Vikram Solar, Phalanx Impact Partners and Das & Co. have collaborated to form a new U.S. joint venture and majority U.S.-owned and operated company named, VSK Energy (VSK).
The companies are planning to invest up to $1.5 billion to develop a vertically integrated solar manufacturing operation in the U.S. The joint venture is aiming to build a strong American solar panel and equipment supply chain and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign suppliers.
VSK will be incorporating Vikram Solar's 17 years of solar manufacturing experience to the U.S. Moreover, financial support and expertise in the solar industry in the U.S., India, and emerging markets will be offered by Phalanx Impact Partners and Das & Co., respectively.
The first phase of the investment, expected to cost about $250 million, will focus on developing an American solar photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing facility in Brighton, Colorado, owned by Mortenson Properties and Hyde Development. The facility, expected to operate from 2024, will have an initial capacity of 2 GW in solar PV modules and planned expansion of up to 4 GW.
It will also create over 900 direct jobs with an average salary of more than $70,000 and over 200 construction jobs.
“Colorado is one of the top states in the country for solar production so this expansion in Brighton will help build upon our plans to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2040, create more than 900 new good-paying jobs for Coloradans and contribute to our state’s thriving economy,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis. “More and more companies are flocking to Colorado because we are the best place to live and do business, so we are thrilled to welcome VSK to Colorado.”
The planned second phase of $1.25 billion investment from VSK would complete a vertical integration of the solar manufacturing process with the development of a factory in a Southern U.S. state to produce solar ingots, cells, and wafers with a planned annual capacity of 4 GW. Post evaluating and finalizing the available federal, state, regional, and local incentives for the project, the factory is expected to start its operations in 2025. It is anticipated that the factory will provide over 1,500 direct jobs and 1,000 construction jobs.
Mortenson, a solar engineering, procurement, construction, and commercial contracting firm, will look after the engineering and construction of VSK's two planned projects. Mortenson will be recruiting local pipefitters, electricians, sheet metal workers, plumbers, operators, carpenters, laborers, safety professionals, and more to develop the two-phased investment.
"The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act was a landmark moment for the clean energy future of the United States,” said Sriram Das, Co-Chairman of VSK Energy and Managing Director of Das & Co. “The Biden Administration and Congress have called for immediate action and through our partnership in VSK, we are taking a decisive step towards achieving solar technology self-sufficiency, fortifying America's energy security, and propelling large-scale solar deployment. I am also particularly proud to bring together leaders from both the United States and India to make this investment and commitment to America's clean energy future.".