The solar PV cell and panel manufacturing plant, which is anticipated to have an annual production capacity of 3GW, is expected to break ground in the fall of this year

Enel North America Factory

Enel's solar cell and panel factory in Inola will have an annual production capacity of 3GW. (Credit: Enel North America/PRNewswire)

Enel North America, a part of Italian energy company Enel Group, has chosen Inola, Oklahoma, US for constructing a solar cell and panel factory with an investment of over $1bn.

The industrial-scale manufacturing facility for producing photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules will be built by Enel North America’s affiliate 3Sun USA, nearly 40km east of Tulsa. It will spread over an area of two million square feet.

Planned to incorporate a high-performance bifacial heterojunction technology (HJT), the solar cell and panel factory is anticipated to have an annual production capacity of 3GW.

Enel North America is likely to break ground on the solar PV cell and panel manufacturing plant in the fall of this year. This will be subject to final approvals, required permits, and agreements for economic incentives.

The construction phase is projected to create more than 1,800 jobs.

The first panels could be available to the market by the end of next year, said the Enel subsidiary.

3Sun USA head Giovanni Bertolino said: “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.”

The solar cell and panel factory is estimated to generate nearly 1,000 new direct permanent jobs by 2025. It also has scope for a second phase for ramping up its capacity to reach 6GW of annual production.

The future expansion of the factory could open up an additional 900 new direct jobs, said Enel North America.

Enel’s presence in Oklahoma has been for more than 10 years during which the group has injected $3bn to grow its footprint in the American state, which now includes 13 onshore wind farms.

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.”