Mississippi Silicon will work with REC Silicon to help establish a low-carbon and fully traceable domestic supply chain
August 23, 2022
MOSES LAKE, Wash.—Silicon metal producer Mississippi Silicon LLC will work with REC Silicon to help establish a low-carbon and fully traceable U.S.-based solar supply chain, Mississippi Silicon said in a release.
The companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) committing them to negotiate a raw material supply agreement. On the strength of recent investments into REC, the company is working to expand its relationship with Mississippi Silicon to support the development of an end-to-end U.S. solar supply chain, from silicon metal and polysilicon to fully assembled solar modules, according to the release.
The plan follows the August 18 passage of the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act (SEMA) as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, expanding U.S. production of polysilicon and metallurgical grade silicon.
Mississippi Silicon said it is the first new silicon metal facility in North America in 40 years. Its plant is in the northeast corner of Mississippi State, strategically placed to take advantage of a growing domestic customer base, stable low-cost electricity, and a regional supply chain. The facility is reported to have “the highest quality process and environmental controls available,” enabling it to operate one of the most efficient and cleanest silicon meal plants in the world, the company said.
“Mississippi Silicon was founded nearly 10 years ago to be a domestic source of high-quality silicon metal to the U.S. solar, electronics, and chemical industries,” said Eddie Boardwine, CEO of Mississippi Silicon, in the release. “We are pleased by the growing recognition of the importance of a strong end-to-end U.S. supply chain for these materials. Passage of the SEMA Act is critical to bringing that supply chain to reality. We look forward to working with REC Silicon to strengthen our existing relationship and build out that vital supply chain.”
REC Silicon is a major producer of high-purity electronics and solar grade polysilicon. The company has assets in Moses Lake, Washington and Butte, Montana, and is positioned to help lead the U.S. clean energy transition. A recent investment by Hanwha will enable a re-start of the currently idle Moses Lake plant in 2023 and make available high volumes of cost-competitive, high quality, and low-carbon solar grade polysilicon. REC shut down the Moses Lake plant in 2019 due to unfavorable global market conditions, according to the release.
“A robust solar energy industry in the U.S. is crucial to our national security and clean energy goals,” said James A. May II, CEO of REC Silicon, in the release. “Now that SEMA has passed as part of a broad clean energy incentive package, the solar manufacturing industry is in a position to make long-term investments that create millions of new career opportunities in cities and towns across the country and accelerate the transition to clean energy.”