More Wafers Made in Europe

NorSun To Expand Norwegian Ingot & Wafer Capacity By 3 GW; Says Working On 5 GW US Plant

More Wafers Made in Europe

NorSun’s 1 GW Årdal fab in Vestland, Norway is to be expanded with financial aid coming from the EU. (Photo Credit: NorSun AS)

  • NorSun says it will use NOK 600 million EU Innovation Fund money to expand production capacity in Norway
  • It will expand the current 1 GW Årdal plant with another 3 GW, pending Norwegian support conditions
  • Spurred by the IRA, the company is also preparing to launch a 5 GW ingot and wafer plant in the US

The ‘only remaining significant Western’ solar ingot and wafer manufacturer NorSun will expand its current capacity in Norway by 3 GW after winning the European Commission’s NOK 600 million ($60.6 million) funding. NorSun says it is already working on a larger fab in the US, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

In a statement, the Norwegian wafer producer has announced it is ‘already in the process of technical and commercial preparation of a 5 GW plant for ingot and wafer production’ in the US. Earlier this year, South Korea’s Hanwha Solutions announced GW scale ingot and wafer production plans in the US (see Hanwha Solutions Planning 8.4 GW US Production Capacity).

NorSun’s 1 GW fab in Vestland’s Årdal in western Norway operates with 88 ingot pullers and wafering capacity from 16 diamond wire saws, using electricity from hydroelectric power. The 3 GW capacity means an expansion of the current facility in Årdal to produce more low-carbon products.

On winning the award, CEO Erik Løkke-Øwre said, “Norway can become the EU’s strategic upstream partner for the solar sector based on the significant process industry expertise in high-purity silicon, silicon ingots and wafers that we have in Norway.”

While NorSun has won the EU funding under the 3rd call for Innovation Fund for large scale projects, Løkke-Øwre added that the next challenge is to ‘clarify the Norwegian support conditions for an expansion so that NorSun can accept this award and not only develop Årdal, but continue growth also in other parts of the Norway’.

The manufacturer plans to conduct customer negotiations and a carry out a detailed technical preparation for the investment on which a decision is to be expected in Q1/2024. Terms of the EU award will be negotiated during H2/2023.

TaiyangNews has reached out to NorSun for details of its US project, but till the time of this story going online, we were yet to hear from them.

It would be interesting to know what production equipment they will use as today equipment for crystal growth and slicing has to be sourced from Chinese suppliers as there is no European company offering such products.

The latest EU Innovation Fund round for large scale projects also selected Midsummer to support its expansion plans for 200 MW thin-film solar cells and panels in Sweden (see New Thin Film Module Factory Planned In Europe). NorSun’s existing client Meyer Burger is also one among the 41 winners, as it aims to expand its European manufacturing capacity by 3.5 GW in Germany and probably in Spain with the help of the funding (see EU Innovation Fund Swiss Winner’s Growth Plans).

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

SENIOR NEWS EDITOR Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews, she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power. In the past 9 years that she has been associated with TaiyangNews, she has covered over thousands of stories, and analysis pieces on markets, technology, financials, and more on a daily basis. She also hosts TaiyangNews Conferences and Webinars. Prior to joining TaiyangNews, Anu reported on sustainability, management, and education for leading print dailies in India. [email protected]

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