Hounen Solar announces 1 GW module factory in South Carolina, Invenergy and Longi cooperate for 5 GW factory in Ohio

Within days, two Chinese companies have announced plans to build gigawatt factories in the United States. First, Chicago-headquartered renewable energy company Invenergy Renewables Holdings LLC made public its project to build a five gigawatt (GW) annual capacity solar module manufacturing plant in Pataskala, Ohio, on March 10 in a statement on the local portal »The Columbus Region« that initially received little attention, even from trade media. Invenergy says it is investing about $ 600 million through the company »Illuminate USA«. About one-third of the investment – $ 220 million – is earmarked to acquire and build out an existing building with about 100,000 square meters for module manufacturing. Invenergy itself is, according to its own information, the main customer of Illuminate USA, and its »production partner« is the Chinese solar group Longi Green Energy Technology Co. Ltd. (Longi Solar).
Construction is expected to begin in April, with module production scheduled to start by the end of this year. Invenergy did not provide details on the planned production. The »Illuminate USA« website (www.illuminate-usa.com) talks about »polycrystalline« modules, but Longi only produces monocrystalline wafers. The Chinese company’s total capacity is currently about 105 GW for wafers and 60 GW for modules.
Three days after »Illuminate USA,« on March 13, Hounen Solar America Inc, the U.S. subsidiary of China's Zhejiang Hounen Photoelectric Co, Ltd. established last November, announced via a notice circulated on the South Carolina Governor’s website that it would build a solar module factory with one GW of annual capacity in Orangeburg County. The company plans to invest $ 33 million here, and has leased a roughly 19,000-square meter building (photo). Hounen also manufactures only monocrystalline modules. A timetable for opening production has not yet been given.

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