US CubicPV Halts Plan for 10GW Silicon Wafer Factory

PVTIME – US-based solar cell and module manufacturer CubicPV recently announced that it is abandoning its plan to build a massive 10GW silicon wafer factory in the US and is refocusing its business to produce tandem solar modules. CubicPV said the new project was abandoned due to market dynamics, including a dramatic drop in wafer prices and a rise in construction costs.

Factory rendering picture

The company’s CEO and solar industry veteran, Frank Van Mierlo, has also stepped down. Van Mierlo said: “Together with our board, we’ve concluded that the one thing that could truly make a difference in humanity’s fight against climate change and the US’s ability to realise a solar manufacturing renaissance is to invent a better panel. Moving forward, the Cubic team is fully dedicated to delivering this solution to the world. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and know there is more to come.”

This particular production site was imitated in December 2022, and was expected to fill a gap in the silicon solar value supply chain and meet the anticipated surge in demand for domestic wafer production after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). It also planned to accelerate research and development related to tandem module technology development. CubicPV had raised USD 26 million in a Series B funding round for this purpose. Over the course of 2023, the company received USD 103 million in equity funding to support the factory, announced an engineering partner, and most recently signed a USD 1 billion polysilicon supply agreement with South Korean manufacturer OCIM.

The company will now focus its business on developing and commercialising perovskite solar products. Of its work on perovskites, the company said: “CubicPV’s module-centric approach simultaneously addresses stability, reproducibility and efficiency and promises to solve the durability challenge that has slowed the commercialisation of perovskite material use in solar panels.”

REC Silicon, which produces polysilicon, is also closing a plant, citing high energy costs.

Scan the QR code to follow PVTIME official account on Wechat for latest news on PV+ES