JinkoSolar has agreed to supply NextEra Energy with up to 2,750MW of about seven million solar modules for a period of nearly four years.
In conjunction with this agreement, JinkoSolar is opening its first U.S. factory in Jacksonville, Florida, which is expected to create more than 200 direct jobs in Florida and support hundreds of additional local jobs in shipping and other related industries.
NextEra Energy chairman and CEO Jim Robo said: “As NextEra Energy continues to invest heavily in new solar projects across the country, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to buy cost-effective, reliable solar panels made here in America.
“JinkoSolar shares our commitment to delivering affordable clean energy solutions, and we are pleased to welcome them to our home state of Florida.”
“It’s exciting to know that solar panels built in Florida will be helping power FPL customers in the not-too-distant future,” said Eric Silagy, of
Florida Power & Light (FPL) president and CEO Eric Silagy said: “It’s exciting to know that solar panels built in Florida will be helping power FPL customers in the not-too-distant future.”
FPL currently operates more than 930 megawatts of solar capacity in Florida, including 14 solar power plants.
Over the next decade, FPL plans to more than quadruple its current solar capacity to more than 4,000 megawatts.
Silagy added: “We are honored to have played a role in making this possible, but it wouldn’t have happened without the dedication and dogged efforts of Governor Scott, Enterprise Florida, Mayor Curry, JAXUSA Partnership, the Jacksonville City Council, JEA and the business community.
“By working together with open minds and a shared commitment, they made Florida shine in the face of fierce competition from other states.”
Once fully operational, JinkoSolar’s state-of-the-art factory in Jacksonville is expected to have the capacity to build 400 megawatts of solar modules annually — more than 1 million solar panels a year. Production is expected to begin later this year.
JinkoSolar anticipates using the Port of Jacksonville for a large volume of importing and exporting activities.
Florida Governor Rick Scott said: “Florida’s economy is on a roll. Since 2011, nearly 1.5 million private-sector jobs have been created in our state, and more and more companies like JinkoSolar are choosing to grow in Florida.
“Today’s announcement means that 200 additional families in Jacksonville will be able to find a great job. We will continue working nonstop to make Florida the number one destination of job creators by eliminating burdensome regulations and keeping taxes low for businesses and families.”
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said: “This is a major win for Jacksonville and the community.
“JinkoSolar’s presence enhances our reputation as a manufacturing city, and I am eager to see the company contribute to the vibrant economy in Jacksonville.”
Rayonier real estate senior vice president Chris Corr said: “We are thrilled to welcome JinkoSolar to Northeast Florida.
“This announcement highlights the high-quality economic development taking place throughout the region, and we applaud Florida Power & Light for helping make this happen and its commitment to keeping energy costs low for its customers.”
With advantages that include a low-cost, pro-business environment, a strong record of economic development and job growth and one of the largest solar expansions in the country, Florida edged out several other states that competed for the multimillion-dollar investment.
JinkoSolar CEO Kangping Chen said: “Investing in this solar panel manufacturing facility makes clear our commitment to Florida and the growing U.S. market.
“This will be one of the world’s most advanced solar panel manufacturing facilities, which will provide us with the flexibility and manufacturing capacity to support our local partners and growing U.S. customer base.”
Source: Company Press Release