From pv magazine Global
Switzerland’s Meyer Burger Technology has announced that it is preparing to shut down its solar module manufacturing facilities in Germany.
“With a deteriorating market environment in Europe, continuing with full-scale European solar manufacturing is not sustainable for the time being,” the company said in a statement. “Part of the plan would unfortunately be the closure of one of Europe’s largest operational solar module production sites in Freiberg, Germany, as early as beginning of April 2024, affecting approximately 500 people.”
The company said that it will make a final decision by the end of February, leaving the door open to rethink its plan if “sufficient measures to create a level playing field in Europe, such as a resilience-reward scheme,” are put into place.
Meyer Burger said that cell production at its factory in Talheim, Germany, will support module production at its 2 GW factory currently under construction in the United States.
“The R&D sites in Switzerland and Germany would not be affected by these measures and continue to develop and produce technology and equipment to support Meyer Burger’s business outside Europe,” it said.
“In the US, we can take full advantage of our leading technology position, resulting in substantial interest by partners and supported by favorable industry policies,” said Meyer Burger CEO Gunter Erfurt. “The expansion of the US business is currently proceeding as planned with the ramp-up of our solar module production site in Goodyear, expected to start in the second quarter of 2024.”
By combining US module and cell manufacturing, Meyer Burger will benefit from the Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit 45X system, which is a component of the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
Prior to this announcement, Meyer Burger was targeting about 3 GW of new annual production capacity in Germany by the end of 2024, including 1.4 GW of module production capacity in Freiberg. It also currently plans to build a 3.5 GW solar cell and module factory at an unspecified location in Spain.
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