From: Mercom India
Solar wafer manufacturer NexWafe GmbH has secured €30 million (~$32 million) from a group of investors, including Reliance New Energy, to accelerate the construction of its first commercial-scale green solar wafers production facility in Germany’s Bitterfeld.
In parallel, NexWafe will work with one of its other investors Aramco Ventures, on a green solar wafer production facility that will be built in Saudi Arabia with participation from the latter’s $1.5 billion Sustainability Fund.
NexWafe’s patented green solar wafers manufacturing simplifies polysilicon production and reduces energy use and production time, helping to cut production costs for n-type monocrystalline wafers.
The company’s wafers are engineered for parity with commercially available Czochralski wafers, NexWafe said.
In October 2021, the green energy arm of Reliance Industries announced an investment of €25 million (~$27 million) in NexWafe. Reliance had also stated that it plans to build a large-scale wafer manufacturing facility in India using NexWafe’s processes and technology.
In 2021, Reliance said it would invest ₹750 billion (~$10 billion) to build an integrated solar PV factory, advanced energy storage battery manufacturing unit, green hydrogen, and fuel cell facility in Gujarat’s Jamnagar.
NexWafe’s investors also include ATHOS Venture and former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Keshik Capital, led by his son Alex Turnbull.
The company uses in-line manufacturing to form an initial release layer and for epitaxial deposition of silicon in an atmospheric chemical vapor deposition process.
CEO of NexWafe Davor Sutija said, “This investment marks the start of NexWafe’s plan to raise substantially larger funds in the second half of 2023. The funds will be used to break ground on NexWafe’s first commercial facility to speed the renewable energy transition with more efficient, lower cost, green solar wafers for the world’s photovoltaic manufacturers.”
The company’s process also aligns with the efforts of the U.S. and the European Union to re-shore domestic solar wafer manufacturing and cell production by increasing supply chain sourcing diversity and resilience.