German silicon wafer manufacturing company NexWafe announced it has established a U.S. subsidiary to evaluate the development of a multi-gigawatt-scale solar wafer production facility in the United States with a target annual production volume of 6 GW. This potential U.S. operation would leverage NexWafe’s EpiNex production technology that is being put in place at the company’s under-construction 250-MW facility in Bitterfeld, Germany.
NexWafe has appointed Jonathan Pickering, former president of JA Solar Americas, as VP of business development for North America to spearhead the U.S. operations search. The company is actively working on securing strategic partnerships, assessing potential manufacturing locations and the associated regional incentives, and securing offtake agreements for domestic wafer supply.
Currently, only Qcells is actively establishing solar wafer production within the United States at its under-construction manufacturing campus in Cartersville, Georgia.
“Multiple top-tier solar companies have committed to advanced PV cell and module manufacturing at a multi-gigawatt scale across the U.S. But now we see a significant bottleneck in the supply chain for a domestic source of silicon wafers,” Pickering said. “Our breakthrough EpiNex direct ‘gas-to-wafer’ manufacturing process targets this exact opportunity. We are developing a gigawatt-scale facility to manufacture high-performance, American-made, thin silicon wafers to serve our U.S. customers, and we can do so while achieving a 60% reduction in the carbon footprint compared to today’s technology.”