India’s largest solar panel manufacturer has officially announced that it intends to start a 3-GW solar panel assembly plant in Brookshire, Texas. Waaree Energies will invest more than $1 billion into the site that will eventually scale to 5 GW of annual solar panel manufacturing capacity by 2027. The company is also planning to integrate silicon cell manufacturing at the site, hopefully by 2025.
SB Energy Global, a utility-scale contractor, has already signed on as a long-term panel buyer for Waaree’s American-made solar panels. SB Energy has signed a contract for “multi-gigawatts” of Waaree modules over the next five years.
The 3-GW panel assembly factory should become operational by the fourth quarter of 2024. Waaree will hire more than 1,500 positions once at full capacity. The company has leased a newly built 546,000-sq.-ft factory outside Houston.
“Most major components used in the manufacturing of these solar modules will be sourced domestically, enabled in part by the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Sunil Rathi, interim CEO and board member of Waaree Solar Americas, in a press release. “By setting up the new facility in the Houston area, Waaree brings critical technologies that will boost American solar production, reducing reliance on overseas sources while supporting strong U.S. jobs. We are committed to the U.S. and its growing demand for clean energy.”
To date, Waaree has supplied more than 4 GW of modules to U.S. customers. The company has 12 GW of manufacturing capacity in India stretched across four factories. Rathi told Solar Power World that Waaree is gradually switching over to TOPCon designs and will have 4 GW of TOPCon cell manufacturing capacity in India later next year. The company will initially supply the Texas panel factory with its Indian-made cells.
This Texas factory is the first Waaree facility outside of India.
Waaree’s 3-GW Texas solar panel factory is just 1 mile from Elin Energy’s under-construction 2-GW panel factory. The Waaree building is twice the size of Elin’s.