The world’s largest solar panel manufacturer is coming to Ohio
LONGi Solar and Invenergy are coming together to construct a 5 GW per year solar panel manufacturing facility in Pataskala, Ohio, via a newly founded company, Illuminate USA.
A press release from Illuminate said the acquisition and construction of the facility will cost $220 million. Invenergy notes they made a $600 million investment in the facility.
Invenergy is noted as being the facility’s ‘anchor’ customer. LONGi is the world’s largest manufacturer of solar modules. Invenergy has an operating portfolio of 775 MW of solar facilities, and has 6 GW currently under development. Invenergy has developed approximately 10% of the United States’ wind and solar power fleet.
Illuminate says that the construction of the facility will generate 150 jobs. Once it is running, it will require 850 individuals to keep it going. Both single and bifacial solar modules will be manufactured at the site.
Invenergy’s involvement with solar panel manufacturing follows an emerging pattern in the US market. According to the Solar Energy Industries of America “Solar & Storage Supply Chain Dashboard”, Invenergy’s total US solar module assembly fleet is over 58 GW. That figure includes proposed facilities as well as facilities being constructed or expanded, and excludes capacity from LONGi.
According to LONGi’s quarterly presentations, the company hopes to reach 85 GW of solar panel manufacturing capacity by the end of 2022. This would make LONGi the world’s largest solar panel assembly company. The company is already one of the largest solar wafer and cell manufacturers.
The recently signed Inflation Reduction Act offers solar panel manufacturers a collection of incentives for manufacturing solar hardware in the United States:
- Solar cells – $0.04 per watt (DC) of capacity
- Solar wafers – $12 per square meter
- Solar grade polysilicon – $3 per kilogram
- Polymeric backsheet- $0.40 per square meter
- Solar modules – $0.07 per direct current watt of capacity
Data from BloombergNEF suggests that in the United States, solar module assembly costs roughly $84 million for each gigawatt of annual manufacturing capacity. The machines assembling modules cost approximately $23 million per gigawatt, and the remaining costs go towards facility construction.
pv magazine’s Vincent Shaw said the machines used in standard Chinese monoPERC manufacturing lines deployed in China cost approximately $8.7 million per gigawatt.
A 10 GW solar panel manufacturing facility built by LONGi cost $349 million in 2022, excluding real estate costs.
In 2022, LONGi announced a $6.7 billion solar campus that will manufacture 100 GW of solar wafers and 50 GW of solar cells per year
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