Evergreen Solar Breaks Ground on EverQ Plant in Germany

August 01, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Evergreen Solar Inc. (Marlboro, MA), a developer of photovoltaic (PV) products, celebrated the groundbreaking of its 30 MW solar wafer, cell, and module manufacturing plant in Thalheim, Germany. The plant is being constructed by EverQ, a recently formed strategic partnership between Evergreen Solar and crystalline silicon solar cells manufacturer Q-Cells AG (Thalheim, Germany). The German government is providing EverQ with grants totaling approximately $34 million at current exchange rates to offset the manufacturing facility construction costs. The cost of the 30 MW factory is expected to be $75 million.

At 30 MW, the plant is expected to create between 350 and 400 new jobs in Thalheim. Based on the initial success of the facility, Evergreen Solar and Q-Cells will evaluate the possibility of expanding the facility from 30 MW up to 120 MW of capacity.

"This groundbreaking is a significant milestone for our strategic partnership," said Evergreen Solar President and CEO Richard Feldt. "Having successfully completed the design and engineering phase, we can now commence construction on EverQ's state-of-the-art facility. We also are pleased to announce that we recently secured contracts for our anticipated silicon needs for both Evergreen and EverQ for the next 18 months. We look forward to commencing production at EverQ during the second quarter of 2006."

Q-Cells founder and CEO Anton Milner stated, "The EverQ facility combines the promise and know-how of our two companies - merging Evergreen Solar's proven String Ribbon wafer technology with our highly efficient cell technology. The cooperation between our organizations is proving to be excellent, and our construction timelines for the plant remain on schedule. Just last week EverQ started to produce its first test wafers in Thalheim."