Within 6 months of announcing a strategic partnership with solar cell start-up Violet Power in the US that’s stated to be located at Moses Lake, Washington state where REC Silicon has its polysilicon manufacturing fab (in the picture), the silicon manufacturer said is now out of it. (Photo Credit: REC Silicon ASA)
- REC Silicon has called off its strategic partnership with Violet Power that the 2 announced in October 2020
- It believes it stands to benefit from collaborating commercially with established, proven, active and relevant solar supply chain partners
- The management is confident of positive political environment, especially in the US and Europe to be supportive of diversification of solar supply chain and development of localized solar manufacturing
Norwegian polysilicon supplier with production capacities in the US, REC Silicon ASA has terminated its strategic partnership with upcoming solar manufacturing company Violet Energy, Inc., doing business as Violet Power. The 2 announced a partnership in October 2020 with Violet Power agreeing to be the local buyer for its US manufactured polysilicon, and their attempt to create local integrated domestic solar manufacturing supply chain (see REC Silicon & Violet Energy Announce Partnership).
In a statement issued to announce the development, REC Silicon pointed at the ‘positive momentum in the political environment’, especially in the US and Europe, to state that plans to collaborate commercially with ‘established, proven, active and relevant solar supply chain partners’. It will enable it to optimize the market opportunity for competitive, low-carbon locally produced solar panels.
The management sees increasing support for diversification of the solar supply chain and development of localized solar manufacturing. In the near term, it also anticipates additional policy support for alternative supply chains and sustainably made solar materials and lower carbon solar panels.
Recently, US President Joe Biden released a $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan with massive support to clean energy while proposing to extend Investment Tax Credit for 10 years (see US President Proposes 10-Year Extension For ITC).
The Vice President Business Development of REC Silicon, Francine Sullivan shared that his company is also working with companies within the Ultra Low Carbon Solar Alliance to realize growing opportunities for a sustainable solar supply chain.
REC Silicon’s polysilicon production fab at Moses Lake in the US has been shut for quite some time now as its access to polysilicon clients, mainly located in China, remains dependent on US-China trade relations to improve. The deal with Violet Power whose manufacturing operations are to be located in Moses Lake, was seen as an opportunity for the company to restart its fab with a strong domestic buyer.
In its annual report for 2020, REC Silicon said before the end of 2021, it expects to make a decision to restart production at the Moses Lake facility, ‘which will depend upon progress to develop a non-Chinese Solar PV value chain, the reopening of polysilicon markets in China, and/or the development of a co-located silicon anode battery materials plant’.
Violet Power, headed by President and Founder Desari Strader and CEO Charlie Gay, has aims to develop 5 GW integrated crystalline silicon solar module manufacturing capacity in the US, starting with 500 MW back contact high-efficiency solar cell capacity annually from 2021. It promises to offer 50-year warranty on solar modules (see 5 GW Solar PV Manufacturing Ambition In US). Violet CEO Charlie Gay presented details on the company’s IBC cell & module technology during the TaiyangNews High Efficiency Solar Conference; the recording is available here).