Meyer Burger abandons German solar cell factory plans to build a US factory instead

The Swiss solar maker is diverting production equipment from Germany to the US to build a new solar cell factory in Colorado instead.

The Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has struck yet again.

Last month, Meyer Burger warned the German government that it would invest in the US rather than expand in Germany because of generous IRA subsidies. The company’s original plan was for a 2 gigawatt (GW) per annum solar cell manufacturing expansion at its Thalheim factory in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany.

Now its pivot from Germany to the US is official.

CEO Gunter Erfurt said that Meyer Burger “would be pleased to lay the foundation for a transatlantic solar energy partnership and also expand our manufacturing in Germany and the European Union in the future.”

The company says it’s prioritizing the US over Germany because of “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.” It’s also getting a $300 million loan from the US Department of Energy. It continues:

With an initial targeted production of 2 gigawatts of solar cells and modules in the US, Meyer Burger is potentially eligible for tax credits of up to $1.4 billion from the start of production in 2024 until the end of 2032.

Meyer Burger will exclusively supply its own solar panel factory in Goodyear, Arizona, with solar cells in order to fully reap IRA benefits.

It wants its new Colorado Springs solar cell factory online by the fourth quarter of 2024, so it’s diverting production equipment originally intended for its Thalheim factory to Colorado.

The new factory will be in a former semiconductor factory (the mock-up is above), and it will have an initial capacity of 2 gigawatts (GW) of solar cells per year. The factory will create more than 350 direct jobs.

Meyer Burger has also stated that further US expansion is likely.

Read more: IKEA boosts gigascale output at an Arizona solar panel factory

Photo: Meyer Burger


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