Enel Selects Oklahoma for Innovative Solar Cell Manufacturing Facility in the US
Enel North America, a leading renewable energy company, has announced the selection of Inola, Oklahoma as the site for its state-of-the-art industrial-scale manufacturing facility. The facility, operated by Enel affiliate 3Sun USA, will produce innovative, sustainable, and American-made photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules. With an annual production capacity of 3 gigawatts (GW), the factory represents a significant investment of over $1 billion and is expected to create approximately 1,000 direct permanent jobs by 2025.
Construction of the facility is slated to commence in the fall of 2023, pending final approvals, necessary permits, and economic incentive agreements. The first PV panels are expected to be available in the market by the end of 2024. Furthermore, the project holds the potential for a second phase, which would expand the factory’s production capacity to 6 GW per year, generating an additional 900 direct jobs.
Giovanni Bertolino, the head of 3Sun USA, expressed pride in advancing a new era of American-made energy and praised Oklahoma’s strong presence in the energy industry. He highlighted the selection of Inola as a testament to the Tulsa Port of Inola site’s strengths, the state’s commitment to workforce development, and an appealing investment climate. The establishment of the PV factory will not only create hundreds of jobs but also contribute to long-term tax revenue growth, while positioning Oklahoma as a leader in renewable manufacturing.
The forthcoming manufacturing facility will be one of the first in the United States to produce solar cells, which are the fundamental components of PV modules. It will feature a cutting-edge bifacial heterojunction technology (HJT) known for its high performance. This technology allows for the production of double-sided HJT solar modules, which can generate approximately 15-20% more electricity compared to conventional single-sided panels. The HJT cells boast a certified efficiency of 24.6% and exhibit reduced degradation, resulting in an extended lifespan for the modules. Additionally, their high density enables various applications, including utility-scale installations with limited land availability and rooftop installations.
3Sun, headquartered in Catania, Italy, is a market leader in producing high-efficiency solar cells. The company unveiled its new HJT solar module in September 2022, which will commence production in September 2023. This advanced technology captures more light and offers significant efficiency improvements, achieving a certified cell efficiency of 24.6%. 3Sun is also developing its next-generation tandem cell technology, which recently achieved a certified efficiency of 26.5%. The tandem cell structure allows for increased light capture compared to single-cell structures, further enhancing the company’s capabilities.
This latest development represent another, in a string of green tech investments inside the US, by a foreign-owned business entity to invest and operate in due to the over $300 billion in subsidies available under the Biden Administration Inflation Reduction act.
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