REC Silicon and new U.S. solar cell company Violet Power end partnership before it even begins

In a press releaseNorwegian silicon material producer REC Silicon said that the strategic partnership between REC and Violet Power, a solar cell start-up company, announced last year, has ended.

REC, which has a dormant silicon manufacturing facility in Moses Lake, Washington, would supply polysilicon to the new US solar cell and panel manufacturing company Violet Power, which was setting up a 1 GW manufacturing facility across the street from REC. Local news agencies have since reported that Violet Power decided to build a brand new factory, still in Moses Lake, but not near REC.

In the press release, REC states that due to positive political momentum, there is now a better opportunity for localized value chains, and “REC believes it will deliver greater positive results for its shareholders to engage commercially with established, proven, active and relevant solar energy supply. . chain partners to optimize market opportunities for competitive, low-carbon locally produced solar panels. “

REC closed its Washington silicon plant in 2018 due to the ongoing trade dispute between China and the United States, which had essentially restricted REC’s access to the critical Chinese silicon market since 2014. again, and it would rather partner with established solar companies – not Violet Power.

Violet Power founder Desari Strader said Columbia Basin Herald that her company was the one to terminate the REC partnership because REC was unreliable as it still did not produce polysilicon at the Moses Lake facility. Violet Power continues to be invested in the local community and will continue to establish its factory there.

When Solar Power World Speaking to Violet Power CEO Charlie Gay in October 2020, he said the plan was to have 500 MW of crystalline silicon solar cell production capacity by the second quarter of 2021 and an additional 500 MW of full panel production by the end of 2021. The plan was to eventually scale up to 5 GW production and 1,000 production workers. Without a completed plant, those milestones are unlikely to be reached in 2021.

REC Silicon, meanwhile, is a founding member of the Ultra Low Carbon Solar Alliance, a group dedicated to improving the sustainability of solar power production by enabling market forces to drive industrial decarbonization in the industry. Including REC, the Ultra Low Carbon Solar Alliance is made up of First Solar, Q CELLS and other silicon producers.

Story updated 04/06/2021 with a more accurate description of the Ultra Low Carbon Solar Alliance.

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