Evergreen Solar Announces EverQ Expansion Plans

Evergreen Solar, Inc., a manufacturer of solar power products with its proprietary, low-cost String Ribbon wafer technology, announced last week that Evergreen Solar, Renewable Energy Corporation (REC), and Q-Cells, equal partners in EverQ, have approved the construction of a third integrated wafer, cell and panel facility and that the partners have begun planning an initial public offering for EverQ.

The new EverQ facility will open in early 2009 in Thalheim, Germany, cost approximately EUR 125 million [US $178 million], net of government grants, and increase EverQ’s production capacity from 100 megawatts (MW) to approximately 180 MW. The partners also agreed to expand EverQ’s production capacity to approximately 600 MW by 2012.

To support the further growth ambitions of EverQ to 600 MW, REC has offered an additional supply agreement for polysilicon of approximately 4,000 MT beginning in 2010 and continuing through 2015 at market pricing competitive with long-term contracts. Total polysilicon volumes supplied by REC to EverQ under the existing and new agreements could potentially reach 2,100 MT per year.

The new EverQ facility will license Evergreen Solar’s Quad furnace technology with its automated ribbon cutting technology. According to the company, this innovative wafer production process provides substantial opportunity to further increase yield, cell efficiency and labor productivity as well as to further reduce String Ribbon’s already industry-leading silicon consumption.

Although the specific timing of an IPO is still to be determined, Evergreen Solar, REC, and Q-Cells have executed a binding memorandum of understanding detailing the required steps to prepare EverQ for its IPO.

“We believe that the solar industry will remain robust and continue to experience rapid growth over the next several years,” said Richard M. Feldt, Chairman, President and CEO of Evergreen Solar. 

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