Solar Builder

SEP-OCT 2017

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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30 S E P T E M B E R / O C TO B E R 2 0 1 7 R egardless of the outcome of the Suniva trade case (as of writing this, we are still awaiting an ITC decision) the bigger names in U.S. PV module manufacturing are in a tough spot. Being a large, vertically integrated manufacturer for cells and modules was a solid business practice at one point, and may be again, but that is not the case in the current market. But as is often the case aboard this solar coast- er, when one or two companies dip, one or two more start rising. This is why we wanted to learn more about Seraphim USA — a domestic, pure-play PV module assembler that entered the market in the second quarter of 2016, producing modules out of a 160-MW facility located in Jackson, Miss. The company is already in the top three in terms of U.S. production at scale. You may be familiar with the Seraphim brand name, which has been up and running in China since 2008 (roughly 6 million modules worldwide), but other than licensing the technology and leveraging the brand name, Seraphim USA is its own independent company, launched by a U.S. venture capital group that saw an opportunity. When the group looked at forming the company, there was about 1,600 MW of total module manufac- turing capacity in the U.S. — representing about 20 percent of total demand. And with the projected growth to 2020, and with the U.S. becoming the sec- ond-largest solar user, the Seraphim team saw an opportunity because "supply needed to come back domestically." Seraphim USA produces high-efficiency, 60-cell mono and mono PERC panels (300-watt) right now and soon will be producing 72-cell, 350-watt versions. "We could produce under any label; we toured 16 dif- ferent module facilities, and Seraphim was above the rest," says Andrew Fuselier, COO of Seraphim USA. "We struck a deal to license the technology to bring it to the U.S. Because we are coming to market with a proven technology, with a partner that's been in the market for a long time, we have instant tier 1 bankability." A new U.S. manufacturer looks to fill the big (and growing) void in domestic module supply By Chris Crowell At its Jackson facility, 25 percent of the Seraphim workforce comprises military veterans, including the operations and production staff. SUPPLY MODULES &

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