Meyer Burger Technology AG announced that the company will open a high performance solar cell manufacturing facility in Colorado Springs, CO. With an initial capacity of 2 gigawatts of solar cells per year, the new plant will exclusively supply Meyer Burger's solar module production in Goodyear, AZ, supporting the North American market. For the fastest possible market entry, the company has selected a former semiconductor fabrication plant and entered into a long-term lease agreement at regional market conditions. Production is planned to start in the fourth quarter of 2024 and will create more than 350 direct jobs. The investment is supported by a tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act and related measures, as well as support from the State of Colorado and the City of Colorado Springs.
By expanding its strategy to "Made in USA" solar cells, Meyer Burger is responding to market requirements resulting from new regulations in the United States: Recently, the U.S. Treasury Department announced guidelines for the qualification of domestic content. These regulations allow an additional 10 percent bonus investment tax credit (ITC) for US solar projects.
“Meyer Burger strongly believes that domestically manufactured solar cells will bring additional value to our customers, both in relation to using best-in-class high performance solar products ‘Made in USA’ and in terms of qualifying for additional tax credits,”
says Gunter Erfurt, CEO of Meyer Burger. With an initial targeted production of 2 gigawatts of solar cells and modules in the U.S., Meyer Burger is potentially eligible for tax credits of up to USD 1.4 billion from the start of production in 2024 until the end of 2032.
As part of Meyer Burger’s decision to locate the solar cell facility in the U.S., Meyer Burger receives a substantial financial package beyond the IRA tax incentives: The City of Colorado Springs and the State of Colorado are supporting the facility with almost USD 90 million, mainly in the form of tax credits, direct support, and discounted electricity and water rates. In addition, prepayments from module off-take partners and a loan from the US Department of Energy (DoE) of more than USD 300 million are also anticipated to contribute to financing of Meyer Burger’s growth in the United States.
"Our presence in the U.S. will enable us to reach existing and future customers more quickly. I would like to sincerely thank our partners in the Biden administration and in Colorado as well as our offtake partners DESRI, Ingka and BayWa for their support in in expanding our US activities. Meyer Burger is currently working on additional multi-gigawatt offtake agreements in the US with new customers. We are already exploring opportunities to add further solar cell and module production capacity in the country”.
The accelerated manufacturing schedule in the U.S. is made possible by redirecting production equipment originally intended for the previously announced 2-gigawatt solar cell expansion at the Thalheim site in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany. This equipment will be installed at Colorado Springs facility in order to meet the planned completion date for the cell factory in 2024.
A multi-gigawatt expansion in Thalheim is planned at a later stage as part of Meyer Burger’s successful application for the EU Innovation Fund. Favorable market conditions by ensuring a fair level playing field for European solar manufacturers through continued industry and market policy support in the EU are a prerequisite for such investments.
“Meyer Burger is a driving force for the expansion of solar energy in the U.S. as well as in Germany and Europe. We would be pleased to lay the foundation for a transatlantic solar energy partnership and also expand our manufacturing in Germany and the European Union in the future.”
In Germany, the company will therefore participate in the German government´s recent call of interest for a renaissance of the PV industry.