Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy Inc. and China-based JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. have announced a new solar panel supply deal. In addition, JinkoSolar has revealed its first U.S. factory location.
NextEra says it is the counterparty to a major supply agreement that was announced by JinkoSolar in January. The companies amended the agreement this month: JinkoSolar will supply NextEra with up to 2,750 MW of high-efficiency solar modules – roughly 7 million panels – over approximately four years’ time.
In conjunction with this agreement, JinkoSolar is opening its first U.S. factory in Jacksonville, Fla. The company expects the new location to create more than 200 direct jobs in Florida and support hundreds of additional local jobs in shipping and other related industries.
“As NextEra Energy continues to invest heavily in new solar projects across the country, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to buy cost-effective, reliable solar panels made here in America. JinkoSolar shares our commitment to delivering affordable clean energy solutions, and we are pleased to welcome them to our home state of Florida,” comments Jim Robo, NextEra Energy’s chairman and CEO.
“It’s exciting to know that solar panels built in Florida will be helping power FPL customers in the not-too-distant future,” adds Eric Silagy, president and CEO of Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL), a NextEra subsidiary that currently operates more than 930 MW of solar capacity in Florida. Over the next decade, FPL plans to more than quadruple its current solar capacity to more than 4,000 MW.
Once fully operational, JinkoSolar’s factory in Jacksonville is expected to have the capacity to build 400 MW of solar modules annually – more than 1 million panels per year. Production is expected to begin later this year. JinkoSolar anticipates using the Port of Jacksonville for a large volume of importing and exporting activities.
“Florida’s economy is on a roll. Since 2011, nearly 1.5 million private-sector jobs have been created in our state, and more and more companies like JinkoSolar are choosing to grow in Florida,” says Florida Gov. Rick Scott. “Today’s announcement means that 200 additional families in Jacksonville will be able to find a great job. We will continue working nonstop to make Florida the No.1 destination of job creators by eliminating burdensome regulations and keeping taxes low for businesses and families.”
“This is a major win for Jacksonville and the community,” adds Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. “JinkoSolar’s presence enhances our reputation as a manufacturing city, and I am eager to see the company contribute to the vibrant economy in Jacksonville.”
With advantages that include a low-cost, pro-business environment; a strong record of economic development and job growth; and one of the largest solar expansions in the country, Florida edged out several other states that competed for the multimillion-dollar investment, says JinkoSolar.
“Investing in this solar panel manufacturing facility makes clear our commitment to Florida and the growing U.S. market,” says Kangping Chen, CEO of JinkoSolar. “This will be one of the world’s most advanced solar panel manufacturing facilities, which will provide us with the flexibility and manufacturing capacity to support our local partners and growing U.S. customer base.”