Skip to Content
Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Sundrive Solar


    Kurnell, New South Wales

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start date

    24 July 2023

    End date

    29 November 2025

  • Project Partners


Building on the successes of their previous ARENA-funded project, (SunDrive Copper Metallisation Demonstration), SunDrive will expand its solar photovoltaic (PV) cell metallisation technology from a prototype lab scale capacity to a 100+ MW/yr commercial-scale demonstration line located in Kurnell, NSW.  


To meet growing demands for solar PV production capacity that can help achieve the world’s net zero targets and also firm up necessary local supply chains for clean energy technologies, local manufacturing of high-performance solar PV technology using sustainable materials must be established.

Current mainstream solar PV technology (namely passivated emitter rear cell – PERC) is fast approaching its efficiency limits. Next generation “passivated contact” technologies offer higher performance capabilities, but increased use of silver in the metallisation step presents growing cost and material sustainability challenges that limit the widespread adoption of next generation solar PV.

SunDrive has developed a low-cost alternative to silver metallisation by replacing the precious metal silver with copper – a commodity metal which is approximately 1000x more abundant and 100x cheaper. Implementing SunDrive’s unique copper cell metallisation not only significantly reduces cost, but also provides a performance boost over existing silver screen-printing technologies.

This project will build on SunDrive’s successful copper metallisation technology to demonstrate commercial-scale production capabilities and develop a roadmap for establishing solar PV manufacturing capacity in Australia.


The project will involve:

  • Stage 1: Construction and commissioning of a 20 MW/yr pilot manufacturing line.
  • Stage 2: Expanding manufacturing capacity to 100+ MW/yr while meeting high efficiency and yield performance requirements.
  • Techno-economic analysis and modelling to develop a commercial plan for market entry.


The project will achieve the following outcomes:

  • Reduction in the reliance on silver in solar PV manufacturing through commercialisation of copper metallisation technology.
  • Reduction in the cost of solar PV by reducing manufacturing input costs and improving cell efficiencies.
  • Improvement in technology and commercial readiness of the Recipient’s technology through scaling up cell manufacturing capacity.
  • Increasing skills, manufacturing capacity and knowledge relevant to copper metallisation technology and for establishing large scale solar PV manufacturing in Australia.
Last updated 21 November 2023


SunDrive innovation aims to slash solar costs

Solar panels already deliver Australia’s cheapest electricity but SunDrive says its novel copper-based technology could cut installed costs by up to 30 per cent.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Back to top