Enel North America, through its affiliate 3Sun USA LLC, has chosen Inola, Okla., as the site of its new industrial-scale manufacturing facility for photovoltaic cells and modules.
The over 2 million-square-foot, 3 GW factory, about 25 miles east of Tulsa, Okla., represents a planned investment in excess of $1 billion, creating approximately 1,000 new direct permanent jobs by 2025.
Construction is expected to begin this fall, and the first panels should be available to the market by the end of 2024. The project includes the potential for a second phase that would scale the factory to reach 6 GW of annual production, creating an additional 900 new direct jobs.
“Our selection of Oklahoma is a testament to the strength of the Tulsa Port of Inola site, the state’s commitment to workforce development and an attractive investment climate,” says Giovanni Bertolino, head of 3Sun USA. “We are taking a major step forward in developing a state-of-the-art PV factory, bringing hundreds of jobs and millions in long-term tax revenue, while moving Oklahoma to the forefront of renewables manufacturing.”
The planned factory will be among the first in the U.S. to produce solar cells, the fundamental building block of PV modules, and will incorporate a high-performance bifacial heterojunction technology (HJT).
3Sun in Catania (Italy) will begin production of a new HJT solar module in September. The double-sided HJT can secure higher-than-average energy production, with approximately 15% to 20% more electricity than conventional single-sided panels, and offers significant efficiency improvements, with a certified cell efficiency of 24.6%.
Enel has been present in Oklahoma for over a decade. Its more than $3 billion investment in the state includes 13 wind farms and more than 2 GW of renewable energy generating capacity.