North American solar module manufacturer, Silfab Solar, has announced a direct investment in Itek Energy to initiate its US operations and meet growing demand for its photovoltaic (PV) products. With the $40 million investment, Silfab will integrate its leading-edge technology to Itek’s Bellingham, Washington production facility. Addition of a second production line at the facility is expected to more than double solar module production from 150 megawatts to near 350 megawatts.
The Silfab announcement comes as Washington state is charting record installation numbers of residential and commercial solar PV systems. The market expansion is fueled by falling equipment production costs, increased consumer awareness, net metering, and the reformed Renewable Energy System Incentive Program. The incentive program, passed by Washington’s legislature last summer, pays renewable energy adopters for the clean energy their systems generate.
“The out-of-state investment Washington’s solar industry has attracted from Silfab Solar underscores the value of Washington lawmakers’ decisions to support solar energy innovation and deployment. Funds the state has invested in solar energy are leveraging substantial private investment throughout Washington’s solar value chain,” said Dana Brandt, Board President of Solar Installers of Washington, the state’s solar trade association.
“We are excited by the expanded solar module production capabilities the Silfab investment makes possible at the Washington factory. The investment will help meet the strong demand for clean, affordable, and reliable solar electricity here in Washington state and in export markets,” said John Flanagan, President and Founding Principal of Itek.