Tongwei and Trina Solar mark first ramp at 15GW cell, wafer facility

A ceremony marking the first production at the facility was held on 28 October 2021. Image: Trina Solar/Tongwei.

The first manufacturing line at a 15GW solar wafer and cell manufacturing facility in Chengdu co-owned by Trina Solar and Tongwei has begun to ramp.

A ceremony to mark the start of production was held late last week, just 32 days after manufacturing equipment began to be installed at the site in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.

The facility is owned by Tonghe New Energy, a joint venture established by cell provider Tongwei and ‘Solar Module Super League’ member Trina Solar earlier this year. It will produce 210mm solar wafers and cells, doubling down on both manufacturers’ commitment to the M12 wafer format.

The facility is brought forward as part of Trina and Tongwei’s cell and wafer alliance which was struck last year to invest some US$2.3 billion to develop various upstream manufacturing projects in China. As well as the 15GW wafer and cell fab in Chengdu, polysilicon and silicon rod facilities in Baotou and Leshan respectively were also announced.

All facilities under the partnership are to be owned 65% by Tongwei and 35% by Trina Solar.

A statement issued by both parties marking the start of production at the site lauded the automated manufacturing facilities installed at the site, stating it marked the beginning of a “new stage in lean production and production processes”.

The ramp also serves to further Trina Solar’s buildout of its 210mm supply chain, and more specifically the manufacturing capacity of its Vertex range of PV modules, with the SMSL manufacturer intending to establish a total module manufacturing capacity for the product range of 10GW by the end of this year and 30GW by 2023.