Jacksonville, Florida, approves $23 million incentive package for Jinko Solar

If Jinko Solar doesn’t end up building its U.S. manufacturing hub and headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida, no one will be able to say it’s the city’s fault.

Last night, Jacksonville City Council unanimously approved its $23 million portion of a reported $54 million incentive package to bring 800 new jobs to its city. The rest of the incentives and grants would come from the state, including state grants for hiring veterans.

Reporting by the Jacksonville Daily Record says the resolution, the first passed by Council in 2018, prompted no discussion. This demonstrates how much support the deal had in the chamber.

In return for the incentives, Jinko has pledged to spend $410 million to build the factory and says the average salary for workers at the new factory and headquarters would be nearly $46,000. According to the city’s own calculations, it is paying $1,000 per job to bring Jinko Solar to the city.

Jinko has pledged to bring 400 jobs to the city by the end of the year, with the other 400 to be hired by December 31, 2019. Construction on the factory would begin June 30 and would be completed by the end of next year.

The approval came on the heels of President Donald J. Trump’s decision to levy a series of graduated tariffs on imported solar cells and modules starting on February 8. The tariffs start at 30% in 2018 and gradually step down to 15% over the next four years.

Trump’s decision exempts the first 2.5 GW of imported solar cells from the tariffs, a provision crucial to at least 14 U.S. module manufacturers, none of whom are currently producing their own cells, to the best of pv magazine’s knowledge.

Jinko produces both cells and modules, and it’s unclear whether the new factory would produce modules, cells or both.