Meyer Burger Receives Public Funding to Build Environmentally...
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Meyer Burger Receives Public Funding to Build Environmentally Friendly Solar Cell Production

By Energy CIO Insights | Friday, January 08, 2021

Investments by Meyer Burger are deemed highly creative and environmentally sustainable, allowing a potential grant value of EUR 15 million.

FREMONT, CA: The State of Saxony-Anhalt and the Federal Republic of Germany have pledged up to EUR 15 million in environmental protection assistance to develop solar cell heterojunction (HJT) in Thalheim (city of Bitterfeld-Wolfen). Besides, an expenditure grant of EUR 7.5 million was issued in the form of public financial assistance to develop the regional economic structure (GRW) for the assembly of the production plant in Thalheim (city of Bitterfeld-Wolfen).

Meyer Burger Technology issued the two affirmative updates of the grant at the end of 2020. Meyer Burger is a leading and internationally involved manufacturing company specializing in groundbreaking solar photovoltaic systems and development equipment. The specific expert analysis from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems is the foundation for the environmental protection aid's approval. The study confirms that the Heterojunction Technology (HJT) of Meyer Burger for solar cell processing has significant environmental advantages relative to traditional manufacturing processes. Investments by Meyer Burger are deemed highly creative and environmentally sustainable, allowing a potential grant value of EUR 15 million.

"We are pleased to receive this significant environmental aid. It proves that heterojunction technology is not only more efficient but also more environmentally friendly than conventional solar cell technologies," says Gunter Erfurt, CEO, Meyer Burger Technology.

An additional public expenditure grant (GRW) of EUR 7.5 million for constructing a new manufacturing plant in Bitterfeld-Wolfen could be issued by the end of 2023. A pre-requisite for the disbursement of grants is the assurance of the funding of the proposed project in the production site, which accounts for an annual capacity of 1,4 gigawatts (GW). Meyer Burger is confident to comply with the criteria. The cumulative value of EUR 22.5 million from the two grants can also be decreased under the state assistance regulations of the European Union if more public funding assistance is to be claimed. Contributions of this range have been predicted from Meyer Burger and are included in the existing business plan.

In the meantime, establishing the HJT production lines and the distribution department are going according to schedule. Production will begin in the second quarter of 2021 with 0.4 GW of solar cells and 0.4 GW of solar modules each year. The further conversion of solar cells into solar modules is taking place in Freiberg (Saxony). The manufacturing capacity of solar cells is to be extended to 1.4 GW as soon as possible, subject to adequate debt financing.

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