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Solar Companies Plan To Manufacture In U.S.

Posted on: September 9th, 2014 No Comments

Several major solar brands have decided to move their photovoltaic manufacturing facilities to the United States. The companies will increase their manufacturing of cells, panels, and silicon wafers in the U.S. and reduce production in China.

Silicon wafer manufacturer 1336 Technologies raised a total of $62 million in funding to build a 250 megawatt facility in the U.S. One of the reason 1336 Technologies decided to start manufacturing in the states is that workers in China are still doing certain tasks by hand.

A lot of factory workers in China use suction cups to pick up silicon wafers, which can add to production mistakes.

In the U.S., a machine is relied on to do the work, while experienced workers are there to run the sophisticated machinery and monitor the progress.

Suniva, one of our solar panel manufacturers, is adding a second facility in the U.S. this year to keep production in the country while they continue to expand their company. Suniva will open its new facility in Saginaw Township, Michigan, where it will be easier for it to work with its key supply chain partners Hemlock & Dow Corning. Michigan also yields a highly skilled workforce to draw from.

Suniva opening new solar facility in Michigan

Labor costs in China have been increasing, making it even easier for large solar companies to consider moving production locally. Uncertainty in policy environments also makes it difficult for U.S. solar companies to monitor facilities in China.

There is also value in manufacturing within the U.S.

The U.S. solar market is already the 3rd largest in the world, with solar installations exceeding 7 gigawatts in 2014. Unlike other big markets like Japan, the U.S. is seeing steady growth year after year in demand for installations.

Solar growth in U.S. is rapidly increasing

Source: Cleantechnica <>

The “Made in USA” phenomenon is still strong, and many homeowners and businesses like to purchase locally.

China still has, and will continue to hold a strong share of the global photovoltaic manufacturing capacity.

At 70% share, China will not be heavily affected over the years by American companies moving their manufacturing locally. However, trade disputes and tariffs are among several reasons why more U.S. solar companies will begin to create their manufacturing facilities in the States, to provide cost effective products to their customers.

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