The U.S. solar panel manufacturing market isn’t the biggest in the world by any means, but it is growing. Many global names set up shop in the country in 2019 to help push the United States to bigger domestic capacity numbers. Here are the Top 10 largest solar panel assembly facilities in the United States based on megawatt capacity. All data is accurate as of Nov. 25, 2019.
9. (Two-Way Tie) SunPower: Hillsboro, Oregon / 150 MW — U.S. headquartered SunPower didn't really have a domestic manufacturing presence until it bought the former SolarWorld production factory in 2018. After separating its manufacturing arm in Nov. 2019, SunPower is keeping its small line in Oregon for the high-efficiency P-Series modules.
9. (Two-Way Tie) Auxin Solar: San Jose, California / 150 MW — This "boutique solar" company established in 2008 largely as an OEM for Tier 1 brands. Many foreign companies had won U.S. government projects that required Made-in-USA product, so Auxin Solar assembled their panels in California to reach compliance. The company today has the capability to produce bifacial, frameless and other advanced modules on site.
7. (Two-Way Tie) SunSpark USA: Riverside, California / 200 MW — Housed in a former WWII vehicle manufacturing plant, SunSpark USA's 200-MW assembly line first began production in 2015. In addition to producing company-branded modules, SunSpark USA offers full-line OEM capabilities for customers selling panels under their own proprietary brands.
7. (Two-Way Tie) Mission Solar: San Antonio, Texas / 200 MW — Mission Solar first started producing American-assembled solar panels in 2014 as the main supplier to San Antonio utility-scale solar farms for local utility CPS Energy. The company has since expanded its sales nationwide. Mission Solar's crystalline silicon solar panels are Buy American Act compliant and are often used on government projects.
5. (Two-Way Tie) Silfab Solar: Bellingham, Washington / 400 MW — Canadian-headquartered Silfab Solar bought a 150-MW solar panel plant in Washington in 2018 and expanded it into a 400-MW powerhouse for its high-efficiency modules. The company's BC Series of modules, produced in Washington, use back-contact metal-wrap through connections and have an electrically conductive backsheet for an aesthetically pleasing black-on-black panel.
5. (Two-Way Tie) JinkoSolar: Jacksonville, Florida / 400 MW — The largest global solar panel manufacturer, JinkoSolar primarily pushes 10 GW of panels out of its Chinese and Malaysian plants, but the 400 MW coming out of Florida are its most advanced panels yet. The U.S. facility produces five-busbar mono PERC modules and may eventually switch to half-cell and bifacial production in the future.
4. LG Solar USA: Huntsville, Alabama / 500 MW — LG took an empty warehouse on its Huntsville campus that used to build color television sets and turned it into a 500-MW assembly line for its NeON line of 60-cell solar panels. LG is a major player in the U.S. residential solar market, and the company expects to provide more than 1 million panels to the domestic market annually.
3. Tesla/Panasonic: Buffalo, New York / 1,000 MW — Tesla acquired this Buffalo "gigafactory" from SolarCity when the two companies merged in 2016, and Tesla quickly partnered with Panasonic for module production. Panasonic manufactures cells and panels here, and Tesla uses those modules as its own. Tesla has also stated its Solar Roof product will eventually be made at this plant.
2. Q CELLS: Dalton, Georgia / 1,700 MW — Q CELLS invested nearly $200 million to build a U.S. facility to serve its many domestic utility-scale customers. The South Korean company's Georgia plant can produce 12,000 solar panels each day. Q CELLS assembles Q.PEAK modules here, which consist of the company's proprietary Q.ANTUM crystalline-silicon solar cell technology.
1. First Solar: Perrysburg/Lake Township, Ohio / 1,900 MW — First Solar opened a second production facility in Northwest Ohio in 2019 to bring its total U.S. capacity to 1.9 GW. First Solar is unique to this list not only for being the largest U.S. manufacturer but also for being the only thin-film module maker. The company makes cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film modules that are most commonly used on large utility-scale projects.
See a list of U.S. solar panel manufacturers here: solarpowerworldonline.com/u-s-solar-panel-manufacturers/
Jonathan Saunders says
They sold that off to raging wire for Data Comms by NTT. Now we’re hoping to hussle into the marketplace with our nano-processes to develop PV Panels, Batteries, and Grid-tie inverters.
I was always told the labor alone to produce cells here was not cost efficient. We hope to start our R&D solar cell production array and off-shore automated cell process line. The final assembly will be based out of New Mexico. We hope to have class-A cells available to commercial and consumer markets as we emerge with certified USA grade panels for solar farms and mini-grids in the future of 2020!
J4TG Laser and Solar Group
Matthew Sirum says
I believe the cells from any manufacturers extruding silicon into ribbons in the US would be considered US made cells; or at least US made wafers, if shipped outside the US for doping and further processing etc. Are there still any US based manufacturers using extrusion methods? And if so, at what scale and capacity do those manufacturers operate at with their US facilities?
I’m surprised to see Miasole’ and Mission Solar still on the list. They were early funded and were, (are?) gearing themselves towards the architectural solar PV aspect of building with solar PV. One of the early adopter CIGS manufacturers Nano solar, was building utility scale solar PV farms in Germany with solar PV panels “printed” onto aluminum substrate to create panels in a “roll to roll” process. No real word why this panel didn’t work out. Nano solar seemed to have almost the same business model as First Solar in Arizona.
Kelly Pickerel says
Yes, MiaSole is involved with thin-film solar and has been transitioning to less traditional solar applications. Mission Solar is still going down the traditional ground/roof install route.
Jim stack says
They may be made in the USA but are the cells made in the US too?
Many use parts from all over and just do final assembly in the US.
Kutrell L Prescott says
To my knowledge most are only assembled in the USA.
Kelly Pickerel says
The only cells that are made in the United States are made by Panasonic at the Panasonic/Tesla plant in Buffalo, NY, as far as I know.
Joshua Adkisson says
I started up what used to be the SolarWorld module facility in Hillsboro. I know that they grew and processed their own cells as of 2012.