JinkoSolar downsizes plans for Jacksonville, Florida factory

The largest prospect of new solar module manufacturing jobs from President Trump’s 30% tariffs on imported solar cells and modules has largely evaporated. According to a fact sheet accompanying a resolution filed by the Jacksonville City Council, JinkoSolar is now planning to invest only $50.5 million in its new Jacksonville facility, and hire only 200 workers to produce PV modules.

This is 1/8 the investment and 1/4 the employment which was previously planned. Furthermore there is only one facility being discussed at 4660 New World Avenue, not the two which were previously planned.

The incentives which Jacksonville is offering have likewise shrunk. Next Tuesday the city will vote on a $200,000 “Qualified Target Industry” grant with $800,000 in matching state funds, representing a $1 million incentive for the 200 jobs. The city is also considering an additional $3.2 million grant, for a total of $21,000 per job.

JinkoSolar is estimating that jobs at its new factory will pay an average of $46K annually, so essentially Jacksonville and the state of Florida would be covering the first 1/2 year’s pay.

In January, JinkoSolar had revealed a 1.75 GW module supply agreement in the United States, and it is widely believed that this plant will help to supply this. As JinkoSolar has not commented on the capacity of the factory, it is unknown how much of this supply could be met with U.S. manufacturing.

It is also notable that JinkoSolar will likely be importing cells for assembly into modules, as there are no merchant cell makers operating in the United States at this time, and that President Trump has exempted the first 2.5 GW of cell imports each year from the 30% import tariff.