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REC Silicon, Violet building PV supply chain in Washington

October 13 (Renewables Now) – Norway-based REC Silicon ASA (STO:RECO) today announced it will partner with US photovoltaics (PV) maker Violet Energy Inc to create an integrated domestic solar manufacturing supply chain.

Violet Energy, doing business as Violet Power, is already building a solar cell and module plant co-located with REC’s existing Moses Lake facility in Washington. The initial cell production will begin sampling in the second quarter of 2021 with 500 MW of solar cells. Violet plans to reach a capacity of 1 GW by 2022 and expand that to 5 GW over the next five years.

As part of their partnership, REC and Violet will establish a silicon ingot and wafer solution for Violet Power’s immediate PV cell manufacturing requirements. Upon the restart of its Moses Lake plant, REC will be supplying its hyper-pure silicon feedstock materials.

“This partnership secures domestic supply chain self-reliance and is the springboard for tremendous new job creation,” said Desari Strader, founder of Violet Energy.

The fluidised bed reactor (FBR) polysilicon plant in Moses Lake was shut down in May 2019 as the US-China solar trade war limited access to markets in China and demand for REC’s solar-grade polysilicon fell.

REC Silicon today also revealed that Group14 Technologies, a company supplying global lithium-ion markets with silicon-carbon composite materials, will also co-locate a commercial production facility at the Moses Lake plant. This will allow easy integration with REC Silicon’s silane supply.

Construction is expected to start next year, with the plant reaching the capacity to deliver 12,000 tonnes of advanced silicon battery materials annually by 2023. By design, the facility will be carbon-neutral. It will be powered by hydroelectricity.

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