German-based Siemens announced it will add manufacturing capacity in the United States, announcing a factory that will produce 800 MW of utility-scale string inverters per year starting in 2024.
The facility, which will be operated by Siemens’ manufacturing partner Sanmina, will produce Blueplanet string inverters. Siemens acquired the inverter business of KACO in 2019, which has already actively been producing inverters at the Kenosha, Wisconsin site.
Tax credits and demand-side incentives like the domestic content bonus in the Inflation Reduction Act are attracting record levels of clean energy manufacturing to the U.S., and the Siemens announcement adds to the growing domestic supply chain. Over the past four years, Siemens has invested $3 billion in U.S. manufacturing and acquisition activities.
“Working with Sanmina to establish this new production line, Siemens is well positioned to address supply challenges our country is facing as we work to localize production for green and renewable infrastructure,” said Brian Dula, vice president of electrification and automation at Siemens Smart Infrastructure USA.
KACO Blueplanet inverters range from 110 kW to 165 kW and offer a more modular, transportable option for utility scale projects than a large containerized central inverter. The inverters are made with a reliable silicon carbide design, are NEMA 4X enclosed, and are compatible with fused, cable-trunking systems up to 600 kcmil eliminating the need for string-combiner boxes.
“Single-MPPT inverters are proving to be the preferred choice when it comes to ease of layout and flexibility in design. It is clear that in today’s inverter landscape there is no one multi-MPPT inverter which can provide a satisfactory design for all high-power modules,” said Siemens in a whitepaper on the inverter. “The KACO singleMPPT string inverter range offers a much easier and more flexible design through the use of DC combiners which is crucial when optimizing your PV module layout.”
Read more about the “virtual central” approach to utility-scale inverter sizing and design in a whitepaper from Siemens.
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