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article imageJinkoSolar first major Chinese manufacturer to set up shop in US

By Karen Graham     Apr 3, 2018 in Business
Jacksonville - Two global solar energy leaders, U.S.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. and China-based JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. have announced one of the largest solar panel supply deals in history.
On January 30, China's JinkoSolar issued a statement that it was opening a new plant in the U.S. The company said its board of directors had given the go-ahead to "finalize planning for the construction of an advanced solar manufacturing facility in the U.S."
JinkoSolar's announcement came just a week after President Trump unveiled tariffs of up to 30% on imports of solar panels. It's been suggested that the company's move was in response to the tariffs because, in the statement, the company said it continues "to closely monitor treatment of imports of solar cells and modules under the U.S. trade laws."
As Digital Journal noted in early March, nothing had been officially confirmed, not even the location of the proposed manufacturing plant. But now we know the particulars of the planned new facility.
In what he called "the first of many" trade actions  President Donald Trump signed an orde...
In what he called "the first of many" trade actions, President Donald Trump signed an order imposing tariffs on at least $50 billion in Chinese products, and looking at restrictions on Chinese investments in the US
Confirmation of new facility in Jacksonville, Florida
JinkoSolar will open its first factory in the United States in Jacksonville, Florida and will trade through the Port of Jacksonville. This is the result of documents filed in January this year with the local government in Jacksonville that stated a "leading international manufacturer of solar panels and modules" is seeking to invest more than $400 million in building a manufacturing plant in the city.
According to the documents, the facility, code-named "Project Volt," will create 800 jobs between now and the end of next year. The city council had approved $24.2 million in incentives to attract an unknown foreign manufacturer to build a $410 million factory.
As it turns out, NextEra is the counterparty for up to 2.75 gigawatts of solar PV panels over the next four years. That is nearly 7 million solar panels. Production is expected to start in the second half of this year.
The Trump administration approved protective tariffs of up to 50% on imported solar panels and washi...
The Trump administration approved protective tariffs of up to 50% on imported solar panels and washing machines to protect domestic producers
Joshua Blanchard, GETTY/AFP
NextEra Energy Resources is the operator of more than 2,100 megawatts of utility-scale PV and the owner of utility Florida Power & Light, which has plans for thousands of megawatts' worth of solar projects. They confirmed JinkoSolar’s announcement this week, although the $50 million in investment has decreased from earlier reported figures, which had ranged from $120 million to $410 million, according to GreenTech Media.
"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, according to Florida Trend.
"This is a major win for Jacksonville and the community," said Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. "JinkoSolar's presence enhances our reputation as a manufacturing city, and I am eager to see the company contribute to the vibrant economy in Jacksonville."
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