In January China’s JinkoSolar announced that it would build a solar panel manufacturing facility in Jacksonville, FL, thanks to an agreement with a then unnamed partner. Now NextEra has unveiled that it is the partner in the agreement and it will purchase up to 2,750 megawatts of JinkoSolar’s photovoltaic (PV) panels roughly 7 million units over approximately four years.
"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," said Jim Robo, NextEra Energy's chairman and CEO.
When JinkoSolar announced the plans in January, it said that the facility would employ up to 800 people and produce around 1.75 gigawatts of solar panels over approximately three years. With the new announcement JinkSolar said it will employ roughly 200 people in Florida directly. It also said the plant will produce roughly 400 megawatts of solar panels at the facility annually.
NextEra also is the parent company of Florida Power & Light (FPL), which will build projects using JinkoSolar panels. The utility already has 930 megawatts of solar power in service and plans to expand it to more than 4,000 megawatts over the next decade.
"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, president and CEO of Florida Power & Light Company. "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."
"Investing in this solar panel manufacturing facility makes clear our commitment to Florida and the growing US market," said Kangping Chen, CEO of JinkoSolar. "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."
In addition to manufacturing panels at the facility, JinkoSolar anticipates using Jacksonville for much of its importing and exporting activities. The company cited Florida’s pro-business environment and record of economic development and job growth among the reasons it chose the state for the facility. It also cited the state’s expansion of solar installations in explaining its choice.Tweet