China-based JinkoSolar is now producing solar panels at its facility in Jacksonville, FL. The company will make solar panels at the facility for the US market to avoid tariffs imposed on solar panels imported from China by President Trump.
"JinkoSolar continues to gain market share in many regions across the globe, including the United States, and this factory will be key to solidifying that strong market position," said Kangping Chen, CEO of JinkoSolar. "We are fortunate to call Jacksonville home with its excellent business environment and hospitable community, features which enabled us to find a talented workforce, complete the facility, and quickly begin producing world class PV modules."
Part of the reason JinkoSolar chose to locate the facility in Florida is because NextEra Energy made an agreement with the company to purchase up to 2,750 megawatts of JinkoSolar panels over the next four years. That company is the parent company of Florida’s largest utility, FPL. The utility now plans to purchase at least 7 million solar panels over the next four years, as well.
"Advanced manufacturing is critical to the continued growth of our local economy, and we thank JinkoSolar for choosing to invest in Jacksonville," said Aundra Wallace, president of JAXUSA Partnership, the economic development arm of JAX Chamber. "We look forward to working with JinkoSolar to make sure they have the highly-skilled workforce they need to succeed and thrive here."
The company okays to invest a total of $410 million at the facility and Jacksonville approved $28 million in incentives for the project. JinkoSolar began produce pilot panels at the facility last November and has been ramping up production. The company previously said it would employ roughly 200 people at the facility and produce 400 megawatts of solar panels a year there.
"When JinkoSolar began exploring options for its first U.S. manufacturing operation, they could have chosen any location throughout the country," said Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. "I am incredibly delighted that JinkoSolar chose the city of Jacksonville as its U.S. headquarters. It clearly demonstrates our growing reputation as a business friendly community with a quality workforce, quality economic offerings, and quality of life conditions. We welcome them!”Tweet