Demand for renewable energy has increased rapidly over the last 5 years due to economic and political concerns of energy and its availability, and as the graph shows below, leading research organizations expect the industry to continue its growth at this pace. The Energy Information Administration forecasts the global energy consumption will rise by 57% between 2000 and 2025, whereas the reserves of fossil fuels are limited.  In that context, governments have been promoting alternatives to compensate for declining gas and oil reserves as well as sharply rising energy prices. AE Polysilicon has recognized six major solar industry demand drivers including:
Environmental concerns of global warming and oil’s effect on climate change have increased awareness of renewable energy.
Political concerns of energy security fueled by the energy crisis have led to significant government incentives to research and develop alternatives  to conventional oil and gas based energy sources.
Social drivers are led by society’s demand for cost competitive energy applications to compete with rising oil and energy prices: A sound energy policy is a good public policy.
Economical drivers’ main concern is grid parity, the point when the cost of conventional energy will equal the cost of solar electricity.
Technological drivers are led by advancements in design and production processes increasing solar energy’s practicality and viability.
Geographically, many locations are receiving incentives to develop, and/or purchase and utilize solar energy applications.

MISSION: AE Polysilicon’s mission is to advance the competitiveness of the entire solar electric energy industry through the development of highly advanced production technologies and value added products.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: AE Polysilicon’s goals are to create a win-win polysilicon partnership business model through careful partner selection focusing on long-term vertically integrated relationships. AE Polysilicon’s intentions are finding synergies with partners to bring down the cost of solar, and to make Pennsylvania a top-tier state in the creation of cost competitive solar industry manufacturing processes. AE Polysilicon hopes also by developing advance production technologies, they will some day be able to expand into the creation of large scale projects.

TECHNOLOGY: The solar industry supply chain consists of polysilicon, which AE Polysilicon produces, ingots and wafers, cells, modules, systems and installations. Our differentiated production process and product have the potential to advance downstream production throughout the entire supply chain. AE Polysilicon utilizes a fully integrated closed loop process. This process of production is noted for its environmentally friendly design. The closed-loop process eliminates many by-products that need to be either sold off or disposed of. Thus, the environmental risk involved in the storage and distribution of these by-products is practically eliminated. Furthermore, AE Polysilicon’s plant design recycles the by-products back into the process, thereby reducing process inputs and increasing efficiency.

The fluidized bed reactor production technology is the most advanced and cost effective process in the market today. As the figure below illustrates, there are four key components to AE Polysilicon’s manufacturing process: TriChloroSilane (TCS) production, polysilicon deposition, utilities, and operations management. Operating and optimizing productions will require intimate understanding and careful balancing of these four key components.

CONSTRUCTION: AE Polysilicon broke ground on its production location on February 19th, 2008 at its site at the Keystone Industrial Port Complex (KIPC) in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. AE Polysilicon has begun construction on their site and is on schedule to begin commercial production in 2009.

AE POLYSILICON TEAM: AE Polysilicon has recruited a strong management team that incorporates extensive experience with fluidized bed reactor chemical vapor deposition with polysilicon production facility development, construction, and operations. The company’s management team enjoys a combined experience of over 60 years in polysilicon; over 45 years in fluidization; and 40 plus years with chlorosilanes (the core chemical used in polysilicon production). Additionally, the team has immeasurable experience throughout the entire chemical plant life-cycle including designing, developing, constructing, operating, and optimizing commercial scale facilities utilizing polysilicon, chlorosilanes and fluidized bed reactors. The team is headed by Dr. York Tsuo, founder and CEO and a leading expert in fluidization who has successfully commissioned numerous FBR-technology facilities.

LOCATION: AE Polysilicon’s production facility is located at the KIPC site in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. AE Polysilicon selected the KIPC site due to the strong infrastructure available at the brown-field site, the attractive incentives offered by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth,the close proximity to vendors and engineering firms, and for the availability of a skilled workforce.

Since locating at the KIPC site, AE Polysilicon has received a tremendous amount of local and government support from various Pennsylvania representatives. In early 2007, Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell released his Energy Independence Strategy aimed at saving Pennsylvania consumers $10 billion over the next 10 years, significantly expanding Pennsylvania’s alternative fuel, clean energy and conservation sectors by reducing reliance on foreign fuels, and pushing Pennsylvania into the top tier of states administering plans to cut consumer energy costs.

“With smart policies and aggressive leadership, we have attracted hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars of new investment and created thousands of new jobs, making us a leader in the clean energy sector.  The new policies I am proposing will grow our competitive edge in clean energy even further and move us dramatically closer to energy independence.” Governor Ed Rendell in news release to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in February, 2007.

With the policies and initiatives created by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, the state has become very attractive to the solar industry manufacturers to locate their production facilities in the state.  Recently, Pennsylvania passed a law requiring 860 MW of solar power in Pennsylvania by 2020.