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Bill Gates-Backed Startup CubicPV Plans US Factory for Solar Parts

(Bloomberg) —

CubicPV Inc. plans to open a US factory for making a key component of solar panels, saying recently passed climate legislation could lead to a renaissance in domestic manufacturing.

Backed by Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures, CubicPV makes monocrystalline silicon wafers, the first building block of a solar cell that conducts energy. The company plans to finalize site selection for the plant in the first quarter of 2023 and complete construction the following year, with full production expected in 2025, according to a statement Thursday. The plant would create 1,500 jobs. 

China now dominates the production of silicon wafers, and CubicPV’s 10 gigawatt plant would be the first of its size in the US, according to the statement. President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, passed earlier this year, focused on providing incentives for domestic production of clean-energy technologies.

“The IRA represents a titanic shift in the global solar landscape, and the US is poised to become the world’s most competitive location to manufacture solar,” said Frank van Mierlo, the company’s chief executive officer, in a press release.

CubicPV also announced raising $26 million in a series B financing round, led by Synergy Capital and SCG Cleanergy. 

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.


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