NexWafe calls its solar wafers green since its patented technology skips several energy intensive steps to create these from inexpensive raw materials. Reliance Industries has evinced interest in the same. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: obm/Shutterstock.com)
- Reliance New Energy Solar plans to use NexWafe technology to build large scale wafer manufacturing facilities in India
- The Indian company has also committed €25 million for NexWafe’s Series C financing round
- Financing will enable the German producer to complete the commercial development of its solar PV products on prototype lines in Freiburg
Germany’s silicon solar wafer producer NexWafe GmbH has become one of the beneficiaries of one of Asia’s richest men’s solar ambitions. Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) of India has decided to bring NexWafe’s proprietary technology to the Asian nation with plans to build large-scale ‘green solar wafer’ manufacturing facilities.
The understanding under India Strategic Partnership Agreement signed between the duo will see RIL subsidiary Reliance New Energy Solar Limited (RNESL) use Fraunhofer ISE spin-off NexWafe’s monocrystalline silicon wafer production process.
The patented technology of NexWafe uses inexpensive raw materials and skips several energy intensive steps, going right from the gas phase to finished wafers using its in-line manufacturing process.
At the same time, RNESL has become a strategic lead investor in NexWafe’s €39 million Series C financing round with an investment of €25 million under phase I. Proceeds will be used by NexWafe to complete the commercial development of its solar PV products on prototype lines in Freiburg, while also accelerating its product and technology development.
“We believe NexWafe’s innovative ultra-thin wafer will give solar manufacturers a significant advantage over existing photovoltaic technologies, helping consumers in India and globally realize the benefits of solar energy more quickly and more efficiently,” said RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani.
Along with RNESL, other investors for NexWafe’s financing round include InnoEnergy, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Lynwood among others.
This is another big solar news from the Reliance group, coming just days after it acquired Norway based polysilicon and solar cell & module maker REC Group, while also picking up 40% stake in solar EPC company Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited (see India’s Mukesh Ambani Goes Solar Shopping).
RNESL is one of the bidders of Indian government’s Production Linked Incentive (PLI) tender proposing to set up manufacturing covering all 4 stages of PV manufacturing, right from polysilicon to modules (see IREDA’s PLI Scheme Attracts 55 GW In Bids).
For NexWafe, this financing comes soon after it completed a €10 million capital raise for further industrialization of its EpiNex solar wafer technology in February 2021 (see NexWafe Raises €10 Million For Production Activities).