Canadian Solar Inc. has announced it plans to partner with the two French companies Photowatt, a module-making subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, and ECM Greentech, a company specializing in silicon crystallization equipment and processing.
According to Canadian Solar, the three companies intend to set up a joint venture (JV) specialized in low-carbon production of advanced technology silicon ingots and wafers in France. EDF Energies Nouvelles (through its Photowatt subsidiary), Canadian Solar, and ECM Greentech would own 60%, 30% and 10% of the equity in the JV, respectively.
Canadian Solar claims the JV partners are pioneers in high performance of casting mono technology, which gives the JV the potential to deliver the mono-crystalline silicon solar performance at the multi-crystalline cost. Meanwhile, the technology developed by the JV partners would contribute to one of the lowest-carbon footprints in manufacturing solar products, adds Canadian Solar, noting France is a leader in low-carbon ingot and wafer production.
“This cooperation is a win-win for each party involved. The French government’s ongoing annual solar energy program of 2,500 MWp tendering, together with EDF Group’s target of building 30 GWp of solar projects in France between 2020 and 2035 will create great opportunities for solar energy market there,” says Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar. “Canadian Solar has over 16 years of manufacturing experience in the solar industry and has deployed over 25 GW of solar modules around the world. This new carbon technology, coupled with high efficiency, will speed up the energy generation grid parity.”
The establishment of the JV is being reviewed and subject to the clearance by the relevant competition authorities. Canadian Solar did not disclose further details; however, Photowatt adds in its own announcement that the JV company would be branded “Photowatt Crystal Advanced.”