Press Release Clean Energy & Ocean Solutions

Hanwha Solutions Becomes the Largest Shareholder of “Clean Polysilicon” Manufacturer REC Silicon to Build a Green Solar Supply Chain

April 4, 2022
  • Hanwha Solutions to become the largest shareholder of Norway-based U.S. polysilicon manufacturer REC Silicon, bringing total investment to $204 million and ownership share to 21.34%.
  • With the acquisition of REC Silicon, a producer of “clean polysilicon”, Hanwha Solutions will expand its renewable energy portfolio and provide eco-friendly raw materials for the U.S. solar market.
Hanwha has invested in clean polysilicon manufacturer REC Silicon, a company that owns and operates a facility at Moses Lake.

The REC Silicon plant at Moses Lake produces “clean polysilicon” with zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Hanwha Solutions, owner of the complete energy solutions provider Q CELLS, has announced plans to revitalize the U.S. solar market by becoming the largest shareholder of REC Silicon, a major U.S. polysilicon manufacturer.

Following its initial $160 million acquisition for a 16.67 percent stake in REC Silicon in January 2022, Hanwha Solutions will purchase 4.67 percent of shares for $44 million to raise its stake to 21.34 percent. Hanwha will acquire the additional 4.67 percent stake from Aker Horizons, a sustainability investment firm that had been co-owner of REC Silicon with Hanwha Solutions.

This acquisition is the latest step in Hanwha’s plans to secure capabilities across the solar technology supply chain to create good-paying jobs, address climate change, and strengthen energy security.

Currently, Hanwha operates the largest module production facility in the U.S. through its solar panel business unit, Q CELLS. The Georgia-based factory can produce 1.7 gigawatts of solar modules per year, accounting for nearly 20 percent of total module production capacity in the United States.

By becoming the largest shareholder of REC Silicon, Hanwha will expand its renewable energy portfolio in the U.S. and help American businesses secure raw material critical to the solar supply chain. As global competition over clean energy sources intensifies in the coming years, Hanwha will work towards establishing a highly efficient, low-carbon system to boost clean energy technology.

The Norway-based REC Silicon operates two polysilicon manufacturing facilities in the U.S.: Moses Lake, Washington, and Butte, Montana. Their combined annual production capacity totals 18,000 metric tons (MT), including 16,000 MT of granular, solar-grade polysilicon at Moses Lake and 2,000 MT of electronic-grade polysilicon at Butte.

Using hydropower-based clean energy, REC Silicon produces low-carbon polysilicon without emitting greenhouse gases. Compared to carbon-heavy polysilicon manufactured overseas that often relies on coal power, REC Silicon’s “clean polysilicon” is expected to draw more demand in the coming years as international scrutiny over industrial emissions and carbon footprints grows.

“Increasing energy market turbulence tells us why securing key raw material production is so critical,” said a Hanwha Solutions spokesperson. “Given upward pressure on oil prices and environmental scrutiny over the environmentally damaging impacts from fossil fuels, we believe that strengthening the renewable-based energy supply chain is important – and producing low-carbon solar material is a good starting point to achieve the goal.”

In line with the Biden administration's efforts to incentivize solar manufacturing in the U.S., including the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act (SEMA), Hanwha intends to implement a multi-phase, multi-billion-dollar investment plan to help the U.S. expand its capability for clean energy solutions.

“We plan to make investments to secure capabilities across the entire solar supply chain,” said Justin Lee, CEO of Q CELLS. By combining low-carbon polysilicon with premium solar modules, Hanwha aims to create a comprehensive global supply chain to meet the growing demand for solar power and work towards a clean-energy future.

Hanwha Solutions

Hanwha Solutions aims to deliver sustainable solutions for the planet through smart energy solutions and customer-focused materials. The Company operates its business through five divisions: Qcells, Chemical, Advanced Materials, Galleria and City Development. The Qcells Division offers total energy solutions from photovoltaic module manufacturing, power plant operation to electricity retailing service. The Chemical Division, the first in Korea to produce polyvinyl chloride (PVC), manufactures various chemical products and eco-friendly plasticizers. The Advanced Materials Division produces high-tech materials for automotive, photovoltaic and electronic devices. The Galleria Division, an operator of premium department store chain, provides premium fashion and food services. The City Development Division is a leading real estate developer specializing in industrial complexes. With its innovative technologies for sustainable growth, Hanwha Solutions strives to become a global leader in bringing a better future for humanity.

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REC Silicon

REC Silicon is helping energy and technology providers worldwide shape the future with its advanced silicon materials. One of the world's largest producers of silicon materials, REC Silicon manufactures solar and electronic grade silicon and silane gas, which are raw materials essential in the photovoltaic and electronics industries. With over 30 years of manufacturing experience, REC Silicon is the world's largest silane gas producer and one of the world's largest polysilicon manufacturers, with a capacity of more than 20,000 MT of polysilicon and 29,000 MT of silane gas annually from two US-based manufacturing plants in Moses Lake, Washington and Butte, Montana.

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