REC Silicon’s Moses Lake plant officially plans to reopen at end of 2023

REC Silicon announced in its first quarter results call that plans are in the works to restart production at its Moses Lake, Washington facility.

The Moses Lake Manufacturing Factory

“We expect to begin production in Q4 2023 and reach full capacity by 2024,” said James A. May II, CEO of REC Silicon. “The production restart is a direct result of Hanwha’s commitment to REC Silicon.”

Hanwha Solutions has invested more than $200 million to become REC Silicon’s largest shareholder to support the build-out of a US solar supply chain. Hanwha’s solar module division, Qcells, also announced it would open a second module assembly plant in Georgia, bringing module production capacity to 3.1 GW.

REC Silicon operates two polysilicon manufacturing facilities in the United States, with an annual production capacity of 20,000 tons: 18,000 in Moses Lake, Washington, and 2,000 in Butte, Montana. Using hydropower-based clean energy, REC Silicon can produce polysilicon cheaply without emitting greenhouse gases.

The Moses Lake facility has been inactive in recent years as it has been priced out of the Chinese market and there are currently no solar cell manufacturers in the United States.

polysilicon

Learn more about the battle for polysilicon and solar energy production between the United States and China here.

“We are currently discussing the supply of polysilicon to Hanwha Solutions and to Hanwha Corporation for silane gas. These arrangements would allow REC Silicon to focus on manufacturing excellence and to enhance market solutions through product development,” May said.

Hanwha is also expanding its solar cell manufacturing footprint in South Korea. The company would source REC Silicon polysilicon from the United States, manufacture solar cells in Korea, and then use those cells for final assembly of solar panels in Georgia, eliminating the need for Chinese and Southeast Asian materials.

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