French vertically integrated solar module maker, Photowatt, a unit of EDF EN, announced it will increase its ingot and wafer production capacity from 50 MW to 500 MW.
Furthermore, the company has revealed it will expand its ingot and wafer business through a newly created company, which has developed a technology for the crystallization of silicon created by French solar energy research institute, INES.
The new company, Photowatt Crystal Advanced, will be 60% owned by Photowatt, 30% owned by Chinese-Canadian solar manufacturer, Canadian Solar, and 10% owned by ECM Greentech. As for its solar module capacity, which is currently of around 100 MW, the company has not made any new announcements.
All of the new and existing production will be located at the company’s factory in Bourgoin-Jailleu, in France’s province of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, and all of its 313 employees will be involved in a large requalification program.
All of the modules produced at the facility will be distributed in the French market for projects tendered by the government.
Increasing Photowatt’s production capacity, on the other hand, seems to be a natural consequence of the 30 GW plan announced by EDF in mid-December.
According to this plan, the French utility, which is still owned by 85% by the French government, will deploy this capacity exclusively in France, and it will add to projects currently under development in foreign markets.
EDF spokesperson, Clarisse Placidoux, said the solar plan is aligned with the government’s goal of rebalancing France’s energy mix through the expansion of renewable capacity across the country.
Overall, EDF expects to invest €25 billion to implement the “plan solaire,” said Placidoux, while the energy company will also work with industrial and financial partners.