As part of its planned investment, VSK Energy is highly committed to developing a resilient American solar panel and equipment supply chain and reducing US dependency on foreign suppliers who currently dominate the solar market.
The first phase of the investment consists of a $250 million investment to develop an American solar photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing facility in a recently completed building at 76 Commerce Center in Brighton, Colorado, which is owned by Mortenson Properties and Hyde Development. The new factory is expected to create over 900 direct jobs with an average salary of more than $70,000 and over 200 construction jobs. VSK Energy expects the facility to begin operations in 2024 with an initial capacity of 2 Gigawatts (GW) in solar PV modules and planned expansion of up to 4 GW.
“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% renewable energy by 2040, create more than 900 new good-paying jobs for Coloradans and contribute to our state's thriving economy. 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,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis.
“Cleantech in Colorado contributes $4.6 billion per year to the state's economy and employs over 62,000 Colorado workers. By establishing a new solar manufacturing facility in Brighton, VSK will grow this important employment sector and help further Colorado's commitment to grow clean energy technologies,” said Eve Lieberman, Executive Director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT).
The planned second phase of investment would complete VSK's vertical integration of the solar manufacturing process with the development of a factory in a Southern US state to produce solar ingots, cells, and wafers with a planned annual capacity of 4 GW. VSK Energy intends to invest up to $1.25 billion in the new factory which is expected to begin operations in 2025 following the evaluation and finalization of available federal, state, regional, and local incentives for the project. The new factory is expected to create over 1,500 direct jobs and over 1,000 construction jobs.
Mortenson, a leading solar engineering, procurement, construction, and commercial contracting firm, will oversee the engineering and construction of both phases of VSK Energy's planned investment. Mortenson has nearly 70 years of experience building large, complex facilities and has been a national leader in the renewable energy space for over 25 years. The company has over 13 years of solar energy construction experience and has installed solar projects across 17 states in the United States, providing more than 9 GWs of generation. To construct both phases of VSK Energy's planned investment, Mortenson intends to hire hundreds of team members from the local communities involved in the project, including pipefitters, electricians, sheet metal workers, plumbers, operators, carpenters, laborers, safety professionals, and more.
"Mortenson is thrilled and honored to spearhead the design and construction of this ambitious and transformative project for VSK Energy," said Brad Heitland, Director of Business Development for Mortenson. "This project represents a remarkable feat of engineering, construction, and a collaborative effort from several organizations across the private and public sectors around the world. It symbolizes a collective dedication to a clean energy future, and as a leader in renewable energy infrastructure engineering, procurement, and construction, Mortenson is ready to leverage our extensive expertise to further grow and strengthen America's position in solar manufacturing."
"Vikram Solar is proud to be part of this monumental endeavor with the rest of the VSK team," said Gyanesh Chaudhary, Founder, Chairman, and Managing Director of Vikram Solar. "With our 17 years of experience in solar manufacturing, combined with the VSK team's commitment to a clean energy future, we look forward to driving the solar industry forward and setting a new benchmark for innovation and efficiency in solar manufacturing in the United States."
"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."
Doug Bennett, Partner and Co-Founder of Phalanx Impact Partners, commented, "The VSK partnership embodies the Phalanx commitment to promoting increased U.S. green energy independence. By establishing a vertically integrated solar panel manufacturing operation to produce American-made solar equipment, we are accelerating the energy transition in the United States, reducing foreign dependency and creating lasting value for both our investors and the planet."
Alex Hung, Partner and Co-Founder of Phalanx Impact Partners, added, "This investment is more than a financial commitment; it's a testament to our belief in the transformative power of sustainable technologies and the solar industry. With this VSK project, we are not only helping to shape the clean energy future of the United States but also positively influencing the communities where these facilities will operate."
Law firms Dentons represented Vikram Solar, McDermott Will & Emery represented Phalanx Impact Partners, and Reed Smith represented Das & Co. with the Joint Venture formation for this transaction.