LG Electronics has decided to open their U.S. manufacturing plant for the new “NeON 2” 60-cell #solar modules. After a $28M investment in this plant, the production of these modules is expected to begin in early 2019. 160 full-time jobs will be added, increasing their total workforce to about 400 at it’s 48-acre campus in Huntsville, AL.
LG, a leader in the U.S. residential solar market, said further development of the Huntsville factory will allow them to better serve U.S. customers. The new facility will assemble LG’s new “NeON 2” series 60-cell solar modules which are much more powerful than existing 60-cell panels already in production here in the U.S.
With annual production of about one million modules (roughly 500 megawatts of #energy), LG follows ‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) leader, JinkoSolar, in establishing solar module assembly in the United States. The Section 201 trade tariff bankrupted U.S.-based Suniva, which was majority-owned by Chinese renewables firm, Shunfeng International Clean Energy (SFCE). After this and other large downfalls, U.S. production of any new high-energy products will be required in order to keep up with the latest solar technology.
The new factory will manufacture LG’s “NeON” 2 60-cell module, a 340 Watt n-type monosilicon module offering 19.8% efficiency. The very high efficiency comes in part from LG’s Cello technology, wide busbars replacement, and the use of super-thin round copper wire interconnection. There is less reflection of sunlight away from the solar cell, simply because it’s thinner and reflects light in many different angles rather than directly back to the sun. Additionally, these modules are expected to generate up to 17% more energy than standard 60-cell solar panels already in production.
There is much to say for the Korean electrical mogul and their further development in the U.S. According to LG global B2B president, Soon Kwon, “This demonstrates our commitment to being a long-term leader in the U.S. solar industry. LG’s investment in U.S. manufacturing is consistent with the administration’s goal of creating U.S. jobs.”
The South Korean electrical giant will now add assembly of this new product to their U.S. headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama. A new plant with two production lines will be added to the existing 48-acre company site.
The unpopularity of the tariff remains, though it will continue to drive many full-time jobs into the U.S. through various international companies. Even LG will bring further product lines into their U.S. locations in 2019, adding hundreds more jobs to the American workforce. The Huntsville headquarters dates back to 1981 and also serves as the company’s American location for service, call center, service training center, field service operations and parts warehouse. These modules provide the potential for the continual addition of jobs in the ever growing solar energy market.