- Meyer Burger is expanding its US module production capacity of Arizona fab to around 2 GW
- Approximately 25% increase in the US capacity will be served as glass-glass production to 2 companies through new offtake agreements
- It is also eyeing GW-scale cell and module capacity expansion in several European nations for which it is seeking funding from EU Innovation Fund
- As it moves to set up the uniform product platform for glass-glass modules, Meyer Burger has reduced annual production guidance for 2023 to 800 MW
Sale of 250 MW solar modules for CHF 125.0 million helped Meyer Burger improve its 2022 net sales by over 269% annually to CHF 147.2 million. Going forward it seeks to expand cell and module capacity at GW-scale in ‘several European countries’ while announcing plans to expand US fab’s annual capacity to 2 GW , up from earlier planned 1.6 GW.
The decision to host a heterojunction (HJT) solar module facility in Goodyear, Arizona, US was announced by Meyer Burger with an initial capacity of 400 MW, to be scaled up to 1.5, in January 2022 (see Meyer Burger Zeroes In On Arizona, US).
Now it plans to increase this glass-glass production by an additional 25% to approximately 2 GW, to be sold to 2 ‘renowned companies through newly concluded offtake agreements, starting in 2025 and over a period of several years’. Meyer Burger said structure of the new offtake agreements is closely based on the 1st US offtake agreement with DESRI for 1.5 GW (see 3.75 GW DESRI Order For Meyer Burger In US).
“Going beyond the precedent, the new agreements largely cover the financing of the investments in the new cell lines through corresponding upfront payments by the customers,” it added.
While this capacity expansion in the US is to be achieved through optimizing production, for its European expansion of solar cell and module capacity on a GW-scale Meyer Burger said it will need significant investments in new equipment. To support these plans, it has submitted an application seeking funding in 3-digit million range under the 3rd call of the EU Innovation Fund for which it is expecting a decision in summer 2023 (see €3 Billion For Innovative Clean Tech Projects In EU).
In 2022, Meyer Burger had a production volume of 321.1 MW as guided having rolled out 830,000 solar modules from its Freiberg fab. Its Bitterfeld-Wolfen facility is currently producing around 700,000 solar cells daily, a number that the management expects to exceed 1 million once the ramp up is fully complete.
Management has reported the company’s EBITDA loss for 2022 to have come down to CHF -34.6 million, down from CHF -72.5 million in 2021. EBIT loss too narrowed down to CHF -53.6 million compared to CHF -85.3 million a year back.
It counts Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Italy as the company’s strongest markets as it is expanding to Australia and the UK in 2023. The number of wholesale suppliers the company has tied up with globally is around 50.
Meyer Burger has also set up a uniform product platform for its solar modules to include high performance glass-glass modules through which it targets to achieve premium prices in the long-term. This platform, it says, can be combined with future cell technologies as IBC-HJT and HJT-perovskite tandem which ‘secures future development steps on Meyer Burger’s innovation roadmap’.
This platform will enable it to eliminate downtime and costly logistical issues caused by product diversity. Hence, the company said it will now target to produce around 800 MW in 2023, down from 1.0 GW to 1.2 GW it was targeting earlier (see Meyer Burger Achieves Revised 2022 Module Production Guidance).