Oklahoma is about to get one of the largest solar cell factories in the US

Enel North America has named Oklahoma as its preferred choice for its planned 3-gigawatt (GW) solar panel and cell factory.

The factory, which Enel announced in November of last year, will be one of the largest to produce solar cells in the US – and Enel says it eventually plans to double its capacity to 6 GW.

Giovanni Bertolino, head of Enel’s US solar manufacturing affiliate 3Sun USA, said in a statement:

We have identified Oklahoma as the leading candidate and we are excited about the possibility to expand our presence in the state.

Enel North America already has an office in Oklahoma City and a $3 billion portfolio of wind projects in the state.

Governor Kevin Stitt (R-OK) said in a statement that Oklahoma was “on the one-yard line to land one of the largest economic development deals in our state’s history with Enel, a company that has been invested in our state for over a decade.”

Stitt is asking state lawmakers to support an incentive package, and Oklahoma City news outlet the Journal Record reported that Enel North America is “is eying the Tulsa Port of Inola as a potential site for the plant.”

Production is expected to kick off in late 2024, and the facility will focus on producing bifacial heterojunction (HJT) cells, which combine aspects of conventional crystalline solar cells with thin-film solar cells. The factory is expected to create more than 1,500 jobs.

This is the latest big US solar manufacturing announcement as a result of the passage of the US Inflation Reduction Act.

Enrico Viale, head of Enel North America, said in November:

Recent policy tailwinds from the Inflation Reduction Act have served as a catalyst for our solar manufacturing ambitions in the US, ushering in a new era of made-in-America energy.

Read more: The US’s first-ever complete solar supply chain is coming

Photo: Enel North America

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