Having efficiently accomplished its transition from a photo voltaic gear supplier to a heterojunction cell and module producer, Meyer Burger is trying to construct on a serious provide deal final month as it really works to ramp up manufacturing capability within the US.
The Switzerland-headquartered firm signed an settlement with D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) to produce at the very least 3.75GW of photo voltaic modules for the US unbiased energy producer’s large-scale initiatives.
Because of be manufactured at Meyer Burger’s Goodyear facility within the US state of Arizona, the modules will likely be delivered between 2024 and 2029. DESRI has a primary proper of refusal to extend the contract amount to 5GW in addition to to enter right into a contract extension past the five-year time period.
The deal, Meyer Burger’s largest provide settlement up to now, was signed lower than one 12 months after the corporate introduced plans to arrange a module manufacturing plant within the US.
Gunter Erfurt, CEO at Meyer Burger, tells PV Tech the settlement is “a really exceptional milestone” because it permits the corporate to enter the high-growth utility-scale photo voltaic phase with “one of the famend renewable power gamers within the US”.
He says: “They’ve been round for a very long time and are very skilled, they perceive expertise, they perceive the enterprise and we imagine that’s an ideal associate to start out with.”
Because it builds its manufacturing footprint within the US, Meyer Burger is ready to be boosted by provisions included within the lately handed Inflation Discount Act (IRA), which contains a US$0.07/Wdc manufacturing tax credit score for the manufacturing of PV modules.
Erfurt explains that when the corporate began negotiations with DESRI there was no IRA, which means the producer was working below a pure enterprise assumption that it might present US-made utility-scale modules. “However after all, the Inflation Discount Act is making issues even a bit extra helpful, and likewise nice for long-term planning,” he says.
When evaluating IRA manufacturing tax credit for photo voltaic wafers, cells and modules, Erfurt says that help for module manufacturing is probably the most helpful.
Meyer Burger opened its cell and module factories in Germany final 12 months, with each beginning manufacturing with annual capacities of 400MW.
On account of the DESRI deal in addition to excessive demand for rooftop photo voltaic modules, the corporate’s manufacturing capacities will likely be expanded forward of schedule. Cell manufacturing capability in Germany will enhance to 3GW by the top of 2024, when the agency’s module manufacturing within the nation will likely be 1.5GW.
The Arizona facility, in the meantime, is scheduled to achieve 1.5GW of module manufacturing in 2024, with 1GW for the utility-scale phase and 0.5GW for rooftop methods.
As a part of a revised financing plan, Meyer Burger is considering a possible CHF250 million (US$255 million) capital enhance to be launched within the coming months to fund the accelerated capability leap.
Erfurt says the module manufacturing phase break up, with 2GW for residential and 1GW for utility, is “one thing we imagine could be very wholesome. It shouldn’t flip an excessive amount of to the opposite facet, of getting the deal with utility particularly when the residential phase continues rising globally.”
He provides: “Might we signal extra offers for utility? I’d say so, however we’re rigorously assessing how we all the time maintain an excellent steadiness between residential and utility.”
In its half-year report, revealed final month, Meyer Burger mentioned it’s trying to promote modules for utility-scale photo voltaic functions as an necessary further pillar of its enterprise, with offtake agreements being explored with events in each the US and Europe.
The corporate manufactured about 110MW of modules within the first half of the 12 months and is anticipating an additional 210 – 260MW in H2. Its residential modules are at the moment offered throughout Europe in addition to within the US, Australia and South Africa.
Erfurt says the largest problem for Meyer Burger is that market demand exceeds the accessible manufacturing quantity, including: “We’re at the moment in allocation mode, so we’re allocating our accessible manufacturing volumes to our prospects. We don’t, in the intervening time, actually onboard further prospects past the relationships now we have established.”
The corporate mentioned within the H1 report that regardless of larger common gross sales costs than initially deliberate, demand for its residential modules has remained robust, because it allocates manufacturing volumes for Q2 2023 amongst its prospects.
Consolidated revenues for the primary half of 2022 elevated 215% year-on-year to CHF56.7 million, with Meyer Burger claiming the outcomes show its means to promote at premium costs and to cross on current supplies price will increase to its prospects.
Questioned on the affect of hovering polysilicon costs, Erfurt says: “All of us would have anticipated that the elevated enter prices would in the end attain a degree that might mainly have an effect on the market demand. It by no means occurred; the alternative occurred.”
He provides: “Photo voltaic power stays the most affordable supply of electrical energy, no matter whether or not or not the module is dearer than it was.”