vehicle subsidiary Phoenix Motorcars went public in January 2022, with the companies trading on the Nasdaq.