First Solar Glass Plant in North America to Be Built in Manitoba

published: 2022-01-03 9:30 | editor: | category: News

Canadian Premium Sand (CPS), a Canadian company that provides the sand used in hydraulic fracturing, announced in early December that it will build a solar glass manufacturing plant in Selkirk, a city in the Canadian province of Manitoba. This story was first reported by other renewable energy news websites.

After evaluating various locations in the US and Canada, CPS has decided to place its first solar glass manufacturing plant in Selkirk because the city has advantages related to logistical efficiency, operational efficiency, geographical situation. The areas around Selkirk are rich in energy resources such as natural gas, hydropower, and industrial-grade water. Furthermore, Seymourville, a community near the city, already has a high-grade silica sand quarry that is operated by the company.

The solar glass manufacturing plant is set to be the first of its kind in North America. Apart from the announcement, the company has yet to reveal further details about the plant, such as production capacity, planned investment, etc. The municipal government of Selkirk has allocated industrial-zoned land parcels for the proposed plant as well as its potential future expansion.

CPS stated that setting up production capacity for patterned solar glass in Manitoba will allow North American PV module manufacturers to limit their dependence on imported glass materials from the Asia-Pacific region. This, in turn, will notably enhance the sustainability and security of their supply chains.

CPS released a press release earlier in October stating that it plans to establish a solar glass business. According to the press release, CPS had been in discussions with North American module manufacturers and recognized that there are profitable opportunities from supplying high-quality solar glass to meet module manufacturers’ current and future demand. CPS also noted that the silica sand produced at its existing quarry has been verified as meeting the standard of the PV industry, so the company is in a position to become a major integrated manufacturer for solar glass.

According to a related news article posted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on December 9, CPS is transitioning away from the business of supplying the sand for hydraulic fracturing and instead focusing on solar glass manufacturing. The main reason is the sharp decline in oil prices last year. This development has compelled the company to overhaul its strategy. Also, while the mining of high-purity silica sand in Seymourville has raised environmental concerns, CPS appears to have obtained the support of the majority of the local community and the Hollow Water First Nation that also resides in the nearby area.

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