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In this contribution, the authors report on near-field scanning optical microscopy measurements of the luminescence emitted from localized junction breakdown in epitaxial silicon solar cells. Our measurements suggest that the observed local reduction in breakdown voltage results from avalanche multiplication assisted by the reinforcing combination of (i) the local enhancement of the electrostatic field at the apex of inverted pyramid pits and (ii) the participation of defect states in the avalanche breakdown. Transmission electron microscopy reveals the microstructure of the defect responsible for the local junction breakdown.