Indian solar energy company Vikram Solar has formed a new joint venture (JV) in the US with investment firms Phalanx Impact Partners and Das & Co. to invest up to $1.5bn in developing a vertically integrated solar manufacturing operation in the US.

Dubbed VSK Energy, the JV is a majority US-owned and operated company. It has two planned projects with an aim to create a robust American solar panel and equipment supply chain.

The JV is expected to help the US to reduce dependence on foreign suppliers who are presently dominating the solar market.

VSK Energy will make investments in two phases to develop solar factories in the US.

Phase one will involve $250m investment to build a solar photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing facility in Brighton, Colorado.

The JV aims to begin operations at the Colorado facility in 2024. It will have an initial capacity of 2GW in solar PV modules which is planned to be increased later to up to 4GW.

Besides, the new solar PV manufacturing plant is projected to generate more than 900 direct jobs and over 200 construction jobs.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said: “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.”

In the second phase of the investment, VSK Energy plans to build a 4GW factory in a southern US state to produce solar ingots, cells, and wafers.

The JV intends to invest up to $1.25bn in the new facility. Operations at the new plant are anticipated to start in 2025 following the evaluation and finalisation of available federal, state, regional, and local incentives for the project.

Over 1,500 direct jobs and more than 1,000 construction jobs could be created at the new factory.

Vikram Solar founder, chairman, and managing director Gyanesh Chaudhary said: “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.”

Mortenson, a solar engineering, procurement, construction, and commercial contracting firm, will supervise the engineering and construction of both phases of the JV’s planned investment.