Swedish thin-film solar technology company Midsummer received a grant of about $36 million (€32 million) from the EU Innovation Fund to build a new 200-MW CIGS thin-film solar cell mega-factory in Sweden.
As one of the world's largest financing programs for innovative technologies, the EU Innovation Fund contributes to boosting the development of low-carbon technologies and accelerating the decarbonization process in the EU.
CIGS thin-film solar cells are a high-efficiency thin-film technology and have brought about a selection of proven advantages to the market, such as flexibility, lightweight, improved aesthetics (an ideal solution for BIPV applications), excellent lower-light performance and ultra-low carbon footprint in production.
Midsummer has been dedicated to CIGS thin-film technology R&D since its establishment. It partners with roofing companies to distribute its thin-film solar solutions to countries in the EU. As of now, Midsummer has secured thin-film deals totaling close to 200 MW. The company also drives innovation by combining its CIGS solutions with other solar cell technologies to pursue higher-efficiency outcomes. Leveraging the power of the company's flagship DUO and UNO R&D machines, Midsummer has made significant progress in silicon-CIGS and perovskite-CIGS tandem cell development.
In the evaluation of Midsummer's application for the grant, the committee gave the project top scores especially for scalability and the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "The proposal offers good potential to create new value chains in Europe in the field of thin film PV manufacturing industry, which will have a positive impact on European competitiveness," said a representative of the review committee.
In the meanwhile, Midsummer is building a mega-facotry with a 50-MW annual capacity in Itay, which is expected to start mass-scale production by the end of this year.
"Our ambition is to become Europe's largest manufacturer of thin film solar cells with several factories across Europe, and this support will naturally facilitate the establishment of our second European megafactory," said Sven Lindström, CEO of Midsummer.
Beyond the Fund, a couple of marked programs surrounding clean technology development have been rolled out in the EU in recent years. Early this month, the European Investment Bank decided to raise its package size for the REPowerEU to $50 billion, implying a more robust support to boost EU domestic manufacturing capacity for strategic net-zero technologies and products.