ARKANSAS, Sept 20 (Future Headlines)- Silfab Solar, a prominent solar equipment manufacturer, has announced a substantial investment of $150 million in a new solar cell manufacturing plant in Fort Mill, South Carolina. This move represents a significant expansion of Silfab’s U.S. operations, positioning it on the East Coast. The decision to establish this manufacturing facility aligns with the incentives provided by President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which promotes domestic manufacturing of clean energy components through tax credits for producers and buyers.
The new manufacturing plant will be established in Fort Mill, South Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina. This strategic location was chosen for several reasons, including access to a skilled workforce, quality of life, and a strong commitment to innovation. It reflects Silfab’s intention to create a state-of-the-art facility that aligns with its values of excellence and sustainability. Silfab’s investment is expected to generate approximately 800 jobs in the region. The creation of these job opportunities is significant for the local economy and reflects the positive impact of renewable energy investments on employment.
The new manufacturing plant is slated to begin operations in the third quarter of 2024. This timeline highlights Silfab’s commitment to promptly establishing its presence on the East Coast and contributing to the region’s clean energy landscape. The Fort Mill facility will have a robust production capacity. It will be capable of producing 2 gigawatts (GW) of solar cells and 1.2 GW of modules annually. This represents a substantial expansion of Silfab’s manufacturing operations, as the company currently has a total of 1.6 GW of manufacturing capacity spread across its existing facilities in Washington state and Toronto.
The IRA provides tax credits to both producers and buyers of clean energy components. These tax credits serve as financial incentives to stimulate domestic manufacturing in the renewable energy sector. To qualify for a bonus 10% tax credit under the IRA, a project’s components must meet certain domestic production criteria. Specifically, 40% of the project’s component costs must be incurred within the United States. This requirement encourages companies to source materials and manufacture components domestically.
Cells, the fundamental building blocks of solar panels, are a crucial component in the production of solar energy systems. Currently, there is no U.S. supply of polysilicon-based cells. Therefore, investments in solar cell manufacturing, such as Silfab’s, are vital to meeting the IRA’s domestic component requirements. As the facility in Fort Mill, South Carolina, begins operations in 2024, it will contribute to job creation, promote domestic manufacturing, and play a pivotal role in advancing clean energy solutions on the East Coast and beyond.
Writing by Kevin Wood; Editing by Sarah White