Swiss solar equipment maker and panel manufacturer Meyer Burger has signed a binding agreement with developer D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) to supply at least 3.75GW of solar modules for large-scale solar projects in the US.
The panels are planned to be manufactured at the company’s factory in Goodyear, Arizona, with delivery foreseen between 2024 and 2029.
DESRI has the right to increase the volume to 5GW, as well as to extend the contract beyond the 5-year period.
“Meyer Burger will produce modules engineered in Switzerland and Germany and manufactured in the US, supplying DESRI’s projects with a high-quality product and secure, transparent supply chains,” said DESRI executive chairman Bryan Martin.
Meyer Burger is currently building up gigascale manufacturing facilities in both Germany and the US, which both are striving to reshore solar panel making to become less dependent on imports from China and other Asian nations while massively boosting their solar power generation capacities.
The company stressed that the solar tax credit included in the Inflation Reduction Act signed this week by US President Joe Biden will provide significant financial support for the manufacturing of components along the solar value chain in the US.
DESRI will make a ‘substantial annual down payment’ to Meyer Burger to procure and finance materials for production, but no details were revealed about its exact size.
The Swiss company amid its rapid expansion is still in the red, and has reported a first half 2022 net loss of 41.0m ($43m) Swiss francs, compared to a net loss of CHF37.2m a year earlier.
“With this agreement, Meyer Burger demonstrates that our high-performance heterojunction/SmartWire technology is also ideally applicable in the solar power plant segment,” Meyer Burger chairman Franz Richter said.
“We are looking forward to expanding the partnership with DESRI in the long term.”
Meyer Burger claims its HTJ/SmartWire solar modules have a 20% higher energy yield than standard products. SmartWire is an interconnection technology for cells.
The manufacturer in order to meet the high demand for rooftop modules and also serve the supply agreement with DESRI plans to expand its production capacities ahead of schedule to 3GW by mid-2024.
The company in particular is planning to expand its panel manufacturing capacity in Arizona to 1GW per year for utility modules, as well as half a gigawatt for the US rooftop segment. Meyer Burger also plans to boost its solar cell output capacity at the Thalheim site in Eastern Germany to 3GW.