March 21 (Renewables Now) - Swiss solar industry supplier Meyer Burger Technology AG (SWX:MBTN) will become the largest shareholder in Oxford Photovoltaics Ltd as part of a new partnership that aims at combining their respective solar technologies.
Meyer Burger announced today that it will acquire a stake of up to 18.8% in Oxford PV in exchange for the issue of up to 62.29 million new Meyer Burger registered shares. The Swiss solar machinery maker will get the right to increase its interest to 31.6% of Oxford PV’s capital and 24.0% of voting rights in the company in the course of their newly-signed joint development agreement.
The share purchase transaction is expected to close by the end of next month and it will see Meyer Burger’s CEO Hans Braendle become a member of the board of directors of Oxford PV.
Becoming a strategic investor in the UK-based firm is tied to an exclusive cooperation agreement that seeks to speed up the development of mass production technology for perovskite on silicon Heterojunction (HJT) tandem cells. While Meyer Burger currently supplies the solar industry with HJT and SmartWire Connection (SWCTTM) technology, Oxford PV is engaged in the development of perovskite tandem solar cells using bottom cells of crystalline silicon.
As part of the new alliance, Meyer Burger will sell a 200-MW HJT line for the pilot production of tandem cells at Oxford PV’s Brandenburg an der Havel facility in Germany. This line will be ramped up by the end of 2020 and will target producing cells with 27% efficiency initially. Oxford PV achieved a certified world-record efficiency of 28% for its cells last year. The theoretical efficiency limit stands at 43% for this type of technology, while for traditional single-junction silicon-based solar cells it is 29%, Meyer Burger noted.
The Swiss machinery group will also be looking to develop equipment to industrialise the mass production of Oxford PV’s perovskite top cell layers, which are deposited onto HJT bottom cells, it said.