Silicor Materials, Inc., a manufacturer of high-quality solar silicon, recently announced an initiative to achieve a carbon-neutral status at its commercial manufacturing facility in Grundartangi, Iceland. In cooperation with the Icelandic Forestry Association and the Icelandic Environment Association (KOLVIDUR), Silicor will fund the planting of more than 26,000 trees across the country to offset 2,800 tons of CO2 annually—enough to cover both Silicor’s process and the transportation logistics related to manufacturing, shipping and receiving at the site.
Silicor produces solar silicon, a lower-cost alternative to the polysilicon that serves as the feedstock for the vast majority of solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The company’s manufacturing process is environmentally friendly by design, consuming as much as two-thirds less energy than traditional methods, and using no toxic chemicals. Silicor’s manufacturing process produces only 48 tons per year of CO2 emissions.The Silicor process sends no waste to landfills, instead produces two safe, aluminum-based by-products, aluminum alloy and polyaluminum chloride, that can be sold into a number of industries, including the automotive, aerospace and water treatment sectors.
“It’s not enough for renewable energy companies to produce materials that support the growth of our industry. To leave a lasting positive impact, we must also adopt environmentally conscious business practices and reduce our own reliance on fossil fuels,” said Terry Jester, Chairman and CEO of Silicor. “We chose to site our plant in Iceland in part because it allowed us to use 100-percent renewable energy to power our operations. By taking our commitment one step further and achieving carbon neutrality, we aim to serve as a barometer on environmental stewardship for organizations around the world.”
Silicor recently closed capital commitments of $105M for its Iceland plant from local pension funds and strategic investors, including Hudson Clean Energy Partners. Land, power and port contracts were signed earlier this year, and sales agreements are in place with leading PV module manufacturers, equivalent to approximately 70 percent of the facility’s annual nameplate production capacity.