First Chinese-owned solar PV manufacturing plant opens in the US

This week JinkoSolar held an opening ceremony at its new manufacturing facility in Jacksonville, Florida. The facility made headlines when it was announced due to the fact that the Chinese company decided to set up manufacturing in the U.S. in response to solar tariffs that are put on solar cells and modules imported from China. To date, Jinko is the only Chinese-owned solar manufacturer to set up a facility in the U.S.

Other manufacturers of solar PV modules in the U.S. are First Solar, SunPower (which purchased SolarWorld’s Oregon facility) and Tesla, although the Tesla factory has struggled to come online.

Pilot production at the Jinko manufacturing facility began in November 2018 and has since been steadily ramping up, according to Jeff Jugar, Director of Business Development for the company. He added that it expects to be in full production in a couple of months.

Once fully operational, the $50 million facility will employ 200 workers and manufacture 400 megawatts of high powered 60-cell and 72-cell monocrystalline PERC modules annually.

Some of the output will be used to serve Jinko’s 2.75 GW supply agreement with NextEra, said Jugar who added, “but we are also servicing many other utility and residential customers.”

JinkoSolar has 40 GW of solar modules deployed globally and 6 GW deployed in the U.S.

Images show JinkoSolar’s manufacturing plant. Credit: JinkoSolar. 
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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com

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