Nordcell Plans 1.2 GW Module Plant In Sweden

Nordcell Plans 1.2 GW Module Plant In Sweden

Going against the grain of recent announcements of stress in the solar manufacturing sector in Europe, Swedish manufacturer Nordcell has shared plans to build a 1.2GW module manufacturing plant in northern Sweden, termed GIGA One.

Nordcell said it is evaluating sites for the facility and hoped to begin production as early as the first half of 2025.

Nordcell Group AB was founded  in the beginning of 2023 by a group of serial entrepreneurs from the EU solar industry. Giving reasons for the planned move, Vahid Toosi, Co-Founder at Nordcell was reported as saying that “The EU is estimated to install around one billion solar panels by 2030. Unless something changes, 97% of them will be non-European panels”.

Giving a clear insight on how it hopes to compete against cheaper Chinese and other imports, Nordcell has said that its planned factory would run completely on green energy, helping it overcome some of the potential disadvantages of higher operating costs in Europe versus China or South East Asia. Europe’s CBAM or Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, called the carbon tariff, is due to come into force in 2026.  Currently as well, Nordcell stresses on its ‘greener’ panels, thanks to lower carbon footprint involved in making them.

Beyond the green energy, the planned production facility will also have higher levels of automation, use of AI and the latest equipment, to ensure that module quality is top class.

While the plan sounds good, basic issues like the sourcing of cells for module production, or even the fact that CBAM is being challenged across global and other trade forums points to some obvious risks in the Nordcell strategy. It is obvious that for any region to truly seek a degree of manufacturing security, controlling the extended supply chain, from polysilicon to wafers to cells and finally modules, is important. Europe, while it has polysilicon production available, sorely lacks wafer and cell manufacturing at scale, although the capability certainly exists. It remains to be seen whether those plans move forward with the newest plan from Nordcell.

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Tony Cheu

Tony is a BSc who has shifted from a career in finance to journalism recently. Passionate about the energy transition, he is particularly keen on the moves being made in the OECD countries to contribute to the energy transition.