Enel North Americathrough its subsidiary 3Sun USA LLC, has selected Inola, Okla., as the location for its new industrial-scale production facility for solar cells and modules.
The more than 2 million square foot, 3 GW plant, located about 25 miles east of Tulsa, Okla., represents a planned investment of more than $1 billion that will create about 1,000 new direct permanent jobs by 2025.
Construction is expected to begin this fall, and the first panels should be on the market by the end of 2024. The project includes the possibility of a second phase that would scale the plant’s 6 GW annual output, generating 900 more. new direct jobs.
“Our selection of Oklahoma is a testament to the strength of Tulsa’s Port of Inola, the state’s commitment to workforce development and an attractive investment environment,” said Giovanni Bertolino, president of 3Sun USA. “We’re taking a big step forward in developing a state-of-the-art solar power plant, bringing hundreds of jobs and millions in long-term tax revenue while moving Oklahoma to the forefront of renewable energy manufacturing.”
The planned plant will be among the first in the United States to produce solar cells, the fundamental building block of PV modules, and will use high-performance bifacial heterojunction (HJT) technology.
3Sun in Catania (Italy) will start production of a new HJT solar module in September. Double-sided HJT can ensure above-average energy production, about 15-20% 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 more than a decade. Its more than $3 billion investment in the state includes 13 wind farms and more than 2 GW of renewable energy generation capacity.