CubicPV, a solar energy technology company, plans to build a 10-GW-capacity wafer plant that it says would be the largest of its kind in the U.S. The company has not yet chosen a location.
The Bedford, Mass.-based manufacturer says it anticipates choosing a site in the first quarter of next year and beginning construction soon after. CubicPV says design is underway and a construction manager is on board. A company spokesperson declined to name members of the team or to disclose a cost. The company expects to complete construction in 2024 and have the plant “fully ramped up” in 2025.
The wafers are used for photovoltaic solar panel manufacturing. CubicPV is projecting a surge in demand for U.S.-produced wafers, which CEO Frank van Mierlo attributes to the Inflation Reduction Act, which extended tax incentives for U.S.-based solar component production.
“The U.S. is poised to become the world’s most competitive location to manufacture solar,” the CEO says in a statement.
CubicPV, has an investment from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, founded by Microsoft former CEO Bill Gates. It also announced it has raised $26 million in a Series B financing round led by Synergy Capital Investments LLC and SCG Cleanergy Co. Ltd.
The manufacturer plans to boost its research and development with the money. It says its Direct Wafer and perovskite technologies can create a more efficient solar module than traditional single junction technology based on silicon alone. CubicPV’s tandem technologies use layers of two light absorbers in one device.
The firm was created last year by the merger of silicon wafer maker 1366 Technologies Inc., founded by van Mierlo in 2008, and Dallas-based solar technology company Hunt Perovskite Technologies LLC.
CubicPV is not the only solar manufacturer moving to boost its U.S.-based production, since President Joe Biden signed the Act in August.
As ENR previously reported, First Solar announced plans to invest $1.1 billion in a photovoltaic solar module plant in Alabama; Enel said it would build a 3-GW photovoltaic cell and panel plant somewhere in the U.S.; and Mission Solar Energy said it would expand its San Antonio solar panel plant capacity by 1 GW over the next two years.