- Enel’s 3Sun USA finally zeroes in on Oklahoma to establish its 1st North American solar fab
- The Inola location will have 3 GW annual capacity initially that can later be expanded to 6 GW
- Construction is scheduled to begin in fall 2023 and bifacial HJT panels to be available from 2024-end
Over 5 months after announcing its plans to establish a 3 GW heterojunction (HJT) solar panel manufacturing plant in the US, Italy’s Enel has finally picked Inola in Oklahoma as the location for its $1 billion fab that can be expanded to 6 GW under phase II.
The location of the facility is close to Tulsa Ports of Inola which is a major freight destination for industrial activity in the state.
Through its affiliate 3Sun USA, LLC, Enel North America says the factory represents an initial investment of over $1 billion. The fab will create close to 1,000 new direct, permanent jobs by 2025, according to the management.
Enel plans to launch construction on site on 2 million sq ft factory in fall 2023 and roll out initial panels for commercial availability by 2024-end.
“With this announcement, we are taking a major step forward in developing a state-of-the-art PV factory, bringing hundreds of jobs and millions in long-term tax revenue, while moving Oklahoma to the forefront of renewables manufacturing,” said 3Sun USA Head, Giovanni Bertolino.
Back in November 2022 when Enel initially announced its US manufacturing plans, it attributed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as the main ‘catalyst’ for the expansion (see More Europeans Heading To US For Solar Manufacturing).
3Sun is the company’s solar PV manufacturing arm and its Italian presence is getting ready to sport 3 GW annual production capacity for bifacial HJT modules in September 2023 in Catania region. The group claims 24.6% efficiency for these panels.
3Sun Catania plans to also introduce its perovskite-silicon tandem cell technology for which it recently announced achieving a certified efficiency of 26.5% (see 26.5% Efficiency For Tandem Perovskite-Silicon Cell).
“The combination of bifacial PV panels and tandem cell structure offers significant efficiency over other panels on the market. Enel-produced PV modules are expected to exceed 30% efficiency, securing higher average energy production,” it states.
Meyer Burger is another European manufacturer that’s also bringing HJT technology to produce modules in the US at its Arizona location with 2 GW annual capacity (see Meyer Burger To Expand US Module Manufacturing Capacity).