5B to acquire IXL Solar’s manufacturing business

5B solar project with folding solar panels (manufacturing)
Image: 5B

Clean technology innovator 5B will acquire IXL Solar’s manufacturing business in Adelaide to accelerate its mission to deploy massive scale, ultra-low cost solar power globally.

IXL Solar is an Adelaide-based manufacturer of mounting systems for large-scale solar power plants. The company has been a manufacturing partner of 5B for its 5B Maverick solution since 2018. Twenty manufacturing specialists and staff will join 5B as part of the acquisition and will expand 5B’s presence to include IXL Solar’s facility in Adelaide.

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5B co-founder and CEO Chris McGrath said the acquisition reinforced the company’s ability to optimise the design and industrialisation of its 5B Maverick solution and support the scaling of 5B Ecosystem Partners globally, including for the deployment of Sun Cable’s pioneering 20GW Australia-Asia PowerLink project in northern Australia.

“The world needs massive scale, ultra low cost solar power, fast, and we are constantly seeking ways to accelerate the growth of our team and scaling of our 5B Maverick solar deployment platform,” McGrath says.

“The IXL Solar team joining 5B will be highly impactful in achieving such acceleration and will reinforce the manufacturing outcomes of our 5B Maverick technology at gigawatt-scale for our customers and 5B Ecosystem Partners – including in terms of time, cost, quality, safety and sustainability.

“We have been working with IXL Solar and its team for over three years, and deeply value and respect their manufacturing expertise and discipline, which provides a strong complement to 5B’s innovation and growth mindset. IXL, who established IXL Solar, has been on the forefront of Australian manufacturing for over 160 years, and bringing to bear their experience more fully on our technology will facilitate another step-change in product and process innovation, especially as we spearhead into advanced manufacturing and continue to build our global gigawatt-scale supply chain.”

For IXL, the sale represents an evolution of its long-standing relationship with 5B. Chairman Rob Backwell said IXL had developed an increasingly important relationship with 5B over the years. It is now investing in 5B’s success by becoming a shareholder.

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“We have supported their growth and ambitious pipeline to supply some of the world’s largest gigawatt-scale solar projects. I believe 5B Maverick technology could fundamentally change the way power is generated in many parts of the world. We see this transaction as an opportunity for our staff to grow and succeed with 5B, and take Australian innovation to the world,” Backwell says.

Since its first project in 2017, 5B has completed 52 projects, with over 32MWp capacity. Today, it is successfully selling and delivering to some of the biggest utility scale players globally. In 2021, it established a presence in the United States, Latin America and India.

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