Global green power giant Enel confirmed it will build a $1bn solar equipment plant in the US state of Oklahoma, in another sign of the massive economic momentum gathering behind America’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) climate laws.
Enel’s solar subsidiary 3Sun will produce PV cells and modules at the factory, which is expected to have a 3GW annual production capacity but could later scale-up to twice that.
Italy-based Enel, whose Enel Green Power unit is one of the world’s largest wind and solar developers, said the plant would be among the first in the US to produce solar cells, currently overwhelmingly brought in from Asia.
3Sun already mass-produces cells and modules at its plant in Catania, Italy. It hopes to have the US plant up and running in 2025.
The advent of the IRA, which promises hefty incentives for green energy projects using locally-made equipment, has prompted a surge of interest in investing in US production.
However, the US clean energy sector still faces stiff challenges over transmission and project permitting, as evidenced in latest data on installations from industry group American Clean Power.
Biden said of the decision to build the plant – which is subject to final approvals and permits – “private capital is being invested in Oklahoma and all across the country, as communities step up to help build our clean energy economy.
“Companies like Enel have the opportunity to hire the most highly skilled, dedicated, and engaged workers in the world: American union members.”