NorSun to invest $620M in first US solar facility

Dive Brief:

  • Norway-based solar company NorSun will invest $620 million to build its first U.S. facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to a June 25 company press release.
  • The five-gigawatt silicon ingot and solar wafer manufacturing facility will create 320 jobs and potentially to expand production up to 10 GW.
  • Construction of the facility is expected to start late this year with production anticipated to begin in 2026.

Dive Insight:

The Tulsa solar project, initially announced in October, has an “ambitious timeline,” according to the release. 

The facility aims to meet the increasing demand from U.S. solar cell and panel manufacturers to support the growth of the renewable energy sector, the press release said.

While NorSun hasn’t disclosed whether it received financial support from the U.S. government, the company has mentioned the Inflation Reduction Act’s incentives to build domestically. NorSun received a 54 million euro grant from European Union Innovation Fund in July 2023 for a three-GW expansion of its current ingot and wafer capacity at its Årdal, Norway, plant.

The two companies inked a silicon wafer supply agreement last October as part of Ontario-based Silfab’s efforts to onshore and strengthen its supply chain in North America by adding 1 gigawatt of domestic cell production.

While the company’s U.S. expansion has been smooth, Norsun ran into some supply chain setbacks in Europe last September. Due to the influx of “exceptionally low price” Chinese solar modules, the company announced it temporarily stopped production at its Årdal plant and laid off employees through the end of 2023.

In a statement, NorSun said import restrictions in the U.S. caused a re-routing of Chinese modules to Europe, resulting in a significant inventory build-up of more than a year’s worth of uninstalled capacity in stock.

Norsun started in 2007. The company is headquartered in Oslo with production facilities in Årdal on the western coast of Norway and employs around 200 people, according to the press release.

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