Longi Solar, a Chinese solar panel manufacturer, and Invenergy, a US solar project developer, have agreed to construct a 5 GW solar panel factory in Pataskala, Ohio, through a newly formed entity called Illuminate USA. According to a press release issued by Illuminate USA, the plan will cost USD 220 million. Invenergy has invested $600 million in the facility, according to the company.
According to Illuminate USA, the construction of the facility will create 150 employment. Once operational, 850 individuals will be required to maintain it running. The factory will produce both single- and double-sided solar modules.
Invenergy’s involvement in the production of solar panels is consistent with a trend on the US market. Solar Energy Industries of America’s “Solar & Storage Supply Chain Dashboard” indicates that Invenergy’s US solar module assembly fleet exceeds 58 GW. This number encompasses proposed facilities as well as facilities being built or expanded, but excludes Longi’s capacity.
Longi expects to reach 85 GW of solar panel manufacturing capacity by the end of 2023, according to quarterly reports. This would make them the largest solar panel assembly company in the world. It is already one of the major manufacturers of solar wafers and cells.
The recently signed Inflation Reduction Act provides solar panel manufacturers with a variety of incentives to produce solar components in the United States.
- Solar cells – USD 0.04 per watt (DC) of capacity
- Solar wafers – USD 12 per square meter
- Solar grade polysilicon – USD 3 per kilogram
- Polymeric backsheet – USD 0.40 per square meter
- Solar modules – USD 0.07 per direct current watt of capacity
According to data from BloombergNEF, solar module assembly in the United States costs approximately USD 84 million per gigawatt of annual manufacturing capacity. The machinery used to assemble modules cost approximately USD 23 million per gigawatt, while the remainder of the costs are allocated to facility construction.
Source: pv magazine Australia