Enel North America announced it has identified Oklahoma as the leading candidate for its new solar cell and manufacturing facility. The facility, first announced in November 2022, will be operated through the company’s affiliate, 3Sun USA.
Initial capacity of the major cell and panel factory is expected to be 3 GW, and Enel stated plans of doubling that capacity to 6 GW at the site. The facility is expected to bring millions of dollars of investment in the state and create more than 1,500 jobs, with production anticipated by late 2024.
“We are currently finalizing our evaluation of prospective sites for the facility, considering factors such as land availability, the presence of a skilled workforce, connections to transportation networks, and tax and incentive structures in making our siting decision,” a spokesperson for Enel told pv magazine.
The U.S. has become increasingly attractive to solar component manufacturers as the $370 billion Inflation Reduction Act is rich with manufacturing incentives, including tax credits for the production of solar cells and panels.
Enel currently holds a $3 billion portfolio of wind power assets in the state and an office in Oklahoma City. “We are excited about the possibility to expand our presence in the state,” Enel said.
The factory would join the Qcells 3.3 GW vertically integrated solar manufacturing site in Georgia as one of the largest U.S. solar manufacturing announcements to date.
(Read: “Reviewing the U.S. solar panel value chain manufacturing capacity”)
“[Oklahoma is] on the one-yard line to land one of the largest economic development deals in our state’s history with Enel, a company that has been invested in our state for over a decade,” said Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt.
Enel said it is considering the Tulsa area for its new facility.
This article was amended on 4/27/2023 to indicate that Oklahome is the leading candidate, rather than the final choice.
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ENEL’s 3Sun Gigafactory sound like a promising opportunity for the Tulsa region should it come to fruition. It very well may be a great game changer if Solar Power can get a foothold in installing residential solar in the state.
Some cautionary points to examine are what type of solar cells and modules will they be manufacturing and what efficiency are they offering within their products?
If they are offering vertically oriented solar, what are the sizes and statistical outputs per component cells and modules?
Are these modules going to use thin film, low efficiency cells or state of the art, high output Silicon bifacial, or some other version?
In a state that has NOT been solar friendly, will state laws try to encourage Solar adoption for residential and commercial solar structural architecture or go for array based modules to be used to rob land that is now used as agricultural or industrial lands?
Stay alert and look the GIFT HORSE in the mouth!
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