November 17 (Renewables Now) - Encouraged by recent US policy, Italian utility Enel SpA (BIT:ENEL) today announced plans to build a solar module factory in the US with an annual capacity of at least 3 GW and potentially up to 6 GW.
The facility will produce bifacial photovoltaic (PV) cells and panels and will be one of the largest solar module plants in the US. It will also be among the first in the country to produce solar cells, supporting a domestic supply chain.
Enel is still assessing sites for the factory but expects it will be able to start construction in the middle of 2023, with the first panels to reach the market by the end of 2024.
This will be Enel's second solar manufacturing facility. Earlier this year it announced that its 3Sun solar factory in Catania, Sicily, will be expanded to produce 3 GW a year, up from 200 MW. The company plans to replicate the Catania 3Sun Gigafactory in the US.
"Recent policy tailwinds from the Inflation Reduction Act have served as a catalyst for our solar manufacturing ambitions in the US, ushering in a new era of made-in-America energy," remarked Enrico Viale, head of Enel North America.
The news comes as First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR) also announced details of its US expansion plans. The US thin-film PV maker said on Wednesday it will build a 3.5-GW DC vertically integrated module production facility in Alabama.