Drawn by green subsidies, solar cell giant expands US production

One of Europe’s biggest solar cell manufacturers Meyer Burger said Wednesday it was expanding its production capacity in the United States, which has offered billions in subsidies for green investments under the Inflation Reduction Act.

The partnership along with German group BayWa r.e. will beef up capacity in Meyer Burger’s Arizona production facility from 1.6 gigawatts to two gigawatts, and create over 500 skilled manufacturing jobs.

The announcement is expected to spark anguish in Germany, which along with other EU partners, fears that the IRA could lure investments away from the bloc.

It also came a day after reports that Meyer Burger wrote to German Finance Minister Christian Lindner to warn that it would invest in the United States rather than expand its manufacturing sites in Germany, because of the IRA subsidies.

In its joint statement with BayWa r.e., Meyer Burger referred explicitly to the act.

“Following the recent passing of the Inflation Reduction Act in the US, this collaborative effort aims to drive ongoing domestic manufacturing, generate local jobs, and foster a sustainable solar industry,” they said.

Under the deal, BayWa r.e agreed to procure 1.25 gigawatt of modules over five years from Meyer Burger’s Goodyear site.

Meyer Burger currently has several plants in Germany, including in Thalheim and Freiberg. In a corporate presentation in May, it had underlined plans to expand Goodyear and Thalheim’s capacities. — Agence France-Presse