Energy source of the future
Silicor Materials is preparing the construction of a high tech solar grade silicon plant in the Southwest of Iceland at Grundartangi . The plant is unique in that it will produce solar grade silicon by using a less expensive and more environmentally friendly method much different from the traditional methods used in the industry. By relying on a better method the new plant at Grundartangi will make solar energy a less expensive choice which is important in the development of green energy .
As is well known the demand for energy is constantly rising. To fulfill that need without an increase in the emission of greenhous gases we need to use other energy sources than fossil fuels. The energy of the sun is unlimited and it can be harnessed to counter global warming without emissions. The utilization of solar power is therefore a part of the solution to the problem of global warming.
Carbon neutral production
Silicor Materials' solar grade silicon plant at Grundartangi will be carbon neutral and will therefore not increase the emissions of greenhouse gases worldwide. Measures will be taken, in accordance with internationally approved standards, to make the plant carbon neutral. Silicor has already taken the first step in this direction by signing a contract with Kolviður Fund to plant 26 thousand trees yearly, which will offset all carbon dioxide emissions from the production of the solar grade silicon plant at Grundartangi.
The plant will produce solar grade silicon for solar cells which will harness 38 times more energy through solar power than the electricity used for their production. Carbon dioxide emissions from the production will only be 48 metric tons pr. year which is similar to what 25-35 typical family cars emit pr. year. A typical aluminium smelter in Iceland emits around 500 thousand tons pr. year.
Solar grade silicon is used in solar cells to harness solar energy which promotes sustainable development worldwide.
Silicor's solar grade silicon plant is based on a new production process patented by the company. The process has been in development since 2006.
The Silicor process is safer, more environmentally friendly, less expensive and requires only a third of the energy needed by traditional methods.
The silicor process involves melting silicon in aluminium which removes the impurities from the silicon and thereby leaves 99.9999% pure solar grade silicon. Two by-products derive from the process. An aluminum master alloy which is sometimes used to make vehicles and planes lighter and polyaluminum chloride which is used to purify water. This way Silicor makes full use of the raw materials, leaving no waste or toxic waste behind.
1 MW of Icelandic energy becomes 38 MW
The increasing use of solar cells in the world reduces the need for fossil fuels such as oil and coal. The plant at Grundartangi will be powered by Icelandic electricity which comes from a sustainable source. Thereby each Icelandic MW is used to produce 38 MW of solar energy in other countries. Renewable energy from Iceland is thus utilized for environment protection world wide.
Green solar energy for 800.000 homes yearly
Silicor's yearly production at Grundartangi will be used in solar cells with more than a 3.200 MW production capacity. That's more than all of the installed capacity of power plants in Iceland (the installed capacity of the National Power Company, HS Energy, ON and Rarik was 2,760 MW in 2014). Silicor's yearly production will suffice to produce 4kW solar cells for 800 thousand homes.
Silicor Materials is an American company with headquarters in California. The company was founded in 2006 under the name Calisolar. In 2010 the company purchased the Canadian company 6N Silicon and was renamed Silicor Materials. The CEO of the company is Theresa Jester, an engineer with almost four decades experience in the development and utilization of solar energy.
More detailed information on Silicor Materials is available here on the website of the parent company.
What is the energy need?
When operating at full capacity the solar grade silicon plant will require 85 MW of electricity.
How much will the emission of greenhouse gases be?
The yearly emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the solar grade silicon plant will be 48 metric tons which is similar to the yearly emission from 35 typical family cars. In comparison the yearly emission of carbon dioxide from a typical aluminium smelter in Iceland is around 400 thousand metric tons.
Will there be fluorine emissions?
There wil be no fluorine emissions from the solar silicon plant.
Will there be sulfur emissions?
There wil be no sulfur emissions from the solar silicon plant.
Will there be visual and light pollution?
The buildings housing the plant are large and will therefore have a visual effect in their environment. The design process will focus on minimizing all visual and light pollution.
Will there be noise pollution?
There will no noise pollution outside a 3 km radius from the plant. At a half a km distance it's expected the noise will be less than 50 dB. In comparison a normal conversation between two individuals is around 55 dB.
What about dust emissions?
The solar silicon plant will emit between 60 and 70 metric tons of non toxic silicon dust pr. year. It's the assessment of the Icelandic Planning Agency that the effects from that will be minimal. In comparison the aluminum smelter at Grundartangi is allowed to emit 300 metric tons pr. year and Elkem Iceland is allowed to emit 665 metric tons pr. year.
Silicor's estimated investment in Iceland is USD 900 million, equal to around ISK 120 billion.
NUMBER OF JOBS
450 people will work at the solar silicon plant, a third of them will have university education.
85 MW /745 GWh pr. year.
The plant will produce 19 thousand metric tons of silicon metal pr. year. With that, 3.200 MW of electricity can be produced from the rays of the sun, or 38 times more electricity than the plant uses.
40 metric tons pr. year from the production. In total 2700 metric tons including transport and other operations on site.
Sulphur dioxide: None
Dust: 60-70 metric tons of non toxic silicon dust pr. year.
If you have any questions regarding the Silicor project in Grundartangi, please press the button to the right and fill out the form.