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Silfab raises $125M for U.S. solar factory

Illustration of a map of the United States comprised of solar panels

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Solar components manufacturer Silfab Solar yesterday announced a $125 million investment to build a third U.S. solar factory.

Why it matters: The U.S. is rushing to expand its domestic renewables supply chain. Silfab's planned factory would roughly double its American manufacturing capacity.

Details: The $125 million comes from Calgary, Alberta-based private equity firm ARC Energy.

  • Co-investors include Manulife Financial Corporation, the Ontario Power Generation Pension Plan, CF Private Equity and BDC Capital’s Cleantech Practice.

Zoom in: Silfab expects to open the plant somewhere on the East Coast in 2024.

  • The plant will have initial annual cell production capacity of 1 GW and solar module assembly capacity of 1.2 GW.

State of play: The new site will bring Silfab's U.S. solar panel assembly capacity to about 2 GW, per Solar Power World.

  • The company is one of just a small handful that have fulfilled U.S. factory announcements in recent years.

Context: U.S. solar module production capacity amounted to about 11 GW last year.

  • The top U.S. module manufacturers by capacity are FirstSolar, Hanwha Qcells, and SPI Energy, Wood Mackenzie tells Axios.
  • Global capacity is about 500 GW, with a supply chain largely dominated by China.

Of note: The U.S. has no cell manufacturing capacity — meaning Silfab's factory would be one of the first.

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