Renewable and clean energy developer Invenergy intends to partner with LONGi to support a 5-GW solar panel assembly factory in Ohio. Invenergy will invest more than $600 million through new venture Illuminate USA to acquire and build out a 1.1 million sq-ft building in Pataskala, Ohio, approximately 20 miles east of Columbus.
The eventual largest crystalline silicon solar panel manufacturing factory in the United States will support 850 jobs, and operations are expected to commence by the end of 2023. Construction is scheduled to begin in April with hiring immediately.
“As an American company and a leading developer and operator of solar projects in the U.S., we recognize the importance of having a strong domestic supply chain to meet the fast-growing demand for affordable solar power,” said Art Fletcher, EVP, Global Sourcing at Invenergy. “Invenergy is proud of the role Illuminate USA will play in bringing the highest-quality, domestically produced solar products to market, enhancing our nation’s manufacturing capabilities with a long-term investment that will create at least 850 good-paying jobs for Ohioans.”
Illuminate USA is partnering with JobsOhio and One Columbus to develop training and skills development programs and to support recruiting efforts. JobsOhio plans to provide assistance for the project, which will be made public after a final agreement is executed. The company intends to deepen its support of the Region through partnerships with local schools and universities, as well as sponsorships of local community events like The Hartford Fair. Illuminate USA also intends to advance research and development efforts at the facility, to promote American leadership in solar panel production.
Invenergy is the anchor customer of the Illuminate USA joint venture. No other information about additional partners is available at this time.
LONGi is one of the largest solar wafer, cell and panel manufacturers in the world. The company is headquartered in China and works with various affiliates throughout Southeast Asia. This is the company’s first entrance into the U.S. manufacturing market. LONGi is the lead supplier of M10 wafers in the industry, and the Illuminate USA website says the Ohio factory will make both mono- and bifacial solar panels.