North American solar module manufacturer Silfab Solar said it has raised $125 million to fund a new cell and module manufacturing plant in the U.S.
The facility would be Silfab’s third to open in the U.S. The company anticipates that the plant will be fully operational in 2024 with an initial annual capability of 1 GW cell production and an additional 1.2 GW of PV solar module assembly.
“Domestic production of solar cells represents a strategic effort to further manage our supply chain and to apply our technical prowess from the ground up for a comprehensive manufacturing process,” Silfab CEO Paolo Maccario said in a statement.
Silfab said it would share additional details, including the facility location, at a later date. It said the plant would support 800 jobs.
The fundraising round was led by ARC Financial Corp., and was the private equity firm’s second investment in Silfab since 2021. The investment from ARC’s Energy Fund 9 includes co-investments by Manulife Financial Corp., Ontario Power Generation Inc. Pension Plan, CF Private Equity, and BDC Capital’s Cleantech Practice.
Cell production is often overlooked, yet is a crucially important component of the solar value chain.
While manufacturers have issued a flurry of announcements to scale up module assembly capacity in the U.S. in response to incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, domestic cell production greatly lags demand.
The majority — 79% — of solar cell production occurs in China, according to the Ultra Low Carbon Solar Alliance.
“I am really pleased to see the ‘missing middle’ of the PV supply chain – wafers and cells – building out,” Michael Parr, executive director of the Ultra Low Carbon Solar Alliance, said on LinkedIn in response to Silfab’s announcement.