Trina Solar to build 5GW module manufacturing facility in the US

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Trina Solar’s Vertex modules at Voltalia’s project site in Karavasta, Albania. Image: Voltalia

Solar module super league member Trina Solar plans to build a new module manufacturing facility in the US state of Texas, with a production capacity of 5GW.

The company plans to begin commercial operations at the facility, which will be built in the town of Wilmer, south of Dallas, in 2024. The manufacturing plant will also produce Trina’s Vertex modules, which is particularly notable considering Trina began commercial production of its Vertex N 700W+ modules last month, the first TOPCon modules with a power capacity of more than 700W to be produced on a commercial scale.

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While Trina did not specify which of the Vertex modules would be produced at the Wilmer facility, the project will be a significant undertaking for the firm. Trina noted that it will invest “more than US$200 million” into the project, and that it would source polysilicon from the US and Europe, rather than importing the material from elsewhere.

“We have long had a vision to manufacture solar products in the United States, and we are proud of the jobs we are creating and the investment we are making in the Wilmer community,” said Steven Zhu, president of Trina Solar US. “Trina’s goal in building this facility is to begin to create an ecosystem of American manufacturing that can serve the burgeoning US solar market.”

The production facility is Trina’s latest investment into production facilities beyond China, following the opening of a tracker manufacturing plant in Brazil, and the commissioning of a wafer production facility in Vietnam, earlier this year. The construction of a facility in the US, in particular, will also likely benefit from the tax incentives offered to companies involved in the establishment of a coherent solar supply chain the US, that have come into effect since the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act.

The company has sought to expand its production and manufacturing capacity considerably this year, shipping 27GW of solar modules in the first half of this year alone. Diversifying its manufacturing portfolio at a time where solar companies are eager to reduce reliance on imports from China, in particular, could be vital to the long-term health of the company.

Trina announced the news during the first days of RE+, one of the world’s leading renewable power events, currently taking place in Las Vegas, in the US. Nextracker, a US manufacturer of solar trackers, opened a new component manufacturing line in the city this week, as the early days of RE+ have been dominated by new solar manufacturing facilities.

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