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Invenergy, Chinese manufacturer look to build largest U.S. solar factory

May 12, 2023


A plan by U.S. developer Invenergy and China's Longi to build the U.S.' largest solar panel factory signals rapid growth ahead in U.S. manufacturing as developers wade into the supply market.

The 5 GW/year Illuminate USA facility will be located in Pataskala, Ohio and will supply monofacial and bifacial solar panels to the utility-scale and rooftop solar markets.

Invenergy is the largest independent renewable energy developer in the U.S. and will be the majority owner and anchor customer of the facility, purchasing 40% of all output, an Invenergy spokesperson told Reuters Events.

The company will invest $600 million in the project, including a $220 million commitment to acquire and build out a vacant 1.1 million-square-foot industrial building, allowing a rapid start-up of production lines by the end of this year and full capacity by the end of 2024.

Until now, most U.S. solar projects have sourced panels from Asia, where costs are lower, but international supply risks have worsened since the coronavirus pandemic. Customs delays, uncertainty over tariffs and soaring global demand have hiked import costs and with U.S. deployment set to soar, more developers are seeking domestic products to reduce delivery risks.

Tax credits for clean tech manufacturing in the Biden administration's Inflation Reduction Act have significantly improved the business case, an Invenergy spokesperson said.

[Neil Ford]

More: Largest ever US solar factory shows rapid pivot to American made

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