3Sun USA – Solar Manufacturing Facility
3Sun USA – Solar Manufacturing Facility
Enel is developing one of the largest solar PV panel and cell manufacturing facilities in America: 3Sun USA. The solar factory is expected to produce at least 3 GW of high-performance bifacial photovoltaic (PV) modules and cells annually.
A new era of made-in-America energy
3Sun USA, an affiliate of Enel North America, is expected to be one of the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing facilities in the country, initially producing at least 3 GW of high-performance bifacial PV modules and cells annually, with the potential for a second phase that would scale the factory to reach 6 GW of annual production. 3Sun selected Inola, Oklahoma as the location where it plans to site its industrial-scale production facility, which will be among the first in the United States to produce PV cells, the key building blocks that make up solar panels.
The first 3 GW of the 3Sun USA solar factory is expected to create around 1,000 new direct permanent clean energy jobs, while also supporting the creation of a domestic solar PV supply chain to accelerate the growth of US-generated energy and add to the country’s domestic solar cell and panel manufacturing capacity.
One of the largest solar PV manufacturing facilities in the US
High-performance PV modules and cells
Pioneering the production of solar cells with a high-performance bifacial heterojunction technology in the US.
Increasing solar capacity
The gigafactory is expected to reach 3 GW annual capacity in 2025 and potentially scale up to 6 GW of PV modules and cells annually.
Breaking ground in 2023 – 3Sun USA construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2023 with the first panel produced and available to the market by the end of 2024.
The planned 2 million square feet 3 GW PV manufacturing facility is sited to be built in located in Inola, Oklahoma, supporting a domestic PV supply chain and creating hundreds of local jobs.
Made in Oklahoma
3Sun USA has selected Inola, Oklahoma, about 25 miles outside Tulsa, as the location where it plans to site its new factory, which aims to be one of the largest photovoltaic manufacturing facilities in the country.
The 2 million square foot factory represents an initial planned investment in excess of approximately 1 billion USD and is expected to create 1,800 construction jobs, while supporting local economic development in the state through tax revenue and permanent job creation.
Enel is proud to call Oklahoma home. We have been present in the state for over a decade, building 13 wind farms that represent more than 2 GW of renewable energy generating capacity and over $3 billion in combined investment. We’ve created over 130 long-term jobs, thousands of construction jobs and committed over $2 million in voluntary support for local programs in rural communities across the state. Last year, Enel opened a brand-new office and wind workforce training center in Oklahoma City.
We are excited to take a big leap forward in our partnership with Oklahomans through this major new facility – our largest project yet, and we look forward to continuing our legacy as one of the top wind operators in state and now as a major player in solar manufacturing, creating a local PV supply chain made in America, made in Oklahoma.
Innovative, sustainable and American-made PV modules
The company plans to begin construction by fall of 2023, and anticipates the facility would start production at partial capacity by the end of 2024 with full capacity in 2025.
3Sun evaluated multiple prospective sites across the US. considering land availability, the presence of a skilled workforce, connections to transportation networks, and tax and incentive structures in making its siting decision. The company selected Inola, Oklahoma as the location where it plans to site its industrial-scale production facility.
3Sun has previously announced initial plans to consider building a facility in the US on par with its 3 GW “gigafactory” expansion underway in Catania, Italy. At this time, the company expects to build at least a 3 GW facility in Oklahoma, representing approximately 2 million square feet of facility space, with the potential to scale annual production capacity up to 6 GW.
The planned investment for the initial 3 GW factory represents over 1 billion USD.
The 3 GW solar factory is anticipated to create around 1,000 new direct jobs by 2025. We have already posted job openings for key positions in engineering, technology, and procurement.
Enel’s US solar facility will be producing high-performance bifacial photovoltaic modules including bifacial heterojunction (B-HJT) PV cells that capture more sunlight because the cells can respond to light on both front and rear surfaces. Heterojunction (HJT) solar cells provide several distinctive features that set them apart from competing technologies: higher density, higher expected production (or equivalent operating hour (EOH), high bifaciality, lower degradation, and lower temperature coefficient. These features increase the value of the investment and the carbon reduction impact.
Additionally, 3Sun will incorporate a tandem structure to the PV panels which utilizes two stacked cells – this allows for more light to be captured compared to single-cell structures, yielding higher overall cell efficiency. The combination of bifacial PV panels and tandem cell structure offers significant efficiency over other panels on the market. Enel-produced PV modules are expected to exceed 30% efficiency, securing higher average energy production.
Our technology is at the forefront of PV efficiency. Higher efficiency, combined with lower degradation, means that more electricity can be generated out of a single panel, translating to less land required, and longer useful panel life. For distributed generation, higher efficiency means more power and energy production per square foot of usable roof space.
3Sun in Catania (Italy) is already a market leader in producing high-efficiency cells, breaking a record in 2020 by achieving 24.63% efficiency. 3Sun USA will leverage its global expertise and experience from its 3Sun Gigafactory in Catania, Italy, which is set to become Europe’s largest factory producing high-performance bifacial photovoltaic modules.