The U.S. solar industry will soon be able to take advantage of domestically produced solar cells. Enel North America, through its affiliate 3Sun USA, announced its plans to build a silicon solar cell production facility in the United States with an expected minimum production capacity of 3 GW.
“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,” said Enrico Viale, head of Enel North America. “With this announcement, it is our intention to bolster a robust domestic solar supply chain that accelerates and strengthens the U.S.’s transition to clean energy. In doing so, we are creating thousands of new jobs, supporting local economies and providing stability to the solar industry.”
The proposed facility could scale to 6 GW annually and is anticipated to create up to 1,500 new direct jobs by 2025. Currently, Enel is evaluating possible sites for the new factory and expects to begin construction in mid-2023. The first cells should come off the line by the end of 2024. Enel also intends to make solar panels at the facility.
Enel already operates the 3Sun solar panel factory in Catania, Italy, which is expanding to 3 GW of annual capacity. That plant makes bifacial solar panels. Enel intends to replicate the Italian facility in the United States to produce bifacial heterojunction technology solar cells and panels.