There’s a name in Solar that everybody who’s ever been involved in module manufacturing surely knows, but many, many of you who have only interacted on the commercial side may have missed up to now – Meyer Burger.  The 70 yr old Swiss company is, in many ways, the ‘brand behind the brand’, the veritable “intel inside” of the solar industry.  It’s their carefully crafted and highly engineered production lines, afterall, that have provided scale, speed and quality assurance for many of those name-brand solar modules you are installing on homes and businesses (and fields) across America. 

So, before we get into questions like “How do we make solar energy more efficient and more accessible on a global scale?” or “How might heterojunction technology reshape the renewable energy market?”, I think we’ll need to spend some of our conversation on Who exactly is this company that major manufacturers from Trina Solar to REC have relied on for decades.

Meyer Burger is a venerable Swiss technology leader with a rich 70-year history and over four decades of dedicated expertise in solar technology development. At the forefront of innovation, the company’s strategic focus revolves around optimizing solar energy output while concurrently minimizing resource consumption. Their heterojunction technology and the SmartWire Connection technology, increases solar module output,and has little to no degradation over time. The company is continuously striving to break new grounds with plans to refine more efficient technologies, like Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) cells, tandem modules, and the integration of perovskite into their tech portfolio of 6.7 GW. And, like many of their peers, they are expanding their manufacturing into the US with a facility in Goodyear, AZ coming online by the end of 2024 that will produce an additional 2 GW of solar modules annually and another facility for cell manufacturing in Colorado Springs that will produce roughly 1.7 million cells per year bringing more solar jobs to the US.

Ardes Johnson, is the President of Meyer Burger Americas, Ardes brings decades of experience from the energy sector starting with his time in the Navy to working for GE, SolarWorld, Tesla, and JLM Energy. He lays out how the company navigates the seen and unseen challenges of innovative development, scaling operations, and ensuring strategic growth in the volatile renewable energy market. Ardes’ additionally covers embracing opportunities, building a potent culture of support, and the critical role of partnerships and customer commitments in scaling manufacturing plans.

But as Ardes rightly flags, these ambitious objectives hinge on policy stability. He urges stakeholders across the solar industry and policymakers to collaborate towards establishing long-term policy support for solar manufacturing in the United States to help achieve climate goals.