South Korean electronics company, LG Electronics, is planning to develop a 500 MW solar module manufacturing unit in Huntsville, Alabama. The company is planning to invest $28 million in the facility which in turn would help create 160 new job opportunities.
According to a media release from the Alabama Governor’s office, LG will build the new factory with two production lines at an existing building on the company’s 48-acre campus in Huntsville.
“LG has a long history as a leading corporate citizen in Alabama. Now, LG is launching our state’s first solar manufacturing plant, which represents a major milestone both for Alabama and for the company,” Governor Kay Ivey was quoted as saying.
The new LG Alabama factory is expected to produce 500 megawatts of the company’s high-performance N-type solar panels annually, starting in early 2019.
Soon Kwon, global president of the LG also commented on the development, saying, “The new solar plant will help LG better serve its U.S. customers. The company selected Alabama after conducting a competitive, multistate search.”
The new solar module plant builds on LG’s legacy of leadership in Huntsville. After starting the company’s first U.S. manufacturing subsidiary in 1981, Huntsville became the home of LG’s service division in 1987, which expanded over the years to support LG’s growing presence in the country.
LG joins Jinko Solar, and Hanwha Q Cells in announcing module manufacturing in the United States after President Trump announced a 30 percent duty on imported modules. The Trump administration has not been all bad for the U.S. solar industry. Corporate tax cuts and the latest ruling by the U.S. internal revenue service extending the 30 percent investment tax credit by two years has also boosted the U.S. solar market and attracted new investment announcements.
The potential of a safeguard duty in India may also attract manufacturing plant investments for international companies. Chinese manufacturer Longi solar announced plans to double the capacity of its cell and module manufacturing facility in India from 500 MW to 1 GW in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
“The announcement by the Chinese government to cut solar feed-in tariffs and impose installation caps has created a module oversupply situation that will shrink domestic demand, which will likely push Chinese and other Asian solar manufacturers to expand and invest in markets abroad,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.
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Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.