Solar start-up to develop 3GW direct wafer factory in New York

7 October 2015 (Last Updated October 7th, 2015 18:30)

US-based start-up 1366 Technologies intends to develop a 3GW commercial solar wafer manufacturing facility in Genesee County, New York.

US-based start-up 1366 Technologies intends to develop a 3GW commercial solar wafer manufacturing facility in Genesee County, New York.

To be built at the Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP), the facility will initially have a production capacity of 250MW, which is expected to scale up to 3GW.

The new 130,000ft² plant will feature 400 direct wafer furnaces and produce more than 600 million high-performance silicon wafers a year; enough to power 360,000 households in the US.

Initial production will be at 50 million standard silicon wafers a year, and the unit is expected to create more than 1,000 new, full-time job opportunities, the company said.

"The technology is ready and 1366 is squarely positioned to lead in an industry undergoing rapid global growth."

1366 Technologies CEO Frank van Mierlo said: "From day one, we have taken a deliberate, highly measured path to scaling.

"The facility in Bedford, Massachusetts was our proving ground. New York brings us to commercial scale. The technology is ready and 1366 is squarely positioned to lead in an industry undergoing rapid global growth."

The firm aims to start developing the plant by the second quarter of 2016, with completion aimed for 2017.

Initial construction of the project will require an investment of around $100m.

Development will be carried out in multiple phases, and the project is likely to cost the firm around $700m, reports SeeNews Renewables.

1366 Technologies’ direct wafer technology is a transformative manufacturing process that can produce uniform, efficient silicon solar wafers at half the cost of standard methods.

"Our goal has always been two-fold: deliver solar at the cost of coal and manufacture, at scale, in the United States," van Mierlo added.