Solar Startup Greenland Plans 5 GW PV Mfg Plant in Spain

Spanish startup Greenland is partnering with Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and Bosch Rexroth to set up a 5GW vertically integrated solar module factory in Spain, which will be built and operated in the free trade zone of the port of Seville in Andalusia.

Fraunhofer ISE, the research institute, will contribute in the capacity of an advisor, supervising factory planning and joint development of advanced cell technologies, as well as providing technical support. “To ensure the necessary international competitiveness in this highly competitive market environment, state-of-the-art production technology will be used, fully connected, in the spirit of Industry 4.0,” said the Institute, noting that Greenland would initially use p-Type mono Passivated Emitter Rear Cell (PERC) technology. Jochen Rentsch, department head in the area of ​​photovoltaic production technologies, added that the institute is pleased to be Greenland’s chosen partner for the selection of the start-up technology.

On the other hand, Engineering company Bosch Rexroth, a subsidiary of the German industrial conglomerate Robert Bosch, has been tasked with planning and designing the factory with the latest 4.0 production technologies. Thomas Fechner, head of the New Business Products Division at Bosch Rexroth, said, “Together with Greenland and the Fraunhofer ISE, we are creating in Seville a highly innovative factory of the future, fully flexible and fully connected to the grid, for the promising market for solar cells in Europe.”

Planning to rely on the most modern technology, Greenland wants to manufacture mono-crystalline silicon wafers in the M10 format for Passivated Emitter and Rear (PERC) solar cells, which would then be built into multi-busbar interconnected half or triple cell modules with at least 540 W of power.

The project follows the results of a 2019 Fraunhofer ISE study commissioned by German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) to evaluate the competitiveness of the European PV manufacturing industry, which suggested that building the key components (wafer, cell, module) in-house with a scale of at least 5GW would compete competitively in the European market with Asia-based manufacturers. Asia-based basically a polite way of saying China.  the move to ‘Make in Europe’ also seeks to wrest back some marketshare from the Chinese manufacturers, in a market where European manufacturers have almost become redundant.

The 5 GW scale will definitely help, even as details on financing and possible support in the form of tax incentives and more from Spain are awaited.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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