Hanwha Solutions Corp. has made a strategic investment in polysilicon manufacturer REC Silicon ASA in order to secure low-carbon photovoltaic materials.
Hanwha, which operates energy solution provider Q CELLS, is purchasing a 16.67% stake in REC Silicon for $160.47 million, becoming a co-leading shareholder of the polysilicon manufacturer with Aker Horizons, a Norway-headquartered investment firm focused on renewable energy.
The announcement will pave the way for the company to make further investments throughout the solar value chain in the U.S., which anticipates further significant policy support when the US Congress passes the Solar Energy Manufacturing Act (SEMA) before year’s end.
REC Silicon operates two polysilicon manufacturing facilities in the U.S., with an annual production capacity of 20,000 MT: 18,000 at Moses Lake, Wash., and 2,000 at Butte, Mont. Using hydropower-based clean energy, REC Silicon can produce low-cost polysilicon without emitting greenhouse gases.
This investment is intended as the next step in the creation of a comprehensive U.S. solar value chain, from production of polysilicon to fully assembled solar modules.
“Most U.S.-based polysilicon manufacturers have halted their production for solar-grade polysilicon, including REC Silicon at Moses Lake. Signing SEMA into law and leveraging smart trade and other federal policies will boost solar manufacturing in the United States,” says a Hanwha Solutions spokesperson. “Capitalizing on our expertise in polysilicon production, we will reopen the Moses Lake facility and jumpstart REC Silicon production in the U.S.”