Going Dutch – Fortescue planning Australian solar PV factory

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries has purchased a Dutch green hydrogen and solar PV business and announced a major expansion including plans to build a solar PV manufacturing plant in Australia.

FFI has purchased a 60 per cent stake in Dutch-based High yield Energy Technologies (HyET) Group and provided the majority share of financing for the expansion of HyET Solar’s Dutch Solar PV factory.

FFI CEO Julie Shuttleworth said: “We have commenced the design study for a 1 GW Powerfoil factory in Australia and at this scale, we aim to rapidly drive costs down at a greater rate than is achievable with conventional Solar PV technology.”

The group also includes the HyET Hydrogen business, marking an important milestone in FFI’s vision to produce affordable green hydrogen.

Shuttleworth said the company’s aim was to supply 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen globally by 2030.

She said: “FFI’s goal is to become the world’s leading, fully renewable energy and green products company.

“The addition of HyET Solar and HyET Hydrogen to our portfolio of FFI companies builds on our commitment to develop technologies needed to tackle emissions and global warming.”

FFI is the 100 per cent renewable green energy and industry company of Fortescue Metals Group Limited.

FFI did not say where it was planned to manufacture solar PVs in Australia, but HyET Solar’s low cost and efficient Solar PV modules (Powerfoil, pictured below) are lightweight and flexible.

The company aims to drastically reduce the cost of solar power. The application possibilities cover a wide span, ranging from low-cost utility scale powerplants to integrated high end architectural solutions.

FFI Founder and Fortescue Chairman Dr Andrew Forrest said, “Green energies need to be available at an industrial, global scale. We don’t have time to wait, we have to act now.

“The technologies of the HyET companies will help us reach that tipping point and the world will begin the journey in earnest to become zero-carbon.”

SuperNova NV, the founding partner of the HyET Group of companies, and Royal Vopak of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, remain the only other shareholders in both companies.

Rombout Swanborn, founder and director of HyET Hydrogen and HyET Solar said: “We are incredibly pleased to have joined forces with Fortescue Future Industries.

“Not only does this enable us to contribute much more effectively to the creation of a renewable energy infrastructure, but now we also can strongly increase the scale of our activities – two important goals since we started up our companies.”

Picture: Founder and Director of HyET Hydrogen and HyET Solar, Dr Rombout Swanborn; FFI Founder and Fortescue Chairman Dr Andrew Forrest AO; CEO HyET Hydrogen and Co-CEO HyET Solar, Maria Fennis

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