Solar Energy

JinkoSolar, Trina Solar, JA Solar, LONGi, and CSI Solar, considered the world’s top five module manufacturers, have established or plan to construct manufacturing facilities in the US.

It all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to has the ability to manifest into the world for you to enjoy.

Robert W Benedict, III

Since the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in 2022 by the Biden administration, many Tier 1 solar manufacturers have announced plans to establish production lines in the US. These moves aim to maintain a competitive presence in the US and global markets.

Hounen, with a ZnShine license and working towards Tier 1 status for its brand (Hounen), opened a factory in the US in March of last year-2023. Hounen has plans to build a cell factory in the US and have the building and much of the permitting completed. The cell factory will be one of the first in the US, and they will be buying polysilicon and wafers from inside and outside of China, depending on the customer’s requirements.

Hounen is working with Unicorn Solar to expand their business by doing a Joint Venture with Unicorn Solar to build a US presence with an established US broker, Unicorn Solar. Both solar energy companies are working to develop solar energy in the US and bring over 350 jobs to South Carolina. Solar energy is increasing employment and pay more than any other sector in the US.

A group of US companies, SunSolar, Unicorn Solar, and other solar professionals who are US-born citizens, are working towards leasing the building for a factory in Missouri around June of 2024, with a factory start date of the end of Q4 or the beginning of Q1 2025. Presently, they are working on purchasing the equipment for a 1.5GW factory. This factory will be a US-established company with all investors and stockholders born and raised in the US. They are creating one of the only US factories with a team of investors from the US rather than Asia.

Also, JinkoSolar, Trina Solar, JA Solar, LONGi, and CSI Solar, considered the world’s top five module manufacturers, have established or plan to construct manufacturing facilities in the US.

Earlier this month, Trina Solar announced a $200 million investment to build a solar module production plant in Wilmer, Texas, with a designed annual capacity of 5 GW and polysilicon sourced in the US and Europe. The plants expect to operate in 2024/2025 and create 1,500 local jobs upon completion.

In June, CSI Solar said it would invest over $250 million to build a production plant in Mesquite, Texas, boasting an annual capacity of 5 GW. The plan will start production around the end of 2023 and help create about 1,500 skilled solar jobs.

In March, LONGi announced a partnership with US clean energy developer Invenergy to build a 5 GW solar module production plant in Ohio. According to the agreement, construction starts in April, and operation will begin by the end of this year or first quarter of 2025. The company says it will become one of the largest module manufacturing plants in the US, with about 850 jobs created.

In the same month, JinkoSolar invested about $81 million to build a new production plant in Jacksonville, Florida, with an annual output of 1 GW. It is upgrading and expanding its existing 400-MW US factory built in 2018. Jinko came early to the US market, believing manufacturing in the US would build its brand awareness.

At the beginning of 2023, JA Solar announced that it had invested $60 million in a 2-GW solar module manufacturing line in Phoenix, Arizona, which was projected to come into operation in Q4 of 2023. Although they are still working to go online, they are getting close. JA is paving the way for over 600 new job opportunities.

Regarding the solar industry, IRA aims to increase domestic solar manufacturing and strengthen the supply chain, reducing dependence on Chinese components and assembly of solar modules and component production. Solar energy works in the US because the Biden Administration understands the value of returning manufacturing jobs to the US. Most of these investments in the US are from China’s leading solar companies.

How these companies will impact the US and global solar supply chains may not come to light for five years, but it will definitely affect the number of US jobs created. In time, it will require many associated product companies to be established throughout the US. Companies like solar glass, cell manufacturing, and expansion of polysilicon, wafers, backsheets, frames, and other components like junction boxes, sealants, and components relating to solar energy will be started and built. In closing, US national security will be the most significantly benefited, as well as US jobs that benefit US citizens. US solar jobs can grow by leaps and bounds for the next ten years. 

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