Manufacturing News

SunDrive, AGL Energy to examine solar panel manufacture in the Hunter

Manufacturing News

Solar cell manufacturer SunDrive Solar and ASX-listed AGL Energy have announced a Memorandum of Understanding exploring the possibility of building solar panels at AGL’s Hunter Energy Hub.

The news coincided with Thursday morning’s announcement by prime minister Anthony Albanese of the $1 billion Solar SunShot scheme, aiming to grow a local supply chain for solar in Australia through subsidies and grants.

The pair said the deal would involve infrastructure and engineering requirements, identifying regulatory needs for a new factory, and an offtake agreement for AGL to purchase from SunDrive.

“If successful we will create new jobs and careers in the renewables industry as together, we build a new solar manufacturing industry and hub right here in the NSW Upper Hunter region,” The Australian Financial Review reports AGL CEO Damien Nicks as saying.

SunDrive CEO Vince Allen said in a statement: “SunDrive is exploring the opportunity of a facility at AGL’s Hunter Energy Hub thanks to the vision, skills and workforce of the region that are critical to achieving Australia’s renewable energy ambitions.” 

SunDrive was established in 2015 by Allen and David Hu, both ex-University of New South Wales researchers. It is targeting the rooftop solar market.

The company has developed a technology that uses copper instead of silver in solar panels, which is currently an expensive but critical ingredient. It accounts for an estimated 25 per cent of the world’s annual industrial silver consumption.

SunDrive has produced a cell 25.54 per cent efficiency in turning sunlight into electricity, a world record, and has fabricated its first full size solar panels.

In November it was awarded an $11 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to expand the company’s novel solar cell metallisation capacity.

Picture: credit ARENA

Further reading

SunDrive to scale up low-cost solar cell production

SunDrive shows the way to solar power industry

SunDrive Solar produces world-record solar PV cell

Albanese announces $1bn for solar panel manufacturing


Share this Story
Manufacturing News

Stay Informed

Go to Top