Meyer Burger Technology AGan industrial manufacturer of solar cells and modules headquartered in Switzerland is opening a high-performance solar cell manufacturing facility in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The new facility, with an initial capacity of 2 GW per year, will exclusively supply Meyer Burger’s solar module production in Goodyear, Ariz., to support the North American market.
The company is converting a former semiconductor factory into a solar energy production facility and has entered into a long-term lease agreement. Production is planned to start in the last quarter of 2024 and will directly create more than 350 jobs. The investment is supported by a tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act and related measures, as well as support from the State of Colorado and the City of Colorado Springs.
By expanding its strategy to “Made in USA” solar cells, Meyer Burger is responding to market demands resulting from new regulations in the United States: the US Department of the Treasury recently published guidelines on the classification of domestic content. These regulations allow for an additional 10% bonus investment tax credit (ITC) for US solar projects.
“Meyer Burger strongly believes that domestically manufactured solar cells add value to our customers both in terms of using best-in-class high-performance ‘Made in USA’ solar products, as well as in obtaining additional tax credits,” says Gunter Erfurt, CEO of Meyer Burger.
Meyer Burger is initially slated to produce 2 GW of solar cells and modules in the U.S. and is potentially eligible for up to $1.4 billion in tax credits from the start of production in 2024 through the end of 2032.
As part of Meyer Burger’s decision to locate the solar plant in the United States, Meyer Burger will receive a substantial financing package in addition to the IRA tax incentives: the city of Colorado Springs and the state of Colorado will support the plant with nearly $90 million, primarily in the form of tax credits, direct subsidies, and reduced electricity and water rates. In addition, advance payments from module purchasing partners and a US Department of Energy (DoE) loan of more than $300 million are also expected to help finance Meyer Burger’s growth in the US.
Accelerated manufacturing time in the US is possible by diverting production equipment for the originally announced 2 GW solar cell expansion to the Thalheim plant in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany. This equipment will be installed at the Colorado Springs facility to meet the cell factory’s planned completion date of 2024.