Italy’s Enel to Build Solar Panel Manufacturing Facility in the U.S.

Italian electricity and gas distributor Enel announced on Thursday it would build a solar photovoltaic (PV) panel and cell manufacturing plant in the United States, as part of an effort to support creation of a North American supply chain. According to a company statement, the facility is expected to initially produce at least 3 GW and scale up to 6 GW of high performance bifacial PV modules and cells annually.

Enel said the facility will be among the first to produce solar cells in the U.S., where a ban on imports of some Chinese solar materials is creating difficulties for energy developers.

The Biden administration has passed legislation offering incentives to producers, including solar panel manufacturers, to support the development of a domestic renewable supply chain.

“Recent policy tailwinds from the Inflation Reduction Act have served as a catalyst for our solar manufacturing ambitions in the U.S., ushering in a new era of made-in-America energy,” the head of Enel North America Viale said in a statement.

The new factory will create 1,500 jobs by 2025.

The construction of the factory is expected to begin in the first half of 2023 and the first panel will be available to the market by the end of 2024.

Enel’s U.S. project will be similar to its recent initiative in Southern Italy, where the company is scaling up an existing solar PV panel plant to become a gigafactory that would produce up to 3 GW.

“Enel intends to replicate the gigafactory factory in the U.S. to produce bifacial heterojunction PV cells that capture more sunlight,” the company said.

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