The factory, which is expected to have an annual production capacity of 3 gigawatts (GW), represents an initial investment in excess of $1 billion and is anticipated to create around 1,000 new direct permanent jobs by 2025. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2023, subject to final approvals, necessary permits and economic incentive agreements, and it’s anticipated that the first panels will 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.
“We are proud to help usher in a new era of American-made energy and do so with a state that is already a leader in the energy industry. 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.
“With this announcement, 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,” said Giovanni Bertolino, head of 3Sun USA.
The planned factory will be among the first in the United States to produce solar cells, the fundamental building block of PV modules, and will incorporate a high-performance bifacial heterojunction technology (HJT).
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, said, “When I took office, I promised to bring Oklahoma to the world, and the world to Oklahoma; and today’s historic announcement is a testament to that mission, our business-friendly environment and more of everything energy approach. Enel’s expansion is a huge win for Oklahoma, and I’m thrilled by their record investment in our state’s economy and workforce, that will have a lasting legacy and continue to impact Oklahomans for generations.”
Enel has been present in Oklahoma for over a decade during which time it has invested $3 billion to expand its footprint in the state, which now includes 13 wind farms and a regional office in Oklahoma City to support its growing workforce.
3Sun in Catania (Italy) is already a market leader in producing high-efficiency cells, unveiling in September 2022 the company’s new HJT solar module, which will begin production in September 2023. The double-sided HJT can secure higher than average energy production, producing approximately 15-20% more electricity than conventional single-sided panels, and offers significant efficiency improvements, with a certified cell efficiency of 24.6%. In addition, the technology’s lower degradation ensures a longer useful life for modules, and the cells’ high density is conducive to a variety of applications, including land-constrained utility-scale installations or rooftops.
In the near future, 3Sun will introduce its next generation tandem cell technology, which in May 2023 broke a record achieving a certified efficiency of 26.5%. The tandem technology utilizes two stacked cells that allows for more light to be captured compared to single-cell structures.
“We are proud to collaborate with our regional partners and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce for a business expansion effort that will bring long-term quality jobs to the Cherokee Nation Reservation. Cherokee Nation has consistently been at the local forefront of the movement towards a cleaner, more sustainable future. With Enel North America establishing a production facility in Rogers County, we are seeing a positive step forward in advancing alternative energy efforts and promoting green energy manufacturing in a Cherokee community. The talented workforce required for this kind of expansion will largely be Cherokee and it will have a tremendous economic impact for local families” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.
“This is the largest economic development project in state history, bringing over a billion in investment into our state and hundreds of long-term jobs. It was a group effort to get this over the finish line, and we are thankful for the Governor, the Legislature, the Tulsa Port of Inola Industrial Park, Tulsa Regional Chamber and SelectUSA for coming alongside the Department of Commerce to get this deal done. The success of this project proves what we’ve known for a long time – Oklahoma can support mega projects, both in terms of sites and workforce, and this gives us exciting momentum as we seek more projects like this one, concluded Brent Kisling, Executive Director, Department of Commerce.