The largest publicly traded Chinese solar manufacturer is close to winning an incentive package for the first U.S. panel plant since President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on photovoltaic imports.
JinkoSolar Holding Co. has already signed a lease in Jacksonville, Florida, and the city may vote as soon as Tuesday on a proposed incentive package, according to Nigel Cockroft, the Shangrao, China-based manufacturer’s general manager for the U.S. and Canada. State regulators may issue consent within two weeks following city approval. The incentives includes a $3.2 million “Recapture Enhanced Value” grant, according to the city proposal.
A U.S. manufacturing site would ease the pain from U.S. tariffs on solar imports. Trump in January approved duties of as much as 30 percent on solar equipment made outside the U.S. JinkoSolar expects to invest about $50 million in the Jacksonville facility.
“Uncertainty is the enemy of the industry,’’ Cockroft said in an interview at Infocast’s Solar Power Finance & Investment Summit in San Diego. “Having a factory in the U.S. considerably reduces that uncertainty.”
JinkoSolar’s Jacksonville plant is expected to employ at least 200 workers. The company has about 35 employees in the U.S. now.