REC Group’s French Heterojunction Factory Plans ‘On Hold’

Another Setback For European Solar Manufacturing; After Maxeon Shuttered French Module Fab, Norway’s REC Group Puts Its 4 GW HJT Factory Plans In France On Hold

REC Group’s French Heterojunction Factory Plans ‘On Hold’

In 2020, when REC initially announced the French module fab plans, it expected to invest €681 million on phase I leading to €1 billion investment by the end of phase II. Now the project has been put on hold. (Source: REC Solar Holdings AS)

  • REC Group will not be going ahead with its planned 4 GW HJT solar module fab in France
  • The project has been put on hold owing to various changes in market conditions, the company maintains
  • It was originally proposed to be realized in 2 phases in France’s Hambach of Moselle region

Norway based solar module producer REC Group has decided to put its plans to realize a heterojunction (HJT) solar panel factory with 4 GW cumulative annual capacity in France ‘on hold due to various changes in market conditions’.

A company spokesperson confirmed to TaiyangNews the latest development without sharing any more details.

Here’s a recap so far. REC had announced plans to build a 2 GW HJT solar module fab through a project company called REC Innovation at Sarreguemines Enterprise (RISE), along with French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and REC Solar France. Its annual capacity was to increase to 4 GW in phase II in France’s Hambach of Moselle region.

The project was one of the winners of the European Commission’s 2nd Innovation Round in July 2022 (see REC Group’s French Plans Win EU Funding). Now the project has been put on hold, even as REC’s parent India’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is building solar module Gigafactory in India with 10 GW cell and module capacity to come online by 2024, to be scaled up to 20 GW by 2026 (see Indian Billionaire Wants 4 New Energy Gigafactories).

This is the 2nd unfortunate development for European solar manufacturing in Europe in recent times, from France again, as Singapore based Maxeon Solar Technologies in October 2022 confirmed plans to shutter its 44 MW French module fab. It cited continued challenging price environment, increased cost and importation taxes on raw materials for the move (see Maxeon Solar’s French Production Line Discontinued).

The announcement should come as a blow to the European Commission, which plans to launch its Europan Solar Industry Strategy in this same week, on Dec. 9 in Brussels, where we wants to publish a plan to support solar manufacturing in the EU (see Kick-Off for EU Solar Photovoltaic Industry Alliance). Recently, several European companies have re-focussed to the US for their expansion plans to the US, which, unlike Europe, offers very high incentives to set up manufacturing there; and one of the Europe Union’s rays of hope to re-establish cell manufacturing in the region – Enel from Italy – now targets up to 6 GW manufacturing capacity in the U’S (see More Europeans Heading To US For Solar Manufacturing).

 

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power.

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